Water offers countless health benefits to our bodies, which makes sense given that our bodies are approximately 60% water. Our skin, which is the largest organ in the body, clearly reflects our water intake. In this article, we’ll discuss the effects of sufficient versus insufficient hydration on our skin.
Blood is mainly composed of water, and is the vehicle which carries oxygen and nutrients to every part of our body, as well as removing toxins and waste products.
With poor circulation, the blood thickens, putting strain on the heart. As a result, the skin doesn’t receive the oxygen and nutrients it requires, which can manifest in various negative ways. Increasing water intake is one of the easiest methods for improving circulation and avoiding these unpleasant effects.
An even complexion
As mentioned above, blood is responsible for delivering nutrients throughout the body. With poor circulation comes poorly oxygenated skin, which can appear blotchy and have uneven pigmentation.
A typical example of this is when you get dark circles beneath the eyes. The reason the eye circles are so common, is because the skin under the eyes is thinner and more sensitive than other parts of the body. Additionally, dull spots can appear anywhere on the skin. Drink more water for a bright, smooth, consistent skin tone.
Proper hydration is necessary for every step of wound healing , During normal healing, water keeps wounds moisturized and oxygenated, and facilitates drainage.
In contrast, dehydration can be detrimental to healing. A dried out wound is at greater risk of infection and often results in ugly, discolored scars. It also significantly drags out the entire healing process (up to twice as long!).
Reduced dryness and inflammation
Without enough water intake, the skin is more prone to dryness and inflammation. Dehydrated skin is less elastic and more likely to dry out, become itchy, and even crack in more severe cases. Enlarged pores are also typical, and can trap bacteria, dead skin cells, and oils in them, resulting in acne.
It’s important to note that dry or inflamed skin isn’t always a result of dehydration; Sometimes people have genetic skin disorders like eczema or psoriasis, less natural oils, or even vitamin deficiencies. Speak with a dermatologist if you have any doubts.
Collagen is a key protein in our bodies and a large component of our skin, hair, bones, and other connective tissues. It’s what keeps our skin plump and firm, and prevents wrinkles as well as slowing the aging process.
As collagen is around 60% water, keeping hydrated is a must for maintaining normal production levels.
Test for dehydration
There are several early warning signs for dehydration, but a simple test you can do on the spot is the skin turgor test, also known as the “pinch test”, which uses skin elasticity as a gauge for hydration. While it’s not extremely precise, it still serves as a convenient DIY method for testing hydration in the moment.
Simply pinch the skin on the back of the hand or abdomen for three seconds. Hydrated skin should snap back into place almost immediately. If the skin “tents up” and takes a while to return to normal, that’s could indicate dehydration.
As you can see, insufficient water intake wreaks havoc on the skin. Luckily, it’s an easily rectified situation. Aim for between 2-3 liters of water per day, and reap the benefits of hydrated and newly restored skin. Increase water accordingly if you’re athletic or have a physically demanding job.
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