Hydration is Key to Healthy Skin
Water is a vital need for survival. Yet statistics indicate that 75% of Americans suffer from chronic dehydration. Every functioning system in your body requires water to operate. In addition to maintaining proper functioning of your organs, staying hydrated provides supplemental health benefits: it plays a role in weight management by suppressing your appetite; it can improve your mood and brain function; prevent headaches; keeps your metabolism working efficiently; and best of all, it helps keep your skin supple and firm.
Our skin is actually the largest organ of your body. Its composition is primarily water and is comprised of mechanisms which sustain correct hydration levels, as well as protect against external elements. Water fills the spaces between skin cells, plumping the skin while reducing drooping and the appearance of wrinkles. When skin becomes dehydrated, it loses the suppleness and becomes dry, tight and flaky, which in turn fosters the development of fine lines and wrinkles. Did you know that by the time you feel thirsty, dehydration is already underway?
What Happens When Skin Becomes Dehydrated?
The skin’s protective film consists of water, natural oils and fats (the hydro-lipid layer) which minimize the risk of infections because it slows the evaporation of moisture, protects from environmental factors and keeps the skin’s pH balanced. When dehydration occurs, the protective film is compromised. There are a number of causes for skin moisture levels to drop. Climatic conditions such as heat, sun exposure, increased sweating, dryness, pollution, air conditioning, as well as lifestyle and eating habits including consumption of alcohol, tobacco and poor nutrition, can all weaken our skin’s natural defenses.
Follow these tips for keeping your skin hydrated all year long:
♦ Drink at least the equivalent of a 2-liter bottle of fluid daily, more depending on hot, humid conditions combined with physical activity.
♦ Drink consistently throughout the day.
♦ Herbal teas, juices, milk, sports drinks are also options to help maintain and replenish body fluid levels.
♦ Eat lots of fruits and vegetables – particularly those with a high water content, like melons and citrus fruit.
♦ Avoid alcohol: it is a diuretic which contributes to dehydration. If you drink, supplement with a full glass of water.
To keep your body and skin at its top potential, staying hydrated is essential. Not only does drinking adequate amounts of water aid in skin protection and repair, it has other benefits for your health and well being. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Timani at Johns Creek Dermatology, serving the communities of Milton, Alpharetta, South Forsyth, Roswell and north Fulton County, for a thorough skin evaluation.