H2O: Drink Up!

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The search for the holy grail of skin care has endured for decades. Millions of dollars are spent every year on skin care products that promise to help women achieve great skin and stay looking younger for longer. But what if the magic beauty bullet, the secret to flawless, wrinkle-free skin, has been right in front of us the entire time? Health experts swear by the eight cups of water a day rule in order to sustain a healthy lifestyle, but could drinking water also be key to healthier skin?

Is Water the Answer?
Skin is one of the most important organs that make up the human body. Like other organs, skin is made up of thousands of microscopic cells that require water to function. In fact, 64 percent of human skin is water. When skin cells are filled with water, the skin is hydrated, causing it to look fuller. Wrinkles are minimized.

But, unfortunately, drinking more water will not erase fine lines forever. Once damaged, whether by sun exposure or an unhealthy lifestyle, your skin is permanently altered. Drinking water and hydrating the skin will minimize signs of aging only as long as the skin is hydrated. For this reason, in order to achieve younger, healthier-looking skin, it’s important to make skin hydration an everyday priority.

Keeping Skin Hydrated
We’ve been advised to drink water for years to remedy everything from acne to weight gain. While drinking water may not be a magic cure-all for damaged skin, it won’t hurt to increase your water intake. Like any organ that relies on water to function, skin works best, and also looks best, when it is hydrated. Dehydrated skin, because it has less flexibility, appears drier and tighter and is more susceptible to wrinkles and unwanted fine lines. To avoid permanently damaging skin, it is important to make sure that water is being kept inside the skin cells. Keeping skin cells hydrated will also help to ensure your skin continues to look healthy and radiant because drinking water helps to flush impurities and toxins out of the skin.

Our bodies lose large amounts of water every day. Because the skin is the very last organ that water reaches after it is consumed, it’s important to use a water-based moisturizer to keep water in the skin and avoid flaky, dry texture and wrinkles. Moisturizer helps to seal water in the skin to ensure it does not dry out.

How to Drink More
Drinking the standard eight ounces of water eight times a day can be hard, and sometimes inconvenient. Most women, whether in the office or at home, have trouble finding time to drink 2 liters, or half a gallon, of H2O each day. Health experts suggest the following tips for drinking more water throughout the day:

Keep a bottle close. Keeping a reusable water bottle or tumbler near you at all times can be a constant reminder to drink up. Put a full bottle of water on your desk at work or in your purse when you’re running errands. This is a convenient way to stay hydrated.

Add some flavor. Drinking large amounts of water can be hard because of the beverage’s relatively bland taste. Make drinking water more enjoyable by adding a few drops of MiO® or a couple slices of fruit, such as lemons, limes or oranges, to your water bottles. Not only will the added citrus help to keep your skin clear, but it will also cleanse your body and fight hunger.

Remind yourself. An easy way to make hydration a priority is by constantly thinking about it. Set alarms or reminders on your phone or work computer to remind yourself to drink a glass or refill your water bottle. There are also apps, such as Waterlogged or Water Your Body, available for download that can help to track and improve your daily water intake.

Have a glass with every meal. Challenge yourself to drink a glass of water with every meal or snack. Even if you would prefer a soda while dining out, order water as well. Making a habit of drinking it with every meal will also help tame your hunger and make you feel fuller.

Eat your water. Drinking a lot of water will result in the loss of a lot of water, which can cause the loss of minerals from the body as well. Eating fruits and vegetables with high water content, such as avocados, apricots, spinach and cucumbers, can help water your skin cells.

Increasing water intake and using a water-based moisturizer will help to keep skin cells hydrated and skin looking radiant and wrinkle free. But, like all good things, it may take a few weeks to see significant improvement, so be patient and drink up! HLM

Sources: everydayhealth.com, health.com, healthyeating.sfgate.com, livestrong.com and thedermreview.com.