Why Drinking Water Doesn’t Hydrate Dry Skin
Dry skin is a common concern patients bring to their Dermatologists and other skin professionals alike. We tend to believe the familiar myth that drinking enough water will keep the body as well as the skin sufficiently hydrated. However, this issue is merely skin deep.
Causes of Dry Skin
Our skin is mostly impacted by external factors. Skin keeps our bodies safe from the environment, such as weather conditions. Our skin needs protection in certain weather conditions. For instance, low humidity, cold air, and dry winds can make the skin look and feel dry. Products like cleaning agents, perfumes, and chemicals in swimming pools are all dry skin contributors. Additionally, many body soaps and body washes strip the skin’s natural oils and consequently lead to dry skin and in some cases skin irritation.
Sebum is the bodies natural oils produced by our sebaceous glands to moisturize the skin. Sebum is what determines the moisture level measured within our skin. An excess of sebum causes oily skin, while not enough leads to dry skin.
These external factors dry out the skin by affecting the top layer, or the stratum corneum. “In general, anything that causes loss of water and reduces barrier function of the stratum corneum can lead to the feeling of dry skin,” says UAMS dermatologist Dr. Pellowski.
The Water Myth
Oxygenetix Advisory Board Member Dr. Stefanie Williams explains, “it’s a myth that drinking lots of water will improve skin hydration and gets rid of dry skin. The main problem in dry skin is not that you don’t drink enough water, but that you lose too much water via invisible evaporation from the skin. Think of it like trying to fill a bucket of water that has a huge hole at the bottom. You need to fix the leak first!”
In order to fix the “leak” in our skin’s barrier function, we can take the necessary precautions to protect our skin.
The Solution for Dry Skin
Protecting the top layer of the skin is vital to maintaining moisture levels. This can be done by avoiding environmental irritants whenever possible and by using quality skincare products.
Avoid excess bathing and swimming and be sure to clean chlorine off quickly after going to the pool. Avoid direct contact with chemicals in cleaning products, detergents, and soaps. Use gloves when doing dishes and when cleaning your home. Wear protective clothing when in contact with drying weather conditions.
Protecting the skin every day with moisturizers will dramatically increase moisture levels. For the face use moisturizers like Oxygenetix Hydro Matrix which are non-comedogenic and safe for the face. Hydro Matrix acts as a protective shield for moisture with powerful ingredients such as Hyaluronic Acid and Sodium PCA, allowing the skin to function optimally while preventing moisture loss. Hyaluronic Acid improves skin texture and restores suppleness. Known as nature’s moisturizer, these water-loving molecules replenish lost moisture. Sodium PCA is also known for binding moisture to skin cells.
While it’s important to stay hydrated, drinking water is not the answer for healthy moisturized skin. Choose quality products, take care of your skin and it will return the favor and take care of you!