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Today, we’ll be detailing the effect of water on your skin. Whether you’re drinking water or washing your face with it, water plays a vital role in allowing our bodies to function properly. We’ve all been inundated with “remember to drink water’ posts and perhaps you’ve even started to incorporate water consumption into your daily routine. However, the type of water you drink and use on your body can have effects on your skin you didn’t intend for. We’ll go over the benefits of drinking an adequate amount of water, as well as which types of water you should avoid to keep your skin looking youthful and healthy!
Benefits of Drinking Water
According to the ‘Natural Mineral Waters: Chemical Characteristics and Health Effects,’ a scientific paper studying the benefits of mineral water on the body, “water is involved in many body functions, since it serves as a carrier of nutrients and substances in the circulatory system. Furthermore, it is a vehicle to excrete products, eliminate waste and toxins, and it also lubricates joints. However, there is no efficient mechanism of the body's water storage; therefore, a constant supply of fluids is needed to keep water content.” (Quattrini).
Drinking an adequate amount of water can help to tighten skin, maintain your body’s natural pH balance, flush toxins, retain skin elasticity and prevent wrinkles, as well as reduce breakouts and the appearance of dark circles. All of that, you say? Yes! And more.
Allowing your body to become dehydrated is detrimental not only to your skin, but also all of your other body functions. Now you’re aware of the importance of drinking plenty of water daily, the next question is...
How Much Water Should You Drink A Day
How much water you consume on a daily basis varies depending on a set of personal factors, including: metabolism, weight, height, and daily activity. While some medical professionals recommend an all-encompassing five to eight glasses a day, others ask you to do a bit of math to determine the appropriate amount of daily water consumption. The formula takes your weight in pounds and divides it in half. The resulting number is how many ounces of water you should consume per day. For example, a two-hundred pound man would drink one-hundred ounces of water per day.
Different Aspects of Water and How They Affect Your Skin
Water may seem simple at first glance. Water is water, right? Well, not quite.
Consider the water aisle at your local grocery store. There are multiple different brands and all manner of different kinds of water available for consumption. We’re here to tell you some of those types are better for your skin, both orally and topically.
Let’s begin with the one most of us have access to in our homes--tap water. Tap water is cheap and widely available, making it the most convenient option for the general population to both drink and wash with. However, as we’ve seen on the news in past years, tap water may not always be the best to drink. Tap water can contain plastic particles, lead, pesticide residue, aluminum, and other contaminants we don’t want circulating through our systems. Extra toxins can and will have an effect on our skin. Therefore, you might want to consider investing in a filtration system to filter out the microscopic contaminants present in tap water. Purified water—water which has been chemically treated to be safe to drink—may be an option for your drinking water as well, but we’ll discuss later why it may not be the best option for your skin.
As well, tap water has a pH of about 7, which is considered neutral. Tap water can run more alkaline, in certain areas. Our skin has a natural pH of about 5 (ideally, 4.7), which is slightly acidic. When our skin is left unwashed for at least twenty-four hours, it generally dips below a 5 on the pH-scale. This pH contributes to what’s known as our acid mantle, which is essential for our skin’s health and health. The acidity of our skin allows resident bacteria to continue living on the skin, but makes the skin inhospitable to other types of bacteria. Breakdowns in the acid mantle can lead to acne and infections. Alkaline soaps and water (such as tap water) can raise the pH of your skin for a temporary period and potentially interrupt the acid mantle. Skin that’s too alkaline is dry, tight, and dull. Meanwhile, skin that’s too acidic is greasy, irritated, and overly sensitive.
As an alternative to tap water, you might choose to drink and wash your face with distilled water. Distilled water is tap water that has been boiled and had its steam collected. This steaming process leaves behind contaminants and is a great option if you don’t trust your tap water. Distilled water, lacking minerals, can sometimes pull minerals from your body and teeth. However, its pH is close to 5, meaning distilled water won’t bring up the pH balance of your skin. That’s why it’s recommended you use distilled water for your skin and drink mineral water instead.
Mineral water is collected from select springs and contains a host of beneficial minerals. Defined as “microbiologically wholesome,” mineral water must be absent of the main contamination factors (e.g. parasites, E. Coli, fecal matter) at the time of collection and marketing. Below is a list of some minerals found in mineral water and how they benefit your body:
Many of these minerals aid in digestion. Digestion plays an important role in the appearance of our skin. Good digestion helps eliminate toxins from the body and reduce inflammation. When our digestive system isn’t operating effectively, our bodies struggle to absorb nutrients and toxins can reintegrate into our systems, then express through our skin.
Not every bottle of mineral water will contain all of these macro and micronutrients. As well, mineral water can be expensive. As well, you should be able to acquire the necessary quantities of these nutrients through a balanced diet. The alternative, spring water (which also contains minerals) isn’t always tested and may contain health risks. Therefore, a combination of drinking mineral water and using distilled (reverse osmosis) water on your face should give you everything you need—both inside and out—to keep your skin looking its best.
Remember to tone after using an acidic or alkaline cleanser to restore your skin to its natural pH balance. Additionally, avoid spending too much time in chlorinated water.
Another important factor you need to consider is the hardness of your tap water. Hard water contains soap scum—dissolved minerals like calcium and magnesium—which leaves a thin layer of residue on the skin even after washing with soap. This residue can clog pores and lead to breakouts, as well as worsen skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Hard water can dry skin out and prevent our natural oils from doing their job of conditions and softening our skin. All of this drying can lead to premature aging. If that wasn’t bad enough, those impurities present in hard water can form free radicals which damage healthy skin cells, causing the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. If you have an irritated scalp or dandruff, hard water may be making the issue worse. Hard water has been found to be an environmental trigger of eczema.
Soft water, on the other hand, lacks these mineral deposits. Therefore, soft water is gentler on your skin and won’t trigger skin condition flare-ups. Soft water won’t give you the telltale “squeaky clean” feeling hard water will give after a shower, but that’s a positive. Clean skin should feel slick and slippery, not tight. Hard water actually has a difficult time bonding to soap and forming a lather, which makes it less effective when cleansing the body.
If you suspect your water is too hard, you can do a water hardness test to confirm your suspicions. Then, if you were correct, invest in a new showerhead which filters hard water or applies a softening agent. As well, rinsing your skin with acidic water (i.e. ionized water or heavily diluted apple cider vinegar) can remove some of the residue from hard water still present on your skin after washing.
Though you may love hot showers or extol the benefits of a cold shower, the optimal temperature for extended exposure to water is lukewarm. Water that’s too hot can irritate and strip the skin. There’s no harm in splashing your face in cold water or taking a cold shower every once in a while. In fact, we’re sure you’ve read about the benefits of doing this. However, the safest bet every time is lukewarm water.
There you have it! Everything you need to know about how the water you drink and use can affect your skin, in a nutshell. We hope this information leads to noticeable improvements in your skin. And, one last time, drink your water!
Here at The Breast Place we offer a list of facial rejuvenation services, including Excel V+ (vascular laser), Secret RF (micro-needling with radio frequency), dermal fillers, and Botox. Facial rejuvenation can address concerns such as excessive redness, uneven texture, and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. We also have Dr. Des Fernandes, a skincare expert and founder of Environ Skincare, on-hand to help you with any other skin concerns you may have. Reach out for a consultation. We look forward to helping you achieve your best skin! Until next time, thank you for reading!