Skin is made up of several layers – three, to be exact. The outer layer (the epidermis) is our protective, waterproof barrier. The dermis is just underneath the outer layer and contains connective tissue.
The third deeper, fatty layer is called the hypodermis. Babies and children have a lot of circulation in the outermost areas of the skin due, in part, to the water content of their bodies. We are born with a bodily water content of around 75%, which drops to 55-60% as adults.
There are many reasons that the water content of our bodies diminishes with age, resulting in less plump skin. Babies have rosy cheeks because their skin has plenty of blood circulating to the epidermis. Ensuring proper circulation with water and other activities is critical for healthy glowing skin.
In this article, we’ll discuss why our skin requires A LOT of water, especially through drinking. We'll also look at the five symptoms of dehydration, as well as seven lifestyle changes we can take to encourage circulation to get glowing skin.
What are the Main Symptoms of Dehydrated Skin?
Dehydration can be extremely serious and even fatal if left unchecked, especially in the elderly.
Knowing the early signs will allow you to begin to reverse the symptoms.
- Dark circles under your eyes
- Dull complexion
- Deeper surface wrinkles
- Sunken eyes
- Dry skin
How to Keep Skin Glowing Longer
The surface layer of the skin gets thinner with age. However, if we properly hydrate the skin then we’ll be able to keep healthy skin for longer.
The elderly have the least amount of water in their bodies, and as such their skin often appears grey and dull.
Additionally, the elderly are more prone to dehydration.
Interestingly, as we age our skin becomes duller and correspondingly so does our perception of thirst.
Getting water to the outer layer of the skin becomes increasingly difficult when there is not enough water in the body.
When we’re dehydrated, our skin lacks water – resulting in dry, dull or itchy skin. When the skin is dehydrated, overall complexion will be patchy and fine lines may appear deeper.
So, how can you tell for sure whether your skin is dehydrated?
Other than checking if you have any of the symptoms above, you can test whether your skin is dehydrated with a simple pinch test.
To test whether your skin is dehydrated, simply pinch it to see if it wrinkles or sticks in position.
Diet & Lifestyle Factors That Contribute to Dehydrated Skin
There are several diet and lifestyle factors that can contribute to dehydrated skin. If you feel that your skin is dehydrated, then it could be because of the following:
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Lack of water
- Lack of sleep
- Eating a standard western/ American diet (SAD)
7 Lifestyle Factors That Encourage Glowing Skin
Below is a list of 7 things you can do to rehydrate your skin and encourage a healthy glow.
1. Use Salt and Minerals to Open Up Subskin Layer
It’s critical to consume enough (of the right kind) of salt to ensure healthy circulation. Salt helps make the inside of your cells alkaline and to keep water in the blood.
Go for either sea salt or pink Himalayan salt as they are filled with trace elements which are essential for healthy skin such as calcium, potassium, selenium and zinc, alongside 80 other trace minerals.
2. Soak in Epsom Salts/Sea Salts
Soaking in sea salts or Epsom salts has been shown to slow skin aging and calm the nervous system. There’s also calcium in the sea salts that increases circulation.
Potassium helps to balance skin moisture. Just under your skin, there are lymphatic vessels that carry waste out of your body, plus the sodium in salt helps move your lymphatic system.
3. Sit in a Steam Room
Going to a steam room helps to open up your pores and increases the circulation of blood in the outer layers of your skin. This is great for detoxifying – ridding the body of dead cells and cellular waste.
The heat will stimulate your nerve endings, opening up the capillaries and supplying blood, water and nutrients to that area.
The body uses rationing programs if you don’t have enough water in your system. This includes keeping the water for essential internal organs and keeping it away from the outer layer of your skin.
Baths, steam rooms, steaming your face and hot towels can trick the body to change its rationing process because it senses that there’s enough water to go round.
4. Drink Alkaline Water
Drinking alkaline water will help to make the insides of your cells alkaline, which is essential for healthy cells. Alkaline water can be consumed internally or topically. Alkaline water typically has a pH of 8 or 9.
Acidic cells breed disease, so reducing the consumption of acid-forming foods and drinks, then replacing them for alkaline foods and alkaline water, is a good way to alkalise your body.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
Apple cider vinegar is antibacterial and as such can be consumed both internally and externally to improve the quality of your skin.
ACV is ideal for the removal of spots and blemishes, it clears the skin of daily cellular waste and external build-up which will help your skin cells breathe and be more healthy overall.
6. Eat Green Vegetables & Fruit
Consuming a diet that is heavy in plant-based nutrition will give your cells the nutrients they need to thrive and glow. If you don’t like all that chewing, you can juice your veggies or make a fruit smoothie.
The chlorophyll in green plants contains magnesium which will encourage your skin to relax and increase blood flow.
Chlorophyll will also bring more oxygen into your system, which allows your cells to breathe.
7. Cardiovascular Exercise
Exercise is one of the only things that will pump blood into every corner of your body (including the skin). This helps your body hydrate and oxygenate, which in turn gives your skin a radiant glow.
Movement is one of the only things that moves your lymphatic system (the sewage system of the body). Therefore to eliminate waste and hydrate your whole body, drink lots of water and exercise!
The Bottom Line
Although dehydrated skin can be irritating, there are many lifestyle changes that you can make to enhance the quality of your skin. Ensuring that you stay active and properly hydrated with quality water will go a long way to improving the quality of your skin.
Consuming high-quality salt, meanwhile, will allow water to be absorbed properly by your body, while eating a diet rich in plant-based nutrition will give your body the nourishment it needs to provide nutrients to your skin.
Following these lifestyle tips will undoubtedly go a long way towards ensuring you maintain a healthy glow.
Written by best-selling author and integrative nutrition health coach Rowanna Watson, who has a passion for natural health. Rowanna is an expert in all areas of holistic health, plant-based nutrition, detoxification and personal development.
Water for Health Ltd began trading in 2007 with the goal of positively affecting the lives of many. We still retain that mission because we believe that proper hydration and nutrition can make a massive difference to people’s health and quality of life. Click here to find out more.
Going to a steam room helps open up your pores and increase the circulation of blood in the outer layers of your skin.