Skin and the Impact of Drinking Water

According to the website, youbeauty.com, the amount of water you drink plays zero role in your skin’s appearance. Hmmm. That doesn't sound right. YouBeauty Dermatology Advisor Amy Wechsler, MD, explains that the liquid water you consume passes through you (via urine) and has no effect on outward body surfaces. And that makes sense; drinking a glass of water isn't going to plump up your lips 10 minutes later. But what if we don't drink enough water, or are consistently dehydrated because of the caffeinated products we consume? Is there really no affect on the skin's health?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD, feels differently about water and skin:

While drinking water won't actually moisturize your skin, it will help your internal organs function properly, which affects your skin's health and beauty. Staying hydrated helps minimize the appearance of fine wrinkles and leaves you with a younger, healthier appearance. Drinking about 8 glasses of water each day helps to keep your body hydrated.

It might be easier to settle this argument by looking at what happens to our skin and other organs when we are dehydrated. We know for example, that drinking alcohol dehydrates us, but what exactly happens when we are dehydrated? The Mayo clinic lists some specific symptoms that mild to moderate dehydration is likely to cause:

  • Dry, sticky mouth
  • Sleepiness or tiredness — children are likely to be less active than usual
  • Thirst
  • Decreased urine output
  • Few or no tears when crying
  • Dry skin
  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

And Prevention magazine gives some great insight (albeit a little sweaty!) into what is happening to our bodies when we do get dehydrated, such as struggling to maintain body temperature, and causing our hearts to work overtime. The mayo clinic provides another good list - complications that come from dehydration:

Heat injury - mild heat cramps to heat exhaustion or potentially life-threatening heatstroke.

Seizures: If your electrolytes are out of balance, the normal electrical messages can become mixed up, which can lead to involuntary muscle contractions and sometimes to a loss of consciousness.

Low blood volume shock (hypovolemic shock): This occurs when low blood volume causes a drop in blood pressure and a drop in the amount of oxygen in your body.

Kidney failure: This potentially life-threatening problem occurs when your kidneys are no longer able to remove excess fluids and waste from your blood.

These are certainly extremes, and most of us will never face a situation where we become so dehydrated our life is at risk, but it's good to know how important water consumption is to our health overall, and to make good health, which contributes to great skin, our focus when we choose water over soda, juice, or alcohol.

Whether you side with Dr. Wechsler or Dr. Oz on the effect of water consumption on the "appearance" of your skin, you will want to drink plenty of water to keep your skin (and the rest of you!) healthy. If you want more help with your skin's appearance than a tall glass of water can give, check out the safe and affordable dermal filler treatments we offer at Fresh Start Body Aesthetics!

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