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Don’t Wait, Hydrate!

The scientific basis of water for healthy skin

Social media models and skincare ‘gurus’ everywhere are raving about water being the secret to their flawless, smooth, healthy-looking skin. This has gained traction amongst the youth and hence nowadays, it is not uncommon to find young people wielding one-litre water gallons as they move about their day-to-day activities. Let us correct the assumption; No, water does not automatically remove blemishes from one’s face and clear your skin overnight. No, the effects of sufficient water intake may are not consistent across every individual and may not even be visible in some. Yes, there is some scientific basis to the declarations that have sparked the new trend. Let us dive right in!

Water comprises about 60-70% of our total body weight (varies depending on age, gender and fat component). It is a constituent of all cells in the body, forming a part of the cytoplasm, which surrounds the organelles within the cell. As such, all body systems and bodily functions rely on water to proceed efficiently. Because water is such a major component of our bodies, its stores in the body nee to be replenished frequently. Based on a resting state, the average adult loses about 2400ml (i.e. 2.4L) of water from the body daily through perspiration, urine, breathing, bowel movements and other boy processes. As such, health authorities recommend a volume of at least 2000ml (2 L) of water be ingested daily. An easy way to remember is the 8x8 rule, that is, eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily.

Often, water is referred to as a universal solvent because it is dissolves a variety of different solutes ̶ more so than any other liquid or chemical ̶ due to its polarity. This property is relevant in this discussion since water in the human system performs this function, dissolving necessary minerals such as sodium, calcium, potassium, etc for easy and efficient transport and absorption in the body. Some of the nutrients specific for healthy skin development like Vitamin C are water-soluble and thus are transported around the body with water as the liquid medium. Also, water flushes out toxins and waste from the skin as well as other parts of the body and serves as a transport medium to carry them to the kidneys where they are filtered out of the blood. This is significant in the clearing of skin and the associated healthy glow.

Furthermore, water hydrates the skin. This gives a healthy and glowing appearance by reducing dryness. Hydration also minimizes the appearance of physical aging signs such as wrinkles, bags and others. It is important to note however, that they do notfade. They are still present but due to the fact that hydrated skin looks plumper and fuller, the wrinkles and other signs of aging become less apparent. Consequently, when the skin is not hydrated the aging signs become visible in full force once again. As a result, ingesting sufficient volumes of water daily should not be viewed as not a short-term form of skin therapy but rather, a lifetime habit.

One cannot overstate the benefits of sufficient water intake to the body as a whole. Skin benefits only scratch the surface of the major role water plays in the human body. Improved transport, facilitation of metabolic processes, circulation and maintenance of body temperature are all contributions that water makes to our entire being on a regular basis. So Don’t Wait, Hydrate!

BY: Marilyn Asiedua Ayisi-Ahwireng

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