Beauty products promise us “hope in a jar” (sometimes literally) and we spend thousands of dollars a year in our collective endeavor for beautiful, youthful skin. (Meanwhile, men spend thousands of dollars a year in a similar quest for the largest TV in the neighborhood. Which is a more noble pursuit is your call.) But the real secret to looking luminous at age 25 or 45, the universal truth that’s so simple but yet so many of us refuse to accept for some reason, is one we probably all know already: hydrate. However, the secret may not be as simple as you think, and you may not be practicing this truth in the best way for your skin.
I know you’ve heard it everywhere: “Drink eight glasses of water a day.” The unfortunate truth about drinking water for your skin is that water will reach all the other organs before it reaches the skin. Plus, the effects from drinking water aren’t lasting, and drinking excess water will only cause you to pee it out. (Gross, but true.)
The solution: for hydrated skin, we must constantly apply water to our skin and keep it there. This is the only way to show a visible difference in hydration, and it can also prevent wrinkles! No kidding! Here are the best ways to apply water to the skin:
- Within two minutes of getting out of the bath or shower, apply a hydrating moisturizer . After bathing, the skin is at its warmest and most porous and is thus extra vulnerable to products, allowing better absorption.
- You’ve heard of hyaluronic fillers – there’s a reason they’re used in injections to make skin look plump. You can apply the same principle to your skin without injecting foreign bodies by using a product containing hyaluronic acid like Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Moisture-Enhancing Gel prior to applying moisturizer. Hyaluronic acid holds a thousand times its own weight in water, thus, it attracts water to the skin and holds it there
- Trade tap water for distilled, both when drinking and cleansing. Really – the minerals present in hard water can prevent it from properly reacting with soap or cleansers and, instead of triggering a lather, create a soapy layer on top of skin that not only clogs pores, but also irritates the skin, making it potentially itchy, flaky and dry. Acne, redness and eczema could all be aggravated by using hard tap water to cleanse, so consider a switch – you could even grab a glass of your filtered water and use it when cleansing your face.
Now don’t get me wrong – you definitely need plenty of water to hydrate yourself from the inside out. But the effects of simply drinking more water on making your skin look great have been grossly oversimplified and exaggerated. The sad truth is, we’ve all got to constantly hydrate ourselves outside as well as in, and more does not necessarily equal better.