POSTED: 3 Nov 2018

Skin Food Saturday – Is Water The Missing Ingredient?

We tune in every week with delicious recipes taking a deeper look into how your diet can impact your overall health, more specifically your skin. This week we bring you the most important skin food of all – WATER! Yes, bear with me. It sounds awfully simple, but keeping hydrated really make your skin more plump, refreshed, and free from blemishes? Keep reading as I explore:

Why water is good for your general health?

The difference between hydrating and moisturising your skin

My top tips for drinking more water

The benefits

Statistics show a surprisingly large proportion of Brits are in fact not drinking enough water. The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) carried out a survey which showed the percentage is in fact 89%. As you can see in the image below, this figure, of course, varies across gender and age. Considering our bodies are made up of 60% water these numbers are shocking! In terms of general health, our vital organs need to be hydrated to function properly. Staying hydrated is especially key for a well-functioning digestive system and for our heart and circulation. It hugely affects our capacity to focus too. Have you ever wondered why the afternoon comes around and you start to feel sluggish? You maybe get a headache and struggle to concentrate. Well, these are all signs you need to drink more.

Skin Health

Our skin is the largest organ of the human body, and like all organs, it is made up of cells which are comprised largely by water. Therefore, the same things apply. We need to keep it hydrated so it stays healthy. Nevertheless, actual scientific evidence on the effect of water intake on the appearance of the skin, wrinkles especially, is surprisingly lacking. There are many other factors which can impact the youthfulness of skin – genetics, sun exposure, smoking and diet for example. Therefore it is hard to draw absolute conclusions. However, our approach at City Skin Clinic, along with using our professional expertise is to draw from experience. Everyone is unique and has differing skin concerns and needs. We would advise that the healthier your skin is, the more likely it is to look healthier, plumper and more youthful it will look so go and fill a cup (or 8)!  We need to feed our skin what it needs from the inside out. We can use all the expensive creams in the world, have the most flawless skincare regiment, but without drinking enough water this could potentially be redundant.

Moisture vs Hydration

It is obvious that we definitely benefit from drinking more water, however, it has its limitations. If you have a certain skin concern like acne, rosacea, or hyperpigmentation for example, your water intake will not magically clear or even out your complexion. Also, if you have really dry skin which could be the result of several factors, including your specific skin type, stripping of skin oils or the cold the weather lets say, drinking copious amounts of water will restore the oil deficinecy leading to flakey, red or irritated dry skin. This is where moisturising comes in which is using emoliating ingredients and products to form a protective barrier to water loss and essentially replicate the functions of the skin’s natural oils. If on the otherhand, your problem is with dehydrated skin it will appear dull, have reduced bounce and lack elasticity. The solution to this is to increase your oral hydration and also use a hydrating product on your skin such as a hydrating serum, essence or moisturiser.

Top tips for drinking more water

Drinking at least 2 litres of water is the daily recommendation, 2.5 for men. However, as the study above has shown this can be quite hard for many of us. You may not like the taste, you might forget, or simply feel like you do not have the time. Here are a few tips I try to implement into my day to give my skin the best possible chance at staying healthy and radiant.

  • Create a morning habit. Keep a glass of water at your bedside before you go to sleep and make it the first thing on your list for your morning routine. Just think that overnight our bodies are rejuvenating from the day, we are our most dehydrated when we wake. For me this little habit really sets me up for the day and keeps me focused throughout my morning.
  • Coffee doesn’t count, so be wary about having too many pumpkin spiced lattes in one day. The same applies to sugary and carbonated drinks. Caffeine can have a diuretic effect, hence it can be dehydrating.  I like to follow my morning coffee with a large glass of water to make sure I’m staying hydrated.
  • Get creative! If it’s the lack of taste that bothers you, then add your favourite low sugar fruits for an added flavour boost. My go to is lemon, or cucumber and mint but you can add whatever you like. I would advise filling a bottle or water filter if you have one, then leaving it overnight ready to drink the next day.
  • Get competitive! Fitness trackers are insanely popular at present. Many, like FitBit for example, have an inbuilt application to track healthy habits aside from physical activity. I like to set myself challenges against friends to see who can drink the most.

Well that’s it for today’s Skin Food Saturday, I hope this blog has been insightful. We have our weekly Sunday Vibes post coming your way tomorrow. If you’ve missed our previous posts then head over to The Modern Salon homepage to catch up. We also released our very first #FUSSFREEFRIDAY Q+A over on our Instagram where we answer your questions about all things skincare, beauty and aesthetics related so be sure not to miss out!

What next?

For more tips on increasing your water intake, check out our previous post on keeping hydrated the easy way.

If you fancy hydrating products to include in your fuss-free beauty routine, check out our personalised skincare routine pages, guide to hydrating essences and face serums.

Authored by:

Dr Amel Ibrahim
Aesthetic Doctor & Medical Director
Founder City Skin Clinic
Member of the Royal College of Surgeons of England
Associate Member of British Association of Body Sculpting GMC Registered - 7049611

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