This Is What Drinking Water Really Does For Your Skin

If you’ve followed conventional skincare advice within the last decade, you’ve likely heard of how important it is to keep your cells hydrated. Between downing glasses of water and purchasing moisturizing products, you may think you have this part of the skincare game covered. But, what does drinking water really do for your skin?

Unfortunately, there may not be too much evidence that links healthier skin to drinking a lot of water. Margarita Lolis, MD, explains to Byrdie, “While everyone says drinking water is important for overall health and doctors across the board recommend more water and less caffeinated or sugar-packed beverages, there’s a lack of research actually proving water consumption impacts skin hydration or overall appearance in people who are healthy.”

Water flows through our bodies to different organs to hydrate, carry nutrients and perform vital functions. It doesn’t necessarily head straight to our skin. “The truth is that when you drink water, it doesn’t automatically go to the skin — it hydrates cells once absorbed into the bloodstream and filtered by the kidneys,” Lolis notes. “So at the cellular level, drinking water is great as it flushes the system and hydrates our bodies overall.”

While drinking tons of water may not give you the dewey glow your after, dehydration on the other hand isn’t great for your complexion either.

Dry skin comes from a variety of factors

If your skin is looking lackluster or has some patchy spots, drinking extra water may not be the answer. Indeed, the cause of dry skin stems from many factors. Harper’s Bazaar reports that dry skin usually has a complex array of reasons behind its appearance. Skincare expert, Paula Begoun tells the outlet, “Although drinking eight glasses of water a day is good for your body, it won’t get rid of dry skin. If that’s all it took, hardly anyone would have dry skin.”

Dr. Mervyn Patterson, cosmetic dermatologist, adds, “Sure, adequate hydration is necessary, but it is only one factor. It is an urban myth that drinking ‘extra’ water helps the look of the skin.”

Instead, Byrdie suggests focusing on your skincare routine to give your cells the hydration they need. For instance, use products that don’t contain alcohol and find more gentle items to put on your face. Buy a humidifier to avoid over-exposure to dry air and limit your hot shower time to avoid stripping the skin of moisture. Simple daily additions such as these will likely cultivate the smooth, hydrated skin you’re after. 

Your moisturizer will make a big difference as well. Joshua Zeichner reveals to the outlet, “Moisturizers contain three types of ingredients that work together to help the skin. Occlusive, such as white petrolatum, form a protective seal over the skin; humectants, such as glycerin or ronek acid, act like a sponge to pull in hydration to the outer skin layers; and emollients, such as natural oils, smooth the rough edges between cells in the outer layer.”

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