Imagine this, last night you dropped a couple of hundred dollars on a skincare haul. You did your homework. The YouTube videos (and comment section) check out. But when we fast-forward six weeks, your skin is still struggling.
Here’s a bit of information you may be missing. Yes, the market is saturated with products, and most get the job done, but sometimes they can’t. Why can’t they— because you play a part in determining the extent of what products can accomplish.
If you’re wondering exactly how, it’s by drinking those ounces, babes. Keeping hydrated from the inside out. When you drink water it doesn’t flow straight to your skin. It makes its way there after passing through the intestines, bloodstream, and kidneys. In roughly 24 hours, the skin quickly rehydrates. Also, staying adequately hydrated allows your stomach or gut microbiome to function properly, improving your overall health and maintaining your skin's health.
Drink More Water than you Thought You Needed
It sounds simple, but let's be honest. How many times throughout the day do you pass up water for something flavorful? Or do you think you’ve had enough of the plain stuff so skip it? Here’s the thing… you probably haven't, it's likely that you're dehydrated this very second.
This is such a common misconception: most people believe they drink plenty, but they don’t. (Nursing a venti, Starbucks cup of ice water till 2 p.m. is doing the bare minimum.)
In 2013, The Chicago Tribune reported that American adults drank roughly four or fewer glasses of water each day. In 2022, another company says 75 percent of Americans are chronically dehydrated. And fam, The Chicago Tribune says that drinking less water is closely related to economic status and other lifestyle habits that aren’t beneficial for longevity. Eating fast food more than once a week, not following an exercise routine, and not minding water intake can happen because of a lack of access or information. This is a real issue within brown and black communities that live with limited resources.
How many ounces or gallons?
So the guidelines are all over the place, but a general guideline is to drink between .5 to 1 ounce of water for every pound you weigh. There are also other factors to consider: the climate you live in, how active you are, and how much you sweat. (In other words, how fast your environment and lifestyle dehydrate you.)
If you weigh 140 pounds, you should drink at least 70 oz of water daily.
If you are 180 lbs, at least 90 oz is recommended.
If you weigh 250 pounds, drink at least 125 ounces.
For reference, 128 ounces equals one gallon of water. *However, if you are regularly hydrated, then drinking more won't necessarily improve your skin's appearance. Drinking too fast can also make you sick.
Count coffee and tea, along with water, as part of your ounces. Hydration is mostly unaffected by coffee and tea's diuretic effects. The “doesn’t count” line is crossed with multiple caffeinated beverages throughout the day or those containing high amounts of caffeine. However, if you’re a habitual coffee drinker, you may find that with time the diuretic effects are much less because the body adapts to your habits. Still, to stay on the safe side, the general rule of thumb is to have one glass of water for every cup of coffee or two cups of caffeinated tea.
Beauty products can’t do the impossible. They can’t replace fluid intake.
One of the most significant things moisturizers do is trap moisture on the surface of the skin. Whatever claims moisturizers make beyond that isn’t regulated or guaranteed. Depending on formulation the nutrients found in skincare are often scarce or sensitive to exposure to the sun and air. Some products are genius though, so no need to swear off a skincare routine. But don’t say a product isn’t helpful if you know you’re not keeping up with your diet or water intake.
To attain a glowing complexion, diet and hydration are top priorities, not expensive skincare. Having hydrated skin and then using moisturizers and creams will always result in better skin than relying on products alone.
Our skin is the body's biggest organ, and throughout the day it’s exposed to so many toxins and free radicals. It’s a two-part maneuver. Diet and skincare play crucial roles in the organ's ability to resist irritants and ance-causing bacteria. Products help us cleanse, exfoliate, protect, and lock in that moisture our skin so deserves.
Gym goers can improve their performance by being hydrated as well. The American Council on Exercise says at least 17 to 20 ounces of water should be had before hitting the gym. Of course, they strongly recommend drinking throughout the exercise and rehydrating afterward.