By now we are feeling the effects of lower humidity and lower temperatures – especially those of you from Northern regions. But even here in Central Florida in a sub-tropical zone where we are acclimated to higher humidity levels for most of the year, we can feel these changes pretty dramatically, especially in our skin. Since good hydration is key to adding volume in the skin, hydration is imperative. In later posts we’re going to talk about all things volume-related, like transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and glycosaminoglycans (GAG’s), but for now, here are some tips to keep you looking and feeling like a Water Lily this season.
- Yes Virginia, how much water you drink does matter.
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Even if you’re good about getting enough most of the year, when it’s cold outside, a cold glass of water doesn’t sound appealing. Try drinking it warm or even hot with a touch of lemon and wild honey. How much water is enough? Here’s a good rule of thumb: take your body weight, divide that in half and that number in ounces should be your goal. But remember, highly caffeinated and alcoholic beverages are diuretics. Sports drinks and most juices contain lots of sugar, salt and other things you might not need. Water and low caffeine or herbal teas are your best bet. White Tea or Chamomile are great choices.
- Just the fats Ma’am. Essential fatty acid (EFA) supplements like fish, flaxseed, hempseed and coconut oil (among others) are well, essential. Most of these have multiple benefits and some are better at creating tissue lubrication than others. Which one(s) you take and in what quantity is a discussion for you and your licensed healthcare provider, but in general, adding foods like cold water fish and seafood, nuts and seeds, avocados, and whole grains are good additions to your meals. Also, cooking with olive, canola, safflower and coconut oils can increase your intake of EFA’s.
- What you put on your skin is important too, but did you notice I listed this last? That’s because no matter how great your skin care products are, if you are fundamentally dehydrated internally, skin care alone will not make you bloom like a desert cactus in the rain. Here are some ingredients to look for that will add and hold moisture in your skin: Hyaluronic Acid (HA), Silver Ear Mushroom Extract, Sodium PCA, Lactic Acid, Trehalose, Panthenol, Urea, Honey, Sunflower, Borage, Evening Primrose, Olive and Soybean Oils, Squalane and Shea Butter. As always, how much of the ingredient, in what form it is and how it acts in the finished formula are keys to a good product formulation and giving you the hydration you need. Your Esthetician should be able to customize a skin care regimen to fit your exact needs.
While any one of these things will help with dehydration, the real magic happens when we incorporate all of them into our routines.