Does Drinking More Water Really Lead to Better Skin?
In addition to leading to full-body hydration drinking lots of water (especially with lemon) can boost everything from immune health to digestion. How much water do really need to drink? Simply take your weight and multiply it by 0.55 to get your personalized recommendation. To make meeting that consumption goal easier, it can be beneficial to understand all the benefits of increased water intake. Sure, you're probably aware of the internal benefits associated with drinking enough H20, but what about the external benefits? Can sipping plenty of water also improve the exterior appearance and health of your skin?
Drinking more water won't increase skin hydration.
First things first: "In general, a healthy, hydrated person looks healthier than a person that is dehydrated. The skin usually reflects this," says Dr. Corey L. Hartman, a board-certified dermatologist and the founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology in Birmingham, Alabama. In short, yes, water can boost your skin's health. However, the specific perks aren't clear, since drinking water is actually known to be the least efficient way to hydrate the skin. "When you drink water, it doesn't go straight to your skin," shares celebrity esthetician and skin care expert Renée Rouleau. "It runs through the intestines, absorbs into the bloodstream, and then gets filtered out by the kidneys—then, finally, it will hydrate the cells inside the body." Hydrating skin care products, which are applied topically, are the best way to moisturize the body.
Dry skin needs oil, not more water.
There is a difference between dry and dehydrated skin; if you have the former, increasing the amount of water you drink every day won't help. "To sum it up, dry skin needs oil and dehydrated skin needs water," Rouleau says. "Make sure you know which one you're dealing with before trying to fix it." If you do experience dry skin, turn to replenishing ingredients, like ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and glycerin, to repair your skin's barrier.
Water does have its skin-related benefits.
While drinking more water won't negatively impact the skin, Dr. Hartman does note that a lack of it (and even too much!) can do some damage. "Severe dehydration can make skin sag and have a dull appearance," he says. "Overhydration, however, can lead to water intoxication and hyponatremia." Rouleau notes that the biggest benefit of proper hydration—and something she has personally observed—is reduced under-eye puffiness, so there certainly are some skin-related benefits to filling up your water bottle more regularly.