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The link between great skin and proper hydration!

What Is Skin Hydration?

Hydration basically means the amount of fluid present in the body at a cellular level. Both intra-cellular and extra cellular fluid (outside a cell) and intra-cellular (inside a cell) are needed for cell health. In fact, fact much of the body is made-up of water (over 90%); as a result, maintaining proper hydration and fluid levels is necessary for cell and organ function.

Why Does Skin Need Hydration?

Hydration is important in many ways to skin care. To name just a few of its functions - it helps the body assimilate essential nutrients and excrete toxins, assists in maintaining pH balances, and helps prevent kidney stones, constipation and urinary infections. And as far as skin itself is concerned, it reduces the indications of ages and keeps skin soft and elastic. The water content in skin helps it perform its protective functions.

With proper hydration, skin looks firm and supple, and is able to heal faster when injured. If dermal cells are not hydrated properly, they lose suppleness and hair follicles can get blocked, causing bacterial accumulation. Good hydration can help in the treatment of acne, too.

When skin is not adequately hydrated, it loses thickness, and offers less body protection. Skin tone becomes dry and dull, and extra sensitive. Wrinkles are formed easily. Diabetics should be particularly careful to keep well hydrated.

How Should Skin Be Hydrated?

There are various methods of hydrating skin. The best and most basic way is to drink plenty of water, as much as you can a day. Typical recommendations by dermatologists and physicians are 6-8 glasses of water daily. For those of you who are coffee or soda fans, they do not count as "glasses of water". Caffeine discourages water absorption into the body.

Products on the market that help hydrate skin include day and night hydrating creams, oil-based skin cleansers, moisturizing toners that donít contain alcohol, and nourishing face packs and massages. Skin care products containing Hyaluronic Acid help skin retain moisture and make a great skin moisturizer. The emollients in moisturizers help seal in the skinís natural moisture and prevent evaporation, while the humectants in them help in skin water absorption. Make sure your moisturizer is non-allergenic, and that your cleanser is one that is gentle, and slightly acidic or neutral. It should leave the least possible amount of residue on the skin and should contain nonionic surfactants.

Recent studies have shown that lutein, a dietary supplement, is very good for improving hydration and elasticity of tissue.

What Not to Do

Always pat your face and other parts of your skin dry Ė never let it evaporate on its own. Avoid water- and alcohol-based products and donít use soap or make-up removal bars. Alcohol evaporates rapidly and carries with it (away with it) vital oils and nutrients needed for tissue pliability and to avoid drying

Be gentle to your skin Ė donít indulge in harsh treatments or excessively frequent face packs. Donít wash your skin too often with soap or alcohol-based hand washes, and donít leave your skin unprotected against the ravages of the weather.