When it comes to water, we are flooded with information and recommendations on how much to drink to keep our bodies healthy and hydrated. So let’s dig down and find out why, and how you can make some small changes immediately to your routine to improve your overall complexion.
(You might want to get a glass of water to drink whilst reading this)
The skin is our bodies largest organ, it reacts the same way to toxins and nutrients the way our lungs or stomach would. Our skin is made up of cells and the cells are made up of water, without water our organs and skin can’t perform to their full capacity. And unfortunately for our skin, our internal organs take priority when it comes to water dispersion. This means even if you are drinking a few glasses of water each day and aren’t getting tell-tale signs of dehydration ie; headaches and dizziness, your skin could still be suffering.
Let’s look at some amazing benefits of hydration for your skin;
Dehydrated and dry skin is more susceptible to wrinkles. Water helps the skins retention of moisture, which helps with the skins elasticity. The more elastic your skin, the fewer wrinkles.
We all know the feeling when you look in the mirror and you feel as though your face has gained a couple of kilos overnight, this puffiness is usually caused by your body retaining too much water.
But why does the body retain water? Because it’s dehydrated and it wants to make sure we can survive if we don’t have access to more water. So by drinking water you can reduce this puffiness and smooth out your skin.
Clears acne and reduces pores
Drinking water flushes the toxins from our skin and helps balance the amount of water and oil on the skins surface, which can eliminate pimples and blemishes. Throughout the day our pores can enlarge and clog, by drinking water our pores will reduce in size giving us a more even complexion.
For those who have problematic skin, you know maintaining a balanced pH is key to having glowing and blemish-free skin. Drinking water helps your body with balancing the pH levels to give you that healthy skin.
So how much water should we be drinking daily?
We’ve all heard the ‘Drink 8 glasses of water each day’. This was a recommendation of the Food and Nutrition Board of the United Stated Research Council in 1945. Now the recommendation is a little less one size fits all, the CSIRO came out saying “There is no hard and fast rule on how much water you need to drink”. There are many factors that contribute to how much water is a healthy amount for you to drink daily, these include;
- Gender– Females require slightly less water intake than men
- Age– Children and the elderly should drink more water
- Weight– Someone who is overweight should drink more water than someone who is within a healthy weight range
- Diet– a healthy diet with fruits and vegetables can provide up to 1L of water intake per day
- Geographical location– do you live in a hot or humid climate? If so, you should drink more water to accommodate for sweating.
- Physical activity- people who work out daily need to replace the fluid they have lost during their exercise.
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding– Breastfeeding mummas need to stay hydrated and drink more water to maintain a healthy milk flow and replace the fluids, they are losing during breastfeeding.
Still not sure how much water you should be drinking to maintain a healthy body and skin?
Here are some tell-tale signs that you aren’t getting enough water.
- Dry or flaky skin
- Infrequent urination (less than every 3-4 hours)
- Bright yellow or stinky urine
- Dry Mouth
- Brain fog or unable to concentrate
Now you know all the facts, let’s look at some tips on how to accommodate more water into your daily routine and stay hydrated;
Sleep with a water bottle next to your bed
Every night I take a 1L water bottle to bed with me and put it on my bedside table. This allows me to stay hydrated through the night if I wake up thirsty, without having to get out of bed. Because we all know that struggle, especially in winter.
Have a big glass of water as soon as you wake up
Every morning I will either finish off the rest of my water bottle or go to the kitchen and have a large glass of water, this helps me wake up, kick starts my metabolism and rehydrates my body after a night of sleep.
Drink your coffee with a glass of water next to you
Caffeine can dehydrate you, so I always make sure after I have my morning coffee, I always follow it up with 1-2 glasses of water.
Take a water bottle with you to work
I find whenever I have my water bottle with me at work, I am constantly drinking water throughout the day. But if I forget it, I can finish an 8-hour shift without drinking a drop.
Water not your thing? Mix it up!
I can’t deny, sometimes drinking plain water can get a bit boring, but before you go for the sugary drinks, try adding some fruit or mint to your water to add a natural flavour. I love adding ginger, lemon and mint to my water bottle and I can refill it throughout the day.
Eat more fruit and vegetables
Researchers have found that eating a daily healthy amount of fruit and vegetables can accommodate for up to 1L of water intake. More so in things like lettuce, celery, cucumbers and watermelon.
Hydrating from the outside in…
We have spoken a lot about how to keep your skin and body hydrated from the inside, but we can’t forget about how to lock that moisture in. These are some things I recommend, making sure all of our hard work keeping on top of water intake doesn’t go to waste.
- Use an oil cleanser rather than a foaming cleanser, an oil cleanser will work with your skins natural oil production rather than completely eliminating it.
- Moisturise your body within 5 minutes after getting out of the shower whilst you’re still a bit damp. It will trap in the natural moisture that your skin produces.
- Don’t take really hot showers, heat accelerates the skins dehydration.
- Use quality natural creams and oils. Avoid anything containing alcohol, as this will dehydrate your skin.
- Moisturizers and serums containing sodium hyaluronate are great as they will attract and lock moisture in. It can hold up to 1000 times its own weight in water!!! But that’s a whole other blog post…