Drink plenty of water for glowing skin and optimal hydration.
Holistically Speaking: Hydration from the Inside
As a skincare company, we usually talk about hydration from a topical perspective. From refreshing toner spritzes to our ‘fountain of youth’ favorite, ElaSpa’s Hyaluronic Acid 2 in 1, some of our best-selling products are focused on providing skin-level hydrating benefits.
But when we go deeper, as we always do in our holistic approach to skin therapy, we would be remiss if we didn’t also talk about internal hydration. Every cell in our bodies requires water to function. The water we drink circulates through our systems, facilitating nutrient transport and waste removal, regulating temperatures, lubricating and protecting joints and tissues, and participating in hundreds of chemical and metabolic reactions, including those that impact skin health.
We also lose water through breathing (yes, really!), perspiration, and digestion. So it is vitally important that we make up for water usage and losses by balancing our hydration levels through fluid intake.
Internally, there are two main strategies for maintaining healthy levels of hydration: water and oil. Let’s first talk about water.
We all know that water should be our drink of choice, but the struggle is real when presented with so many other alternatives. Winter and cooler months bring temptations of soothing and delicious warm beverages like coffee, eggnog lattes, hot cocoa, and mulled wine. Spring and summer on patios don’t seem complete without pitchers of sangria and other fruity concoctions. While there is a minuscule hydrating effect from some of these, caffeine and alcohol are actually diuretic, meaning they increase the amount of water (and salt) that are excreted from the body. Tempting and delicious as they are, they need to be kept to a minimum and balanced with, you guessed it, more water.
Winter Solution: Warm water and herbal teas. Upping your water intake is the most obvious solution to staying hydrated. But if clear, pure water doesn’t excite you, consider heating it slightly and adding ginger, lemon, or other fruit. Herbal teas are another great option, as is Chai tea with caffeine-free rooibos.
Summer Solution: We’re obsessed with fruited waters year-round. Just toss some sliced fruits into your portable water bottle or pitcher and you’ll have refreshing (and antioxidant-filled) water to drink all day.
Once you’ve upped your water intake, you also need to work on utilizing and maintaining that hydration. Like a root-bound plant, if your cells are unable to absorb the hydration, water will flush right through your system, resulting in increased trips to the loo.
Your cells need oil (lipid) to hold onto that water. Every cell has a membrane consisting of a lipid bilayer that controls the movement of substances in and out of its interior. The quantity and quality of oils consumed nutritionally can directly impact the ability of your cellular systems to transport and utilize water and nutrients. Dry skin ailments like eczema and psoriasis may be indicative of a diet deficient in omega-3 fatty acids, for instance.
A great way to help your cells maintain a healthy lipid consistency is to increase your essential fatty acid consumption. Snack on nuts and seeds. Partake of chia pudding on a regular basis. Drizzle olive oil on vegetables and salads, and don’t be afraid of high-quality grass-fed butter. A fish oil supplement may be effective in helping with these skin and other body conditions. (Always consult your doctor, naturopath, or nutritionist for extensive supplement advice.)