We’ve all heard that drinking water is good for our skin. In fact, plenty of celebrities and influencers have attributed their flawless and glowy complexions to them simply drinking their eight glasses a day.
But is achieving healthy, hydrated skin really as easy as just . . . chugging water?
The answer to that would be a resounding no (if that were the case, we’d all have amazing skin, right?) and we talked to celebrity facialist, Candace Marino, to get the scoop on what else you should know about the myth.
“Drinking water is obviously a healthy practice and allows our bodies and minds to function at their highest level, but more water consumption doesn’t necessarily hydrate the skin,” Marino told POPSUGAR. “Think of all of the elements we’re exposed to that dehydrate and dry out our skin.” In order for your skin to be properly hydrated, Marino says electrolytes need to be present in your body or else you wouldn’t be able to retain water. Without them, you’d just be flushing, which she notes is great to get rid of toxins, but it does nothing to hydrate the skin.
It’s also important to remember that your skin is an external organ that’s constantly exposed to harsh elements (like pollution, heat, cold, etc.), so even on days when you do drink proper amounts of water, your skin is actually the last organ that will benefit from it. For that reason, the real key to keeping your skin hydrated lies in topical products.
“When it comes to skin hydration, using humectants to bind water to the skin are going to be best practice,” Marino said. “A good hydrating serum will also act as a big drink of water for the skin; we need this topically because skin doesn’t create water, it only creates oil, and oil and water have two very different benefits for the skin.” To take care of this issue, Marino recommends using iS Clinical’s HydraCool Serum ($94), which uses hyaluronic acid to bind hydration to the skin.
Though hydrating serums are great, you shouldn’t stop there – you also want to make sure that you’re regularly exfoliating. “Topically hydrating is so important, but if you’re hydrating dead skin cells, you’re not getting full product penetration,” Marino said. “[Instead], you’re actually thickening the layer of dead skin, because hydration + dead skin cells creates a glue-like substance that sticks to the surface of the skin.”
The bottom line here: don’t stop drinking water, since it’s essential for your overall health, but don’t expect it to clear up your complexion if you’re not also taking a more proactive approach to caring for your skin.