Never underestimate the power of proper hydration! While it is no secret that the body is largely made up of water, its many functions are often overlooked. From regulating body temperature and maintaining skin health, to supporting metabolic and immune functions, H2O is a whole-body hero.
Despite the importance of regular fluid consumption, chronic dehydration is still reported in up to 75% of North Americans. Consistent lack of circulating water in the body can lead to a variety of health problems. Therefore, it’s important to not only keep your body happy and hydrated through drinking water, but also help your skin by moisturizing.
Hydrating the body
Water is an important player in countless systems in the body. Water provides the fluid that lubricates joints, surrounds and protects organs, cools the body through sweat production, and is an essential molecule in the production of energy.
Consuming fluids ensures proper digestion, removes toxins from cells, and helps the body absorb essential vitamins from foods. So, what happens when we don’t get enough water? These processes begin to malfunction.
Individuals who are chronically dehydrated can experience symptoms such as fatigue, decreased cognition, and digestive problems. Dehydration coupled with a hot climate can lead to even more severe outcomes such as heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and reduced muscle performance during bouts of physical activity.
Use the following simple tricks to keep up with your body’s fluid demands!
What to do
Drink all day - Keep a water bottle with you to sip on throughout the day to increase fluid intake and absorption.
Skip the Sugar - Since the body does not use energy consumed through liquids the same way it does food, try and skip the sugary juices and soft drinks, and make a switch to flavoured sparkling water.
Cut down caffeine – Caffeine blocks hormones that allow your body to efficiently absorb water, which in turn can lead to dehydration. Dropping the soda and energy drinks and switching to decaf coffee or teas can help limit caffeine consumption.
Hydrating the Skin
The skin is our body’s first line of defence against the external environment. It works hard to prevent dirt, bacteria, and pollution from entering the blood stream and lymphatic system. When the skin is hydrated and healthy, it acts as a flexible shield, resistant to force, temperature fluctuations, and pathogens. When our skin is dry, it becomes brittle and small cracks can form. When this happens, the skin appears dull, develops fine lines, and allows unwanted substances to enter the body.
Try and think of your skin as a brick wall where the bricks are skin cells and the cement between them is water and oil (lipids). When there is not enough cement (i.e. not enough water), the wall begins to crumble, and substances can slip through the spaces between cells.
The skin can lose moisture for a number of reasons, the most obvious being from not enough water intake. Furthermore, when you don’t drink enough, critical organs like the brain and heart take water from “less important” tissues including muscles and skin. This can leave the skin with less than optimal moisture content. Skin can also lose water to the surrounding air. When spending time in dry environments, water will evaporate from the surface of the skin. Maintaining a balance between water and lipid in the skin is the key to maintaining a strong moisture barrier.
What to do
Humidify your house – Try adding a humidifier to your bedroom at night to prevent dry air from evaporating water from your skin. This will also help humectant ingredients in your skin care work better.
Leave the lipids – Oils produced by the skin are important to skin’s hydration. Over-cleansing the face or using harsh foaming agents can strip the skin of these important oils. Cleanse once a day with a gentle face wash to help clean the face without drying it out. Try Natural Foaming Face Wash. The formula is 100% natural and is made with a gentle coconut-derived surfactant that removes makeup, cleanses and tones, but doesn’t dry you out.
Bring on the water-binders – Plant-based extracts like Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide bind water up to 1000x their weight. Using a serum with high concentrations of these ingredients, either directly on the skin or mixed with a moisturizer, helps to hold onto water for up to 24 hours. Consonant HydrExtreme Serum is potently formulated with only two ingredients: Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide and Organic Vegetable Glycerine. Clinical trials demonstrated that this serum maintains skin’s moisture better and longer than the leading hyaluronic acid serum.
Every cell in the human body requires water to function. Proper hydration, both internal and external, is crucial in maintaining good health. From glowing skin to fighting off disease, there’s always a good reason to drink up!