Hydration Basics: 5 Ways Water is Good for Your Skin

Pretty woman drinking glass of water.
Drinking water is so important to our health and wellbeing.

Water: we know we need to drink more of it, and we know it’s the healthiest drink around. Aside from keeping us hydrated, water aids in toxin removal, as well as regulating all of your major organs. It can also help benefit the biggest organ of the body: your skin. While water alone isn’t a treatment measure for skin disorders, getting enough of it on a regular basis can help keep your skin healthy overall. Consider the five major ways water is good for your skin.

1. Hydration to Prevent Skin Problems

Dehydration occurs when your body lacks the water it needs to function properly. According to the Mayo Clinic, your body is made up of about 60 percent of water. Still, you need to drink water in order to replenish lost fluids and to keep every part of your body hydrated. In fact, dehydration can also affect the skin by causing dryness, dullness, and even discoloration.
Coffee—although it contains water—has a diuretic effect which can lead to dehydration if you don’t drink enough plain water. Once you swap other fluids for water, you will likely start to see smoother, supple skin.

2. Increased Blood Flow for a Healthy Glow

In addition to hydrating your major organs, water can also help increase blood flow by removing toxins and helping to spread nutrients: this includes your skin. When you have better blood flow, your skin is more likely to exhibit that “healthy glow” everyone wishes for. In turn, this will also help aging skin look more youthful.

3. Reduced Thinness and Wrinkles

Dehydration coupled with decreased blood flow can also lead to a thin appearance of the skin. When your skin is less supple, it may be prone to more wrinkles. Furthermore, using water-based skincare products can absorb easily into the skin and make your skin look thicker.

4. Improved Skin Cell Turnover

Your skin is naturally evolving every day by shedding old cells and generating new ones. Unfortunately, this process isn’t always perfect. Oils can clog your pores and also trap old skin cells, leaving your skin with dry-looking patches. Drinking water can help improve skin cell turnover by promoting the right oil balance.

Improved skin cell turnover also leads to a correct moisture balance—overtime, you’ll experience softer, less oily skin overall.

5. May Alleviate Skin Discoloration

In most cases, skin discoloration is the result of either a disease of the skin or sun damage. While water can’t necessarily cure skin discoloration, the other benefits can lead to better skin tone. For example, consuming more water may decrease the prevalence of undereye circles and redness of the skin.

Bottom Line: Getting the Right Amount of Water

Drinking water can certainly offer many benefits to the skin, especially when compared with dehydrating beverages like sodas and sugary juices. However, the key to getting all of the benefits for your skin and other organs is to make sure you drink enough of it. The Mayo Clinic advises drinking a total of eight glasses of total fluids per day, at roughly 8 ounces each. You might need more than this on hot days or when you exercise. While other water-containing beverages can count towards your daily intake, swapping these with plain water will be the best plan for your skin.

You should also choose skincare products that contain water over synthetic substances. Water-based products are healthier for your skin, and they also tend to stay put without greasy side effects.

On the flipside, it’s also important that you don’t drink too much water. While the overconsumption of water is largely a rare occurrence, it tends to happen most often in athletes who drink too much water on a regular basis. As long as you are staying properly hydrated, drinking more than the recommended amount won’t do your body—or your skin—any good.


  • Fetters, K.A. (2015, February 26). Does drinking water really give you glowing skin? Women’s Health Magazine
  • Mayo Clinic Staff. (2014, September 5). Water: How much should you drink every day? Retrieved from MayoClinic.org
  • The benefits of drinking water for your skin. (2016). Retrieved from UW Health
  • Water the magic drink: Learn how it helps glow your skin. (n.d.). Retrieved from Disabled World

Kristeen Cherney is a freelance health and lifestyle writer who focuses on preventive measures for a better quality of life. Cherney holds a BA in Communication, and is currently finishing her MA in English.

Lemon Water Really is THAT Good

I know I talked about this last year, but I’ve been doing the lemon water thing for several months now and I can honestly say I see benefits. I find that it aids in digestion, wakes me up in the morning and somehow encourages me to make healthier choices throughout my day. The proven health benefits are numerous. This is an article by Jim Dillan for Healthy Ambition which spells it all out.

The Many Health Benefits of Lemon Water 11/13/2013

Lemon water is a simple and surprisingly healthy internal cleanser to start your day with. I certainly noticed a difference myself when I first started having the juice of a whole lemon in water first thing in the morning. I really like the way the sharp taste wakes you up and gets you going.

Some resources say that it’s good to have it in warm or even hot water. I suppose in this way you could use it as a healthier replacement for your morning coffee, but I personally prefer it in room temperature filtered water.
Continue reading “Lemon Water Really is THAT Good”

Brush Your Way To Better Skin

A few months ago, I became interested in “dry brushing”. Now that I’m in my 40s (*gads!*) it takes more effort to make my skin look its best. This means eating clean, drinking lots of water, NOT tanning, moisturizing regularly, etc. Dry brushing is purported to promote healthier skin by removing dead skin cells on the surface of the skin, allowing it to breathe and absorb more nutrients. It also stimulates and increases skin cell production, stimulates the lymphatic and circulatory systems, and boosts your immune system. The gentle pressure and brushing sensations are said to have a calming effect; increasing your blood flow reduces stressed areas of the body and stimulates nerve endings in your skin which in turn rejuvenates your nervous system. Last but not least, dry brushing supposedly reduces cellulite by increasing blood circulation to the skin, helping to break down and release toxins that cause cellulite in legs and hips.

This I had to try.

I went on line (amazon.com) and purchased a Yerba Prima Tampico Skin Brush. If you’re going to try dry brushing, you want a natural bristle brush or loofah. Look for bristles that are made from plant fibers. Synthetic bristles can be too harsh and cause irritation. The brush I chose has a removable handle so you can use it in the palm of your hand, or use it with the handle for harder to reach areas like your back.

So how do you do it? It’s best to dry brush when you first wake up in the morning, before you jump in the shower. Here is the recommended dry brushing process:

1. Start with your feet, moving in soft circular movements (always moving towards the heart) first on the bottom of the feet, and then on the top.
2. Work up each leg, one at a time, first the back of the leg (using the same soft circular, always towards the heart, movements) up through the buttock and then the front of the leg. Avoid any delicate skin, like the skin on the insides of the thighs.
3. After you are finished with the lower half, start at the fingertips of one arm; move up the arm (palms of hands, back of hands, forearm, bicep) and towards the heart. Repeat on other arm.
4. Move to the back working your movements towards your stomach, starting and finishing with one side of the back and then the other.
5. When you get to your stomach, start at your lower abdomen and work your way up (make sure to steer clear of delicate areas like the nipples) and end at your chest in an upward stroke.
6. Rinse off and shower as normal.

Skin brushing Tips:
1. Avoid the face! While dry brushing is excellent for exfoliating skin, this body brush will be too rough for the delicate skin on your face.
2. It’s sometimes best to dry brush in the shower (with the water off) since there may be a lot of dead skin brushed off.

How often should you dry brush? For best results dry brush at least two times a week.

I started looking into some of the grand claims of dry brushing. It DOES get rid of dead skin cells, increase circulation (as a brisk walk would) and help the lymphatic system work better, and decrease bloating (as a massage would). However, the grander claims are more suspect. Even if done religiously over time, will dry brushing reduce the appearance of cellulite? Experts like Dr. Carolyn Jacob, a dermatologist in Chicago, feel probably not. Why? Cellulite is a complex problem that involves thin skin and the kind of fibrous bands holding in women’s fat. Dry brushing “won’t change fibrous bands at all,” Dr. Jacob said — a dagger to the hearts of women with cottage-cheese thighs. Twisting the dagger, Dr. Jacob cautioned that avid dry brushers put their skin at risk for inflammation, redness and an eczema-like itchy rash.

So is dry brushing for you? As long as you don’t have any severe skin irritation (acne, rash, eczema, open sore/cut, etc.), I say yes. It is an invigorating way to start the day, and it really does make your skin feel smooth and healthy.

Scrub A Dub, Dub

It’s getting to be that time of year. My skin dries out, gets flaky and looks disgusting. I know I don’t drink enough water (which would help the appearance of my skin), but the dry air from the heater and lack of humidity outside doesn’t help either. I’ve tried dry brushing. That seems to help, but I’m not disciplined enough to do it every day. One thing I can do at least once a week if possible is a body scrub. They’re an inexpensive, easy way to keep you from having alligator legs.

Basically, you combine an exfoliant (salt, sugar, ground coffee, oatmeal, flax meal, rice bran, etc.) with a carrier oil (jojoba, sweet almond, olive, etc.) and scent (essential oils). The possibilities are endless. Here are some favorite recipes:

Lavender Sugar Scrub

2 tsp. olive oil
2 tsp. sweet almond oil
1/2 cup white cane sugar
1-3 drops lavender essential oil

Whisk together the olive oil, sweet almond oil (find it at health food stores), sugar and essential oil. Pour into a container with an airtight lid. It should last 2-3 weeks if kept away from water (it dissolves the sugar). Use a tablespoon scoop to dish out a few dollops once or twice a week, scrub, and rinse. The olive oil is full of vitamins and minerals that can help firm and moisturize. Lavender is great for healing damaged skin and regenerating skin cells.

Vanilla Brown Sugar Scrub

1 cup fine brown sugar
1/3 cup sweet almond oil (or other carrier oil like jojoba, kakui nut, macadamia nut)
20 drops vanilla essential oil or 1 tsp. vanilla essence

In a glass or ceramic bowl, add essential oil to sugar and stir thoroughly. Add almond oil gradually, stirring continuously. Stop when the scrub reaches the consistence of moist sand.

Citrus Salt Foot Scrub

1/2 cup sea salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1 or 2 slices of lemon
1 or 2 slices of orange

Add the olive oil and sea salt into a blender. Add the fruit to the blender and blend. For a refreshing foot scrub, omit the fruit and add a few drops of peppermint essential oil. Store in a jar, and rub briskly onto feet to exfoliate and soften skin. Rinse and dry well (be careful, oily feet can slip on tile floors!)

Mocha Espresso Body Scrub

1/2 cup ground coffee
3/4 cup honey
3 tbsp. cocoa powder
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp. sweet almond or grapeseed oil

Blend the ingredients together and store in glass jar. Use in shower to get rid of dry skin. Great for morning use as the coffee wakes up your senses!

Oatmeal Scrub with Honey

8 tablespoons oatmeal
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon dark organic honey
2 teaspoon finely ground almonds

Mix all the ingredients until you have a smooth paste. Rub this in a circular motion onto your body and face and gently massage to exfoliate. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes. Then rinse it off with alternately cold and warm water, end with a splash of cold; pat your skin with a towel; tone and moisturize. Honey is a natural humectant (it will attract moisture to your skin). Apple cider vinegar closes your pores and preserves or restores the skin’s natural acidity (pH balance). Vinegar keeps both oily and dry complexions soft and fresh.

Day 15 of the Lemon Water Chocolate Diet

It started out as all diets do: good intentions and a lot of drive. But five days at a trade show last week made that all come to a screeching halt. Not that I didn’t try. I even brought Fiji water, 6 lemons and Endangered Species Chocolate WITH me to the show. Still, I fell off the wagon. Didn’t even make it through the first day. Trade shows do that to me.

Now I’m home and determined to jump back into my plan. I even have lemons at work, so no excuses. Have I even discovered anything so far from my weird diet experiment? Actually, I have. Drinking lemon water first thing in the morning isn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It’s kind of refreshing. And I really think it influences me to make better food choices throughout the day. I’m not sure why, and I’m pretty sure it’s a psychological affect. Perhaps forcing myself to do something ‘healthy’ first thing in the morning gets me in the mindset to keep making healthy choices throughout the day. Time will tell if this trend continues.

The chocolate also has an interested affect. It eliminates the craving for junk food in the evening. While those around me are snacking on ice cream, cookies and cake, I can eat an ounce of chocolate and not feel deprived. I thought I would eat the chocolate and THEN want the cookies and ice cream, but that’s not the case. The chocolate fulfills the need for ‘something bad’ (even though it’s actually good for you) and keeps me from actually wanting the other junk food. Not sure if this one is psychological or an actual physical reaction. But I’d tell anyone wanting to control their diet, especially when it comes to snacking in the evening, give this a try.

Have I lost weight? Honestly I’m afraid to even weigh myself after that trade show. Give me a week, and I’ll check. Not that I’ll share those numbers (only my cats and I know my weight, and I even try to hide it from them). But I will tell you if it went up or down.