Why it’s important to keep your skin hydrated
Although a firm believer that real beauty comes from the inside, Lee sees no harm in giving the outside some TLC.
Like most beauty/grooming writers I’m pretty evangelical about the need for adequate hydration – especially because it’s so crucial to overall skin health. However, I’m absolutely useless at making sure I am always properly hydrated. A busy lifestyle, coupled with a love of alcohol and builder’s tea, moisture-robbing air travel and, yes, a general laziness when it comes to downing water, mean I am often well short on the amount of fluid required.
And I’m not alone. According to a study by retail analyst Kantar Worldpanel, we Brits drink more tea than we do tap water, with fewer than 250,000 of us drinking the eight glasses of water a day recommended by the NHS.
Water is key for a healthy complexion because it’s required for the transportation of nutrients to skin cells and for the removal of waste products. That moisture is held in the dermis (the bit below the outermost epidermis) by special proteins called glycosaminoglycans, which ensure that collagen and elastin fibres function correctly.
It’s also crucial to maintaining the right protective surface pH and for desquamation – the shedding of dead skin cells. Deny it the moisture it needs and skin doesn’t just function less efficiently, it also ends up looking dull, grey and, since dry skin is more prone to premature ageing, older too.
So you can see why proper hydration is vital, though you should remember it needs a multi-pronged approach. Increasing your fluid intake is one thing but protecting the skin’s protective barrier and locking that water in with a quality moisturiser is essential, too.
Look out for products like Pestle & Mortar’s Pure Hyaluronic Serum with hyaluronic acid (a naturally-occurring hydrator which both attracts and retains a thousand times its own weight in water); protect your extremities with hand and foot creams and, as the mercury rises and the Tube becomes unbearable, make sure you carry some moisture with you – not just water but a pocket-sized misting spray like Aesop’s Immediate Moisture Facial Hydrosol.
Cutting back on boozy cocktails will help too, of course, but I’m not going to ask you to do anything I wouldn’t do myself.
Read more: The Grooming Guru’s guide on how to look younger
6 WAYS WITH WATER
1. Dr. Hauschka Hydrating Hand Cream, £13.25
2. Aesop Immediate Moisture Facial Hydrosol, £15 for 60ml
3. LQ Liquid Health Skin, Hair & Nails, £29.99 for 10 50ml bottles (Boots)
4. Tapped Birch Water, £2.50 for 250ml (Planet Organic)
5. Pestle & Mortar Pure Hyaluronic Serum, £36 for 30ml
6. Jurlique Activating Water Essence, £40 for 150ml