Welcome to Week 8 – Hydration is the Foundation of Healthy Skin

It seems so simple and many times overstated, but water is a basic necessity of life!  We need to drink to stay alive.  But beyond the basic necessity of water to live, we need water to keep our cells healthy and functioning their best.  Nowhere is this more apparent than in the appearance of our skin.

The role of water or hydration in our skin health is multi-faceted.  Our cells require water to carry nutrients to the cells, flush out or excrete toxins and aid in digestion.  Without proper hydration, skin is dehydrated – flaccid and wrinkled.  Water within the cells plays an important role in many metabolic pathways, including energy production.  To encourage healthy cell turnover and reveal new skin, you need to be properly hydrated.

At times you can be properly hydrated from the inside, but if you have fat imbalance or inflammatory issues going on, you skin will still appear dry.  We focused earlier on healthy fats for building great skin, and next week we will discuss the role of inflammation.  For now, it’s important to note that hydration works from the outside in and the inside out. We must have a certain level of cellular hydration that comes from diet and also the right balance of internal factors that help retain moisture on the outside of the skin.   The outermost layer of the skin, the stratum corneum, is responsible for regulating water loss and retention.  Fat, natural moisture factor (NMF), hyaluronan, and glycerol are all components of the skin that help retain precious moisture and these are all influenced by your dietary choices. 

The first step to proper hydration is getting enough water into your body.   We are talking about pure, clean water.  Filtered tap water is best (avoid plastics which contain trace toxins).  Mineral water, like Pellegrino from a glass bottle, is also a good choice because it provides essential minerals.  How much is enough?  This truly varies from person to person, but on average 8 cups of water or water-filled foods per day should be enough.  If you are in a hot climate or exercise extensively, this amount will increase.  You can monitor your own status by observing the color of your urine, which should be light yellow (except after taking vitamins which can cause darkening of the urine).  Also follow your thirst cues. Many times people mistake thirst cues for hunger.  Before responding to what you think is a hunger cue, try drinking a glass of water or herbal tea to see if that’s what you really need.

The challenge this week:  Hydrate for healthy skin by consuming 8 cups of “hydrating” liquids and foods per day.

Good choices include:

  • Water, mineral water, herbal and green tea, 100% fruit juices, and milk
    • Alcohol and coffee can dehydrate – so consume in moderation and do not count towards your 8 cup goal
    • Water-packed foods like watermelon, berries, grapes, grapefruit, yogurt, lettuce and tomatoes are good choices for hydrating foods

Hydration takes many forms, not just drinking water.  Continue to build upon our series of healthy lifestyle choices this week to support optimal skin, by adding hydration to your list of priorities.  We have just 2 weeks to go in the Healthy Skin Challenge.  I hope that you are benefiting from the challenge by building healthy habits into your overall lifestyle to help you look and feel your best!

The Healthy Skin Challenge is a 10-week nutrition and lifestyle educational program formulated by our VP Ginger Hodulik, a Certified Nutrition Specialist.  The goal of this personal challenge is to achieve healthy, glowing skin through good diet and lifestyle choices. At DermaMed Solutions we believe that achieving and maintaining healthy, glowing skin requires a “whole-istic” approach and we are going to help you make some changes little by little until you reach your goal.  DermaMed Solutions’ skin care equipment and products include MegaPeel® microdermabrasion systems, Quadra Q4® Platinum Series intense pulsed light system, DermaYAG Laser for treatment of excess hair and vascular lesions and dmSkincare, a comprehensive line of natural skincare products.