How Much Water Does Skin Really Need?

You've probably heard that drinking eight to ten glasses of water per day will give your complexion a dewy glow. But is this really true?

You've probably heard that drinking eight to ten glasses of water per day will give your complexion a dewy glow. But is this really true?

Water intake and dry skin

Every system in the body needs water to function, and the skin is no exception; however, when it comes to dry skin, it's not how much water you drink that's important, it's how well your skin retains moisture.

All of us have a natural "skin barrier" that locks in moisture, keeping our complexions hydrated and supple. Environmental factors--such as extreme cold, dry heat or the use of harsh cleansing products--can damage this barrier and make skin dry, flaky and more prone to wrinkling (see Dry Skin: Fight the Good Fight). Taking flax seed supplements and eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, can help your skin barrier lock in moisture (see Dietary Fats Treat Dry Skin from the Inside Out).

So how much water does skin really need?

Don't get me wrong, there's no harm in drinking eight glasses a day. Just keep in mind that we get 20 percent of our water through food, and other beverages count toward our daily requirement as well (this includes coffee and tea, but not alcohol, which is dehydrating). In my view, there's no hard and fast rule on how much water you need--it really depends on your body size and level of activity.

The best liquids for your skin

To truly drink for your skin, try replacing liquids that harm the complexion--like soda, alcohol and sugary juices--with those that are good for it, like antioxidant-rich green tea and sugar-free pomegranate juice.

Wishing you great skin!

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Dr. Baumann is author of the best-selling book, " The Skin Type Solution." To learn more about her revolutionary skin typing system, visit her Web site, SkinTypeSolutions.com

All of Dr. Baumann's recommended skin care products are available online, and a portion of proceeds goes to The Dermatology Foundation.

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