Hydration Tips for Healthier Hair & Skin
Why It’s Not Enough to Only Drink Water
Proper hydration is not only about drinking enough water every day, it’s also about understanding all the ways we can deplete and add hydration to our system. And as we inch closer to the warmer months, if glowing skin and shimmering hair are goals, it’s important to know the ins and outs of proper hydration.
Check out our facts about water and the steps you can take to maintain proper hydration.
Water: Facts & Figures
71% of the Earth is covered in water, but only 2.5% of that is safe for human consumption
The average adult body is composed of 55 - 65% water
Research indicates that drinking 2 liters of water a day can burn 96 calories by boosting the body’s metabolism. Colder water yields higher results.
The Take Aways?
Drink your water because it is VITAL for virtually every system in your body functioning down to the cellular level. Fatigue, brain-fog, constipation, and digestive issues are often signs of dehydration. So yes, those six to eight 8 oz. glasses of water will keep you straight; however, hydration isn’t only about drinking water. There are other steps you can take to up your hydration levels; we’ve listed a few of them below.
Fats Are Where It’s At
Consuming mono-saturated fats like those found in olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado are great for skin and hair, as are fatty fish, nuts, and seeds like salmon, almonds, and flax, which are high in Omega-3 fatty acids that can keep skin and hair properly moisturized. These foods can also be healing for people suffering from inflammatory skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.
Eat Your Fruits & Veggies
Fruits and veggies like cucumbers, watermelon, tomatoes, squashes, apples, citrus fruit and leafy lettuces are full of water and are great for boosting your hydration levels. You can double the benefits by topping your salad with a homemade dressing made with avocado or olive oils. During warm weather months, watermelon and cucumber are great hydrators, especially when combined in a salad, or added to water with a little basil or mint. High fiber fruits and veggies also help combat bouts of constipation by retaining water in the digestive tract. Smoothies and vegetable juices are another great way to hydrate. Find great smoothy and fresh juice recipes here
Exfoliate & Moisturize
Our skin is our body’s largest organ, it’s also one of the primary ways the body looses moisture. Sweat glands keep us cool while detoxifying the body through perspiration. Dull, flakey, rough skin is a sign of dehydration. Winter heat and clothes can draw moisture from the hair and skin, while overexposure to the sun and air conditioning have the same effect in summer. Dry skin can be rehabilitated by drinking more water, but exfoliation will remove dead, flakey skin cells and prepare skin for a protective, hydrating layer of lotion or a light, quick absorbing oil. For best results, exfoliate skin 2 - 3 times a week, and moisturize every day right after you exit the shower. And if you love to tan or use self-tanning products, exfoliation and topical hydration will give your tan a more even look and help self-tanners go on more evenly.
Go Easy on Alcoholic & Sugary Drinks
No matter the time of year, drinking a lot of alcohol can lead to dehydration, but especially in summer when we all like to indulge in a frosty margarita, a chilled chardonnay, or an ice cold beer. Dehydration occurs because the body uses water to flush by-products created when it metabolizes alcohol. Loss of excess water in the body leads to dehydration. Sugary drinks cause blood sugar to rise, which in turn leads when the body tries to remove excess glucose from the blood stream through urine. Excessive urination leads to dehydration; and it can become a vicious cycle if soda or sugary sports drinks are used to ease thirst. Room temperature water is always the best thing to drink to rehydrate after workouts or a night out, but if drinking water isn’t your thing, try real coconut water — it’s high in electrolytes, which are vital for rehydration; and it’s also a great way to relieve hangover headaches and dry mouth.
Take Cover from the Elements
This is more of a protective measure to prevent moisture loss due to overexposure to the sun and the wind. Sunshine helps our bodies synthesize vitamin D for strong bones, healthy skin and mood modulation. But UV rays are damaging to the skin and hair, and are the leading cause of skin cancer. Nothing beats a cool breeze on a warm summer day, but prolonged exposure to wind can make hair and skin super dry. Physical barriers like umbrellas and UV safe clothing protect the skin and hair from the harmful effect of sun overexposure. Hats and other protective garments (especially in winter) can protect skin from wind burn and hair from over drying. Chemical barriers (sunscreen) create invisible shields that also reduce UV damage, and provide protective moisture to keep skin and hair hydrated. Look for the clear, dry feel sunscreens that aren’t greasy or make you look like a ghost! And use them to protect your skin and hair, no matter the season.
Finally, the most important tip is to learn to recognize the signs of dehydration. Some common signs include:
excessively dry skin & chapped lips
dark yellow urine
headaches & nausea
dull, brittle hair and nails