My Doctor Taught Me a Simple Hydration Trick—And Now My Skin Is Glowing

Updated 06/25/18

I'm of the opinion that I'm perpetually dehydrated; no matter how meticulously I keep track of my water consumption, one glass of wine or beer after work seems to derail all of my efforts. So at my annual checkup at the doctor's office, the subject of hydration as it relates to bloating inevitably came up. Seeing as the "eight glasses of water a day" rule has virtually no science behind it, I was more intrigued by my MD's rule, which allows you to personally tailor your daily water consumption based on your weight.

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Here's her trick: Take your weight and divide it by two to identify the number of ounces of water you should drink per day. Figure out how many 8- or 16-ounce glasses that is, and make sure you drink that number day in and day out. We determined that I should drink around 60 ounces of water a day, or roughly four 16-ounce glasses of water.

Since my appointment, I've been making sure to drink my four glasses a day, in addition to cleansing, toning, and moisturizing my skin as usual, and my skin already looks less parched (particularly on my forehead area, where I have a few fine lines). But, despite what every supermodel ever has said, drinking water alone won't give you the flawless, youthful-looking skin of your dreams. What it will do is give you a healthy, hydrated canvas to work with, which should then be further nourished by a thorough skincare routine.

"The fact is that skin is an organ, and just like any other part of the body, your skin is made up of cells. Skin cells, like any other cell in the body, are made up of water. Without water, the organs will certainly not function properly or at their best," explains UW Health. "If your skin is not getting the sufficient amount of water, the lack of hydration will present itself by turning your skin dry, tight and flaky. Dry skin has less resilience and is more prone to wrinkling." 

UW notes that water reaches your skin last, so it's important to drink enough water each day and apply a hydrating moisturizer "within two minutes of leaving the bath or shower" while your skin is still porous and therefore vulnerable to product absorption. The team also recommends skincare products containing hyaluronic acid, which "holds 1,000 times its own weight in water, thus attracting water to the skin and holding it there." Most importantly, UW says, remember that "nothing will happen overnight, but even a good couple of weeks of increasing water intake should be enough for you to see how hydration affects your own skin."

Stay hydrated

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