Water splash

Why does drinking more water not improve dry skin?

I get this question in clinic a lot. “I drink lots of water, but my skin is dry – how can that be?”

It’s a myth that drinking lots of water will improve skin hydration and gets rid of dry skin. The main problem in dry skin is not that you don’t drink enough water, but that you loose too much water via invisible evaporation from the skin. Think of it like trying to fill a bucket of water that has a huge hole at the bottom. You need to fix the leak first!

Supporting our skin’s barrier function will reduce excessive water loss. Good skincare is a very important first step. This decreases further water evaporation from the skin by forming a thin film on top of your skin. Certain types of water holding ingredients such as hyaluronic acid will also hold water in the skin. Ask us to put together a tailored regime for you! Certain supplements, for example collagen drinks and fish-oil can also help.

Be aware that what feels like “dry skin” is not always dry skin. Rosacea for example is a very common skin condition, where micro-inflammation in the skin will make your skin feel dry and tight, although the issue is micro-inflammation, not dryness. If somebody with rosacea then applies rich moisturizers, they may break out. That’s why it’s important to diagnose the skin properly and treat any inflammation, if needed, rather than ‘numbing’ the dry skin feeling by smothering your skin with too heavy skincare.