You’ve probably heard that around 60% of your body is water, but have you ever considered what that really means? It’s about more than just making sure you drink enough. You have a deep relationship with water — one that starts at your skin and includes your hair, blood, organs and even bones.
It’s true that hydration is a big part of this relationship. However, when it comes to your skin (which is more than 60% H2O), you need to think about how your body is impacted by all water, not just what you drink. For example, could washing your hands lead to dry skin? Are your showers actually sabotaging your skin care routine?
Here’s what you need to know about the connection between water and skin health — and why increasing your water consumption may not be the only solution.
Water and Skin: Outside Your Body
Think about all the water your skin comes into contact with on a regular basis. Some of this contact is brief, like running to your car on a rainy day. Other times, your skin is submerged in water for extended periods of time — especially if you like long baths or pool days.
Here are three of the most common ways the outside of your body comes into contact with water and what the effects may be:
When calcium and magnesium dissolve in water, hardness levels go up, leading to — you guessed it — hard water. You may not always be able to tell whether your water is hard, but your shower doors, drinking glasses and water-using appliances will certainly tell you. That’s because hard water causes mineral buildup or “soap scum,” which can complicate your housecleaning routine and even eventually damage your dishwasher, washing machine and more.
Unfortunately, it’s not just your house that may feel the effects of hard water. Your hair and skin can also suffer because of this water quality issue. Hair can become dry and brittle — but it’s the skin that can sometimes suffer the most.
When you bathe, wash your hands or even do the dishes with hard water, minerals like calcium are left behind. These minerals can make it difficult to wash away soap, leading to dryness — but they also work on their own to rob your skin of oils and moisture. The results can include dry skin, breakouts, itchiness and other uncomfortable skin health problems. That’s why it’s important to get a water test and consultation to find out your water’s hardness levels.
Even if you have the softest water in the world, it turns out that your warm showers, long baths or even soaks in the hot tub might be causing dry skin. The truth is that hot water can remove oil and moisture from your skin, leading to redness, irritation, peeling and more.
That doesn’t mean you have to bathe in cold water all the time, though. Instead, make your showers and soaks a little shorter or use lukewarm water to help protect yourself from dry skin.
Everyone loves a fun day at the pool, right? Well, maybe not. Unfortunately, dry skin is common among swimmers, which means that pool day can quickly mean trouble for your skin care routine. There are two main reasons for this.
Firstly, the longer you spend in the pool, the more time the water has to break down your skin’s natural layer of protective oils. This leads to moisture loss, which can leave you with skin hydration struggles.
Secondly, chlorine — the chemical element used to clean most pools and even some municipal water supplies — can cause skin irritation including dryness. Worse yet, the chlorinated water can open your pores, which means you may lose even more moisture.
Don’t throw out your swimsuit just yet, though. You can take a quick, cool shower after swimming to remove chlorine residue and use hydration creams, lotions or other skin care products after you dry off.
Water and Skin: Inside Your Body
While there’s a clear connection between your skin and water outside your body, you might not realize that the water inside is working hard to build healthy skin, too. Here are a few key things to know about this relationship:
Dehydration Can Cause Dry Skin
If you don’t spend enough time drinking water, your skin might pay for it. That’s because dehydration, which is what happens when your water intake isn’t sufficient to replenish your body’s fluids, can lead to dry skin.
If you’re really not drinking enough or are losing water in other ways — for example, through sweat or vomit — skin hydration could be the least of your concerns. Dehydration can include some serious symptoms, like high heart rate, confusion, dizziness and even seizures. That’s why it’s important to watch your water intake: Your entire body counts on proper hydration to stay healthy.
You Get Water From Your Diet, Too
When you think of hydration, you probably think about drinking. As it turns out, however, you can get about 20% of your daily water intake just from solid foods. Your body gets even more water during the process of digestion, which can add another 10% to your water intake.
Here are a few foods with high water content:
Remember, the rest of your hydration should come from drinking water. In total, your water intake should be at about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) per day for men and 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) for women.
You May Need More Than Water
While drinking water is important for overall health, it might not be the most direct way to get that clear skin you’ve been dreaming of. Currently, it’s not obvious what effect drinking has on skin hydration. That might be because there are a lot of other factors that quickly and directly impact your skin care routine, like using hard water or soaking in the hot tub.
Using Water to Improve Skin Health
We’ve seen that water can be good or bad news for your skin depending on all kinds of factors. However, if you take control of your hydration (and your water quality) you can turn H2O into a tool for improving your skin care habits.
Here are a few quick tips:
- Address hard water issues: Hard water can irritate your skin and hair, but it also forces you to work harder when cleaning and spend more money on soaps, detergents and appliance upkeep. To overcome this issue, choose the best water softener for your home’s unique needs — and don’t forget to start by having a water test and consultation.
- Be mindful about hydration: Although there may not be a clear connection between hydration and skin health, it’s still important to pay attention to your water intake. That’s because other elements of your overall health rely on proper hydration — and if you’re not healthy, you can’t take care of your skin.
- Use a humidifier: A humidifier is a great way to add moisture to the air in your home or office. This helps combat dry skin and lips, but it’s also good for sinus headaches, dry throat and more.
Is Your Water Impacting Your Skin Health?
If hard water is complicating your skin care routine, you might not even realize why you have dry, irritated skin. To get to the bottom of this water quality problem, you need a water test to help you find out what your water’s hardness level is, which water softener solution is best for your home and more.
Ready to get started? Schedule your free water test and consultation today.
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