Dehydration increases the signs of aging, breaks down collagen, robs skin of vital nutrients, and reduces elasticity. Dehydration is a skin issue that affects up to 96% of our population. People often associate oil with hydrated skin, but this is only half of the issue. Your skin may be oily but still lack hydration from water, which affects its health and appearance. Having fluid between our cells is necessary for proper skin function. It both feeds the skin, carrying with it nutrients, vitamins and water vital to cellular function, as well as acts as a waste collector for the cells, ridding skin of accumulated “junk”. If there is not an exchange of nutrients, water and waste, cells cannot function and will eventually die.
As we age our skin loses hydration, which is a key factor in the process of both visible signs of aging (wrinkles, fine lines, premature aging, lackluster, scaly, taut skin), and loss of vitamins and nutrients, which are unseen culprits that contribute to aging. To imagine the dysfunction dehydrated skin causes, think of a dry riverbed. Boats cannot travel on it and nothing can flourish and live in it. In order for there to be life in the river, there must be water. In order for boats to be able to carry things from one side to the other, there must be water. This is very much like what is happens inside your skin. Without the fluid between the cells, nutrients cannot flow through and waste cannot exit.
One common misconception about hydration is that if your skin is oily on the surface, it is properly hydrated. This is not true. If you have oily skin it does not mean you do not need hydration (fluid). On the same token, proper hydration paired with deep pore cleaning will reduce the overproduction of oil.
Things you can do:
Water intake is vital to healthy skin (but drinking water alone is not enough to keep skin properly hydrated).
Sleep and stress are triggers for dehydration. Try to get your daily 8’s. 8 ounces of water 8 times a day and 8 hours of rest a night for 8x8x8! Your body weight and exercise level changes the amount of water you need the 8×8 is a common benchmark to strive for, but some people can do with less.
Look for products that use non-pore clogging oils such as jojoba (this is actually a wax), pistachio, rose hip, carrot, safflower, argan and avocado.
Use pure floral waters of cucumber, rose or neroli to mist face. Be sure they are pure plant waters and not distilled water with essential oils added.
Eat water-packed foods like watermelon, berries, grapes, grapefruit, lettuce and tomatoes.
Eat flax, chia seeds and/or omegas.
Dehydration contributors to avoid
Improper cleaning, which strips skin of hydration. “Squeaky-clean” or taut skin should never be associated with clean skin. These are actually signs of dehydration. Soap and other alkaline cleansers do not have the required pH balance and are therefore damaging to your skin.
Skin damage – from harsh chemicals in your products to sun exposure – increases dehydration. Read your labels, switch up your products, and watch your sun exposure.
Lack of proper skin care can include everything from overexposure to sun, harsh facial scrubs (such as apricot-kernel based scrub), chemicals, not drinking enough water, smoking cigarettes, and/or certain medications (many can cause dehydration).
Be on the lookout for skin-dehydrating ingredients such as alcohol, petroleum- based ingredients and “cones” (any ingredient that ends with c-o-n-e such as dimethicone, silicone, etc).
Improper, damaging (or lack of) moisturizers
Alcohol and coffee
Lack of sweating (sweating helps keeps your pores working properly as well as rids the body of toxins. When you sweat although you are loosing fluid, you are also eliminating toxins and keeping your pores clean. Clean pores and reduced toxic burden help maintain overall hydration)
Exposure to heat from sun, furnaces, wood burning stoves and/or space heaters
Exposure to wind and/or air conditioning
30 days to perfect skin
Day 1 Start taking fish oil or flax seed oil, vitamin A, E and Zinc
Day 2 Drink enough water try the “8 x 8 rule”; 8 8-ounce glasses per day
Day 3 Break a sweat 4 times this week
Day 4 Get a facial – or give yourself one! (Look for a “How To Give Yourself A Professional Facial At Home” in an upcoming post from me). Use the Almond Cleanser and Serum recipes that follow.
Day 5 Avoid caffeine and alcohol
Day 6 Switch out one skin care product to eliminate dehydrating ingredients
Day 7 Add fruit and raw salads to your daily diet
Day 8 Eat avocado and/or walnuts
Day 9 Use non-foaming cleansers – no “squeaky clean” this month
Day 10 Have a makeup free day
Day 11 Wash your face with honey
Day 12 Put 3 drops of olive oil on under your face cream
Day 13 Drink a glass of green tea
Day 14 Give yourself another facial. Use the Almond Cleanser and Serum recipes below
Day 15 Get rid of all the skin care products you do not use
Day 16 Avoid exposure to heat (including hot water) and sun
Day 17 Wash your face with honey mixed with heavy cream
Day 18 Drink another glass of green, red or white tea
Day 19 Eat an avocado (and use the bit that sticks to the peel to smear on your face)
Day 20 Eat Chia Seeds and fresh berries
Day 21 Eat extra leafy greens (one serving per day this week)
Day 22 Drink another glass of green, chamomile, licorice or rose hip tea and use a humidifier while you sleep
Day 23 Apply honey and cream to face while in the shower; rinse off at the end
Day 24 Give yourself another facial. Use the Almond Cleanser and Serum recipes below
Day 25 Use pure jojoba oil as a facial moisturizer (perfect for all types of skin)
Day 26 Have leafy greens by juicing them. Try juicing any dark leafy green and add beets, apples or carrots to add some sweetness.
Day 27 Forego a towel today; let your skin air-dry
Day 28 Have another makeup free day
Day 29 Splash goat milk on your face, follow with a “splashing water” rinse
Day 30 Drink a glass of Rooibos tea
- 1/4 cup almonds
- 1/8 cup soymilk or goat milk
- 2 teaspoons honey
Place almonds in a mini food processor and grind until they become almond meal, but not butter. Add honey and mix again. Add milk and pulse 5-7 times.
Directions for use: Place a dime-sized amount in the palm of your hand and add a few drops of water. Gently apply in circular motions with your ring and middle finger, using light pressure. The circular motion increases blood flow, opens pores and aids in the “cleansing” process. Using your weakest fingers ensures non-damaging exfoliation. Rinse with warm water.
How to store: Keep in refrigerator for up to one week in an airtight container. When storing face products, it is best to use glass. Plastic can leach chemicals into your pure, homemade products. You can recycle old jelly and peanut better jars or find smaller glass containers anywhere from Costco to Michaels Crafts. If you want to make extra in advance, it can be frozen in ice cube trays (filled 1/3). Once frozen, simply break your cubes out and store them in a glass container in the freezer. This will give you easy-to-use single servings to defrost as needed.
- 1/8 teaspoon flax seed oil
- 1/8 teaspoon fish oil
- 1 capsule of vitamin E
- 1/8 teaspoon evening primrose oil
- 1 teaspoon safflower oil
Mix oils together in a small glass bowl.
Directions for use: After cleansing and toning your skin, place 3 drops of the serum in the palm of your hand. Rub hands together and gently apply to face. Let absorb for 1-2 minutes before applying moisturizer. This will ensure that the nutrients and actives penetrate deeply into the skin.
How to store: Keep serum in a glass airtight container the refrigerator for up to 8 weeks