Drink Water To Hydrate Your Skin?

July 13, 2010

Why should you drink water? Let us count the ways: it makes you feel refreshed and keeps your brain functioning. It maintains your energy level, regulates your body's temperature, assists digestion, and keeps your body in good health. If you skip a few days of food your body won't suffer too much, but try to go without liquids and you won't be able to survive beyond a few days.

Not Plants

However, a myth persists regarding the drinking of water and skin health. People think that humans are like plants. But we aren't. We don't wilt and then perk right up after a drink of water. The truth is that the water we drink only gets to the skin cells after it is absorbed into the bloodstream and then filtered by your kidneys. Only then does it hydrate the cells of your body, including those of your skin.

The moisture levels of your skin are dependent upon your skin type rather than on anything you ingest or drink. This is determined by your genetic makeup. There are other factors at work, but such factors are related to exposure to the elements. Your skin has a protective barrier in the form of the lipid layer of your skin which keeps the moisture in while locking out irritants and germs. Dry skin, robbed of adequate moisture by nature, will be susceptible to elements and become reddened and itchy.

Instead of concentrating on water intake, it makes sense then to reduce the time you are exposed to elements that can deplete your skin of its natural moisture balance. Avoid dry heat, strong wind, low humidity, sun, high altitude, long hot baths, and alcohol consumption. Of course, never use bar-soap, which can strip the skin of all oil and moisture.

Fatty Acids

You can also encourage your skin's moisture-retaining abilities by feeding it a goodly amount of those foods which are rich in essential fatty acids such as are found in salmon, olive oil, walnuts, and flaxseed. One study performed by the Germany-based Institute of Experimental Dermatology found that women who took 2.2 grams of flaxseed oil or borage oil supplements each day for 12 weeks had a significant increase in the amount of moisture in their skin. The texture of their skin also improved, becoming smoother with these supplements.

Eating five weekly servings of these fats should be sufficient for achieving the same results. But if your skin is exceptionally dry, you may want to take borage oil, evening of primrose or flaxseed oil supplements. All of these contain hefty amounts of gamma linolenic or alpha fatty acids. Take them as directed.

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