Does Drinking Water Really Improve Your Skin?
When asked about their skin care secrets, the number of celebrities who say that drinking lots of water is the key to their glowing, healthy skin is seemingly endless.
"I think it's about sleep and water and taking care of yourself." Olivia Wilde to PopSugar
"When I feel like my skin has had it, I cut all the alcohol completely and overdo the water.” - Rihana to Elle
“Eat really healthily and drink a LOT of water. Just keep yourself hydrated and use your moisturizer. Hydration, hydration, hydration all round.” –Jennifer Aniston to Marie Claire
"The biggest thing that changed my life, the best anti-aging secret weapon, is that in my mid-thirties I started drinking a gallon of water a day. It's made a tremendous difference with my hair, skin, and nails.” Gabrielle Union to Elle
“I try to take care of myself, drinking at least a gallon of water with lemon a day and making sure to take my vitamins.” –Beyoncé to Vogue
"One of the biggest beauty tips -- and I know it's a cliché - is I drink three liters of water a day," –Elle MacPherson to ABC News
“I drink lots of water.” —Claudia Schiffer
But is it true? Does drinking water really make a difference in the plumpness and elasticity of skin? It’s a surprisingly controversial topic that gets people on both sides of the argument a little more lathered than seems necessary.
Many of those on the nay side cite the 8-glasses a day rule as overkill. It’s true, you don’t require eight glasses of water a day for survival, but that rationale is about as far from the point as snowboarder Ester Ledecka was from winning a gold medal in the Olympic Women’s Super- G ski race (she won). We’re not talking about survival; we’re talking about radiance where more is always better.
Most water detractors will argue that there is no scientific evidence to back up the skin-enhancing claims of water proponents. And until recently, they were right. But in 2015, scientists found evidence to back up the affirmations of celebrities, estheticians, and a large swath of the blogosphere.
The study divided 49 women (24-43 years old) into two groups based on their daily dietary habits, especially focusing on water consumption. Group 1: those consuming less than 3.2 liters a day. Group 2: those consuming more than 3.2 liters a day. (Dietary Guidelines for Americans set adequate water intake at 2.7 liters/day women.) Approximately 2 liters of water were added to the daily diet of the subjects for one month to see if drinking more water did indeed improve their skin.
The study noted consistent improvement of superficial and deep hydration in both groups with the most significant changes in the group with lower initial water consumption (Group 1).
The study’s authors concluded that “increasing the dietary water intake would affect the skin the same way as a topical moisturizer. These results seem to confirm that higher water inputs in one’s regular diet positively impact normal skin physiology, as expressed by its hydration and biomechanical behavior.”
This is not surprising given that water is the main component of cells and tissues, and acts as the transportation system for nutrients and for removal of toxins from the body.
It all makes Derek Zoolander look rather smart: “Moisture is the essence of wetness and wetness is the essence of beauty.”
So, the next time you hear a celeb say the key to her glowing skin is drinking lots of water, you can believe it. But keep in mind, celebrities also have access to the best skin care, estheticians, nutritionists, and personal trainers. It’s all part of the package.
If you’re over thirty, pay special attention to your water intake as your skin is beginning to get drier and you need a little more. Get yourself a water bottle, but don’t forget to pay attention to all those other areas as well. Eat well, exercise, and get your seven hours of sleep every night. Limit consumption alcohol and diet sodas, both of which are dehydrating. Avoid sugar which causes inflammation. Do we even have to say it? Don’t smoke. And finally, stay consistent with your skin care regimen.