Our body is made up of between 60-75% water depending on the stage of life we are in. 15% of our body weight is water which is around 4-5 kg in a normal sized adult.
We know it is very important to our general well-being however studies are showing that when we are dehydrated our cognitive functioning is decreased – this means we aren’t thinking straight, we are more likely to snap at people, we feel tired but don’t sleep as well and we will age faster. The ageing process is not just what we can see on our skin, it is happening throughout our body and although it is normal to age we can influence how fast we do it – one way is by simply drinking enough good clean water!
Our cells absolutely have to have water for normal function. It’s like trying to run a car without oil – eventually it ceases to work as one by one all the parts that rely on the oil are unable to function.
Our skin is a barrier between the outside world and our insides. It is the largest organ of the body, regulates our temperature, is waterproof, protects us against bacteria, too much UV and environmental pollutants, but is clever enough to let in just what it needs. When our skin cells have insufficient water in and around them this barrier doesn’t work so well and the flow on effect is that our skin is affected way down deep where everything is alive in our skin. Once we are dehydrated our skin stops feeling smooth and looking bright, what we see in the mirror is dull and lifeless and what we feel is rough and often bumpy. The long term effects however, are that our collagen will break down faster, there will be fewer nutrients and oxygen reaching our dermis and the consequence of that are increased inflammation in our skin and that equals a faster rate that our skin ages and makes us more prone to many skin concerns including acne, whatever your age!
In a nutshell our skin needs water for-
- To maintain barrier function to reduce water loss through the skin.
- To flush out the toxins.
- To produce collagen which is what gives our skin strength and form. Collagen is found deep in the dermis and is also around the pores which get clogged in an acne prone skin so you’ll be less likely to have pitted scarring from acne if you keep well hydrated.
- To maintain a healthy blood circulation.
Ways to increase the water in your body:-
- Drink more! Adding lemon often helps and drink it any temperature.
- Herbal teas.
- Eating foods which have a high water content: cucumber, zucchini, water melon etc.
- Using emollient based moisturisers and/or ones which are hyaluronic acid based.
- Applying moisturisers whilst your skin is still damp.
- Humidifying the air; bowls of water in your bedroom will help, a vase of flowers by your work station, floating candles – be creative.
- Water sprays based on heavy water which can penetrate your makeup to keep your skin hydrated throughout the day.
Ways to help your skin retain the water you are adding:-
- Avoid cleansers and masks which strip your skin, harming or removing the barrier.
- Avoid skin irritating products. Choosing products with no nasties but proven results will help.
- Avoiding sugars and processed foods. Eating poorly gives you an unhealthy gut biome and this influences the type and amount of enzymes produced in your gut and they influence your hormone production and action which, in turn impacts how water is used in your body.
- Having sufficient sleep and managing stress affect your hormones and so in turn your water equilibrium.
- Choosing products which contain epidermal growth factors which help repair the barrier.
Then there are a few factors possibly out of your control which have an influencing action :-
- Some medications such as steroids and some antibiotics affect how your body uses water.
- Genetics of course must play a part in how your body is influenced by enzymes and hormones in water processing.
Products we recommend to help with your skin’s hydration: