Fighting Dry Skin: Why Less Water is Better

Healthy SkinIt is very common to hear people preach the importance of drinking a lot of water. Any health or fitness program will sing the praises of consuming at least 64oz per day. So, why in the world would we be telling you that less water is better?

Learn why being in frequent contact with water can be harsh on your skin. Find new ways to add moisture to your hands this winter using the following dry skin tips from our panel of experts.

Why Less Water is Sometimes More

To most people’s shock, frequent contact with water is actually one of the most common factors leading to dry, cracked skin. Unlike when drinking it, water, when in contact with the skin, strips our natural oils and protective coat on the very top layers of the skin, allowing an enormous amount of water loss. Over time, this leads to dry, chapped itchy skin known as dyshidrosis. So to protect your hands, limit water exposure to a minimum.

Wearing gloves during dishwashing and chores around the house is a great start. I recommend wearing thin cotton gloves underneath the rubber dishwashing gloves to avoid further irritation from the rubber. Applying aquaphor (which has a natural wax) can artificially replace our natural oils and reduce water loss.

Ahmet Altiner, M.D., Director, UWS Dermatology & Skin Care


Avoid Products Containing Water

When struggling with fingers that crack and heels that bleed, avoid products that contain water. The reason? It’s not that water on your skin is bad. Quite the opposite, in fact. But when your favorite lotion pump contains water, then it also must contain ingredients to preserve the product, and it’s often those preservatives that irritate the skin.

Instead, look for a wax, like natural beeswax, as an emulsifier to bind the oils together. A beeswax-based lotion will last on the skin longer than a water-based lotion as it acts as a sealant. As for water, keep it for drinking. Definitely fill up on water as your way to hydrate dry skin.

Renee Harris, owner, MadeOn Skin Care


Avoid Cringe-Worthy Cuticles

Avoid hot water or cold air as this can cause dryness of the nails. Moisturize nails and cuticles regularly with products with urea in them. Several products contain urea, including new prescription strength moisturizers, which are actually cosmetically acceptable in today’s world.

Avoid picking when cuticles become dry; prescription strength moisturizers can help. Do not overdue polishes or acrylics, as this will restrict moisture into the nails and can worsen the problem.

Dr. Michael Gold, Dermatologist/Dermatologic Surgeon, Gold Skin Care Center, Nashville, TN

Drinking water is GREAT for your skin.  So, be sure to continue drinking that 64oz / day for smooth, healthy skin.


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