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No matter where you’ve looked and whom you’ve asked, chances are that you and I have heard the same skincare tip over and over: Drink. More. Water. It’s what celebrities swear by. It’s what models dish out as their solution for picture-perfect skin. It’s what your mother has been telling you to do since time immemorial. When it comes to getting a supple, glowing complexion, all arrows point to water trumping any skincare routine.
But how exactly does water contribute to good skin?
The simple answer: it doesn’t—or not in the way we’ve been led to believe, at least. An in-depth examination of water published in Nutrition Reviews in 2010 points out that despite what magazines, vlogs, and Vogue Beauty Secrets videos have been telling us, drinking eight to ten glasses a day doesn’t ascertain better skin. More water doesn’t mean more moisture or more toxins flushed out of our systems. There’s a general lack of evidence (and an abundance of marketing tactics) to support the claim.
Despite the gray areas, water and skin health aren’t completely unrelated. The skin is a shield that protects us against water loss. Not getting enough water can also lead to constipation, which is a common complaint among those who suffer from acne. While more water may not make the body function better than normal, the body needs enough of it to be able to function at all.
The eight glasses rule is a modern-day medical myth. A deep dive into medical reports and studies will tell you that there’s no single rule to govern how much water we should drink. However, what studies do tell us is this: dehydration puts the body into a state of stress, and by the time we see the signs, our body functions may already be compromised.
The best (and only) rule when it comes to hydration? Don’t allow yourself to go thirsty. The only way to do that is to keep sipping throughout the day.
Like all things, keeping hydration on lock requires attention and care. If you aren’t already particular about your water consumption, a couple of lifestyle shifts might be in order. Thankfully, all it takes is a little mindfulness and intention. Ahead, discover five quick tips to help you up your water intake:
Begin by asking yourself how much water you already drink. Keep count of your glasses, and observe if you ever find yourself feeling parched throughout the day. If you cross into the thirsty territory, gradually increase your glasses per day.
If you find yourself reaching for juice or fizzy drinks more than good ol’ H2O, try switching things up by flavoring your water. Throw a couple of slices of lemon, a few apple wedges, a sprig of mint, or a stick of cinnamon into a pitcher to keep things interesting. Flavored water is also an effective method to help curb soda drinking!
Leave a post-it by your workstation. Set up alarms. There’s an abundance of apps to help keep water drinking habits in check, too. Some popular picks include Plant Nanny, Water Reminder, and Daily Water. No excuses!
Drink larger amounts in a shorter period. Straws are a great way to make yourself drink more without the extra effort. Skip the plastic with a reusable straw, or opt for a tumbler with a built-in straw.
With the virus still looming outside, one of the most thrilling trips we can take is from our workstations to the kitchen for a refill. If your schedule is too packed for constant top-ups, consider investing in a larger bottle to keep you hydrated throughout the entire workday.