Dehydration and the Skin

Did you know that almost everyone, even oily skins can be dehydrated on a regular basis?

Every day, our bodies use gallons of water for normal everyday functions. Most of this water gets recycled, but we lose about 2.5 to 3 quarts of water per day through normal elimination, sweating and breathing. If you exercise or live in a humid climate, you may lose another quarter.

Experts recommend about 8-10 glasses of water per day for you body to function.   However, I believe that this the bare minimum. It does not account for extra water loss through stress, lack of sleep, caffeine or alcohol consumption, sweating, etc. Drinking an extra amount of water will help when dealing with these activities and daily stresses.

“By the time a dry mouth becomes an indicator of water shortage; many delicate functions of the body have been shut down and prepared for deletion. This is exactly how the aging process is established…” – F. Batmanghelidj, You’re Not Sick, You’re Thirsty

Not to mention the fact that many times we confuse thirst with hunger, or reach for an ice cold Coca Cola instead of water.
So what does all this mean for our skin?

After we reach 25, our skin’s own collagen production slows down and will gradually reduce as we age. Pores become bigger when skin is dehydrated and loses elasticity, not necessarily because we have ‘acne prone’ skin.

When skin is dehydrated, naturally the sebum will be secreted on the skin’s surface via pores as a reflex to protect the skin from dryness (hence the dilated pores). Because the skin is dry, the skin cells’ ability to shed off dead skin does not function properly. The accumulated dead skin, mixed with sebum, can eventually lead to clogged pores.

Decreased skin turgor is a late sign in dehydration. It occurs with moderate to severe dehydration. Fluid loss of 5% of the body weight is considered mild dehydration, 10% is moderate, and 15% or more is severe dehydration. – Medline Plus Medical Library

Dehydration of the skin is a loss of water through the elements like wind and sun. Moisture evaporates rapidly through the skin. Some signs of this are tightness, those dreaded fine lines, a lack of radiance, and loss of elasticity. Once this damage occurs, the skin will no longer be a good barrier against the environment.

The natural oils are attracting moisture, and the natural moisture is attracting the oils. Good creams should enhance what your skin does naturally, doubling your results very quickly. However, if you are stripping the natural oils and moisture to begin with, you have just made it a lot harder for the skin to do what it should be doing, absorbing nutrients to the epidermal layer. This is the layer that will eventually be the outer layer of your skin. – Dry Skin Versus Dehydrated Skin, By Christin Coulter Platinum Quality Author

Two thirds of the human body is made up of water. That means that if a person weighs about 70 kilograms (154 pounds), their body contains about 46 liters of water. Almost 70% of this water is inside the body’s cells, 20% is in the space surrounding cells, and slightly less than 10% is in the bloodstream. The water in the human body is essential to keeping it healthy.

When the amount of water you intake matches the water you excrete, the body’s water supply will be balanced. If you are healthy and do not sweat excessively, you should drink at least 2 to 3 liters of fluid a day to maintain your water balance. – Healthy Skin, Dehydration, C Health

So what can we do?

  • Drink 2-3 liters (not quarts) of water everyday (preferably room temperature, not cold – your body will utilize it faster this way)- and be sure to drink water first thing when you wake up and last thing before going to bed at night.
  • Bring you water bottle with you everywhere so it is there when you need it! (if you do not like the taste of water, add some fresh limes, lemons, orange slices or cucumbers to the water to flavor it naturally – not synthetically)
  • Limit the amount of dehydrating factors in your life – get plenty of sleep, limit caffeine and alcohol consumption (of drink more water to compensate)
  • Take measures to combat stress such as practicing yoga, working out, spending time outside, writing in a journal, or doing something you love.
  • Supplement your skin with topical nutrients and water binding ingredients like sodium hyularanate along with hydrating ingredients like aloe.
  • Do not over cleanse your skin. For dry or dehydrated skins, I suggest cleansing only at night, and simply splashing the face with water or using a hydrating toner in the morning.

written by Jennifer Laz, Licensed Esthetician, bien-être spa
references:

Dry Skin Versus Dehydrated Skin, By Christin Coulter Platinum Quality Author

Healthy Skin, Dehydration, C Health

Medline Plus Medical Library

Water: for Health, for Healing, for Life, by F. Batmanghelidj, M.D.

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