Can drinking water have a positive impact on skin health? Is hydration really an effective way to look and feel healthy from the inside out?
The short answer is a resounding “Yes!” Drinking enough water does offer a wide range of health benefits, including skin health. And in this article, we’ll explore the science of why skin experts and celebrities swear by this simple yet clearly effective health hack.
Importance of Healthy Skin
As the body’s largest organ, the skin plays several significant roles. These include:
Protection Against External Factors
The skin is the body’s physical barrier against external factors such as bacteria and pollutants. The epidermis, or the skin’s outermost layer, does a lot of work reducing the potential of infections and diseases by keeping toxins out. To help the skin do what it does best, we need to keep the body hydrated and intact. With healthy, well-functioning skin, the body stands a better chance of defending itself against harmful elements.
The skin also plays a crucial role in regulating body temperature. For example, when we work out or stay in warm environments, our skin’s sweat glands will produce sweat which helps cool down the body as it evaporates. When not adequately hydrated, our body may fail to produce sweat to cool itself down. Dehydration can put the body at risk of serious health concerns, including developing heat stroke.
Transmission of Sensory Information
The skin is home to different types of sensory receptors. They can detect physical changes, temperature changes, and pain. These are important for practical purposes. For example, sensing heat will warn the brain to refrain from touching something without the proper protective equipment and help avoid more severe accidents
Taking care of the skin is not all about aesthetic purposes. Taking care of your largest organ is more than just looking your best and putting your best face (and self) forward. A healthy skin barrier prevents irritation, infections, pain, and other diseases. One way to achieve this is by keeping the skin well-hydrated.
How Hydration Promotes Skin Health
Hydration and drinking an adequate amount of water can affect the skin in many ways, even in ways you probably have not considered.
Aids in Flushing Out Waste
Water helps the kidney do its job. The kidney is responsible for filtering out waste and toxins from the blood to produce urine. With sufficient water, the kidneys can efficiently flush out these unnecessary elements. On the other hand, dehydration can keep the kidneys from doing their job. This can lead to urinary tract infections (UTI) or even a buildup of toxins which can have itchy, darkened skin as a side effect.
Promotes Digestion and Gut Health
Water also aids with digestion and prevents constipation. It assists with breaking down the food we eat while absorbing its nutrients.
You may ask, “What does going to the bathroom have to do with my skin?” Well, good digestion and gut health, in general, influences your overall health. Studies show a distinct link between a healthy gut and healthy skin (i.e., absence of skin concerns like atopic dermatitis). It’s essential to stay hydrated to promote both gut and skin health.
Water-Rich Diet = Skin-Friendly Food
Aside from drinking water, you can also hydrate through water-rich food. And good news for the skin, a lot of water-rich food and beverages also contain skin-friendly nutrients and antioxidants. Whether it’s a drink infused with CBD strains rich in antioxidants or vitamin-C-filled local produce like watermelons and spinach, you can be sure that drinking and eating your water will benefit your body in more ways than one.
Maintains the Skin’s pH Level
Although the effect can be indirect, keeping your body hydrated helps maintain your skin’s pH level. The skin’s ideal pH level is between 4.1 and 5.8, depending on the specific body part. In this acidic state, your skin can do what it does best: act as your body’s barrier against bacteria, toxins, and other harmful external factors. It will also be more effective in preventing excessive moisture loss, which leads to dry, irritable skin.
Various factors may cause skin puffiness, but one of the most common reasons is a lack of hydration. When dehydrated, the body tends to retain or hold on to water to protect itself. This process will lead to that bloating or puffy look you may see after a night of drinking too much alcohol and not enough water. You must consume enough water to reduce water retention and avoid puffy-looking skin. Doing so will let your body know it doesn’t need to hold on to water as you will keep it well-hydrated throughout the day.
Aside from washing away impurities and keeping the outer layer of the skin clean, water also helps prevent acne from the inside. Make sure to drink enough water, as dehydration can signal the skin to overcompensate by increasing sebum production. And too much sebum can lead to oily skin and clogged pores, a perfect formula for breakouts.
For truly healthy, resilient skin, science tells us we must keep the skin well-hydrated inside and out. Don’t forget to drink a sufficient amount of water, eat water-rich food, and keep the skin moisturized. These are clear, proven ways to ensure skin health.
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