Fine lines and wrinkles, we will all get them at some point but what if our face is showing signs of lack of internal and external hydration? You might be thinking the solution to wrinkles is just external moisture and the right product. That is what many skincare product developers would like us to believe but it is more than that.
Have you ever heard of dehydration wrinkles? They are a real thing; they are impacted more by internal hydration than external hydration. Also, a real way to combat them includes internal hydration along with external hydration.
What does internal hydration look like?
It is actually more than drinking water. Why? Because there are many nutrients and minerals that the body requires to absorb and use to truly be hydrated by fluids. These cofactors for true hydration start with minerals. Without minerals and electrolytes being consumed in adequate amounts then the fluids being consumed have the possibility of flushing out the electrolytes a body currently contains. Some people are more likely to be susceptible to losing electrolytes than others due to their mineral stores and lifestyle. Examples are someone who sweats a lot due to daily activities or a new mother (due to giving 20-80% of her minerals to the children she birthed). But this is all impacted by the diet being consumed by each individual. Color science states it this way: “Hydrating your body needs to start from within. To achieve a luminous complexion, you can’t just use a couple of moisturizing products and call it a day. You also need to drink plenty of water and eat a balanced diet with foods that help you get your daily hydration needs met. Incorporate more vegetables into your diet, like: Cucumber, Celery, Romaine lettuce, Tomatoes. These are rich in nutrients and extremely hydrating. Making these small lifestyle changes and prioritizing a healthy diet will make a noticeable difference for your skin. Remember to end every night out with a big glass of water to keep your skin supple and hydrated in the morning.” (1) But be aware of what kind of water you are consuming. If you are consuming reverse osmosis water, it is devoid of minerals and electrolytes and it will not truly hydrate you!
Consider this: Although water makes up the largest percentage of body volume, it is not actually pure water, but rather a mixture of dissolved substances (solutes) that are critical to life. These solutes include electrolytes, substances that dissociate into charged ions when dissolved in water. For example, sodium chloride (the chemical name for table salt) dissociates into sodium (Na+) and chloride (Cl−) in water. In extracellular fluid, sodium is the major positively-charged electrolyte (or cation), and chloride (Cl−) is the major negatively-charged electrolyte (or anion). Potassium (K+) is the major cation inside cells. Together, these electrolytes are involved in many body functions, including water balance, acid-base balance, and assisting in the transmission of electrical impulses along cell membranes in nerves and muscles.
Further effects of dehydration
Dehydration doesn’t stop at causing electrolyte imbalances and wrinkles; it can also cause diabetic symptoms to be worse. “Water loss causes the circulating blood glucose to become more concentrated, which results in a blood sugar spike. The kidneys must then work overtime producing more urine to filter the blood. The increase in urine furthers body fluid losses and dehydration.” (2) The increase in blood glucose concentration during dehydration is true for anyone, not just someone diagnosed with diabetes. Thus causing a further downward spiral and a person’s skin showing the signs of stress that the body has experienced, in the form of wrinkles and more.
Why does proper hydration impact the skin in such a way?
1. Anti-inflammatory, wound healing agents. An essential step in healing and repair is reducing inflammation. Minerals like magnesium, manganese, selenium, sulfur, and zinc soothe skin irritation and reduce redness, swelling, and pain. These minerals defend against microbial infections, DNA damage, and skin conditions like acne, eczema, and psoriasis. Copper and silver are popular in medical spas to accelerate healing after procedures that include microneedling, dermaplaning, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, intense pulsed light, lasers, radio frequency, and protein-rich plasma treatments. Post-care treatments with mineral-based products lower the risk of scar tissue and prevent or reduce the appearance of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
2. Microcirculation moisture factors. Minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium function as moisture factors and water-binding agents that prevent transepidermal water loss. They protect the moisture barrier and maintain and lock in hydration, which is essential in soothing irritated skin and promoting repair. Iron promotes microcirculation by pulling blood, fluid and nutrition from deep within the skin and up into the epidermis for optimal skin health. (5)
“An impaired nutritional status alters the structural integrity and biological function of skin, resulting in an abnormal skin barrier.” (8) Also research shows that proper hydration supports the skin PH level and wound healing: “Since maintenance of skin pH below 5.5 is vital for suppressing virulent microbial pathogen growth, including Staphylococcus aureus, skin acidification is essential in enhancing the antimicrobial barrier. A well-balanced proliferation and differentiation process is one of the critical steps in wound healing, high glucose levels might contribute to impaired wound healing in certain diseases, including diabetes.” (6)
What are the signs of dehydration?
Thirst, Dry mouth and eyes, Headache, Dark-colored urine, Dizziness, Fatigue.
#1 Your Skin is Itchy
Whether you’ve recently taken a trip to the beach, or are being affected by seasonal weather changes, if you feel a need to scratch your skin, then chances are you’re experiencing a bit of skin dehydration. Elements like wind, high temperatures, and sun exposure can deplete your skin’s protective barrier of moisture and leave it feeling dry and itchy. If you’re struggling with dry skin, you may also notice a flaky, rough texture to it.
#2 Your Skin is Sensitive
One of the most common signs of dehydrated skin is that you experience an increase in irritation. As your skin’s moisture barrier depletes, it loses the ability to protect itself from external factors like pollution, wind, and bacteria. Coming in contact with everyday stressors can leave it feeling red, itchy, and sensitive.
#3 Your Skin Feels Dull
If your skin doesn’t look or feel as bright and fresh as usual, it’s likely dehydrated. Proper skin hydration plays a prominent role in essential functions like cell turnover. Without it, your skin cells won’t turn over as quickly, and dead cells may accumulate on the surface of your skin. Not only can dead skin cells clog up pores, but they will also leave your skin looking dull and lifeless (9)
Other signs to look out for when there is an electrolyte imbalance: Confusion and irritability, diarrhea or constipation. Fatigue. Headaches. Irregular or fast heart rate (arrhythmia). Muscle cramps, muscle spasms or weakness. Nausea and vomiting. Numbness or tingling in limbs, fingers and toes. (3)
So how many fluids should we be consuming?
Suozzi says about 13 cups of water for men and 9 cups of water for women represent adequate fluid intake, as outlined by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. But “If a person has a lot of transepidermal water loss from sweat or heat, then this requirement increases,” she points out. (Transepidermal water loss refers to water lost through the skin). (4)
But more needs to be considered: “The total water accounted for within these patients’ diets, stressing the need to consider all sources of water input to calculate the total water consumption.” (7)
A great way to stay hydrated is to drink herbal infusions. An herbal infusion is a fancy name for a long-steeped tea so that more minerals can be infused into the water from the herb. This can be done very easily at home with a tea that you put together yourself or a tea you purchase. We will soon be offering loose-leaf teas on our website that are blended here in Minnesota. And the best part is the teas will be very supportive of your hydration needs.
So what about the external side of hydrated skin?
First consider this: “When determining if your skin is dehydrated, it’s important to note that dehydration is the amount of water in your skin, not oil. Even people with oily skin types can endure dehydrated skin. The good news is that a combination of topical treatments and healthier lifestyle choices can help reduce the appearance of dehydration lines.” (10)
External moisturizers can help prevent moisture loss from the skin and help hydrate the skin but it depends on the ingredients of the moisturizer you are using as to which way it may be supporting your skin.
nut or seed oil, such as coconut, almond, hemp-moisturizer
plant oils, such as squalene, jojoba, rosehip, tea tree-moisturizer
Dandelion Naturals soap naturally contains glycerin which is a natural hydrator and our lip balm also contains honey which is also a natural hydrator. But our tallow products fall under the natural moisturizers category. Some of our products will contain both a hydrator and a moisturizer in the ingredients, like our lip balm.
While external moisturizers can’t combat internal hydration they can support the skin in multiple ways, with nutrients that will help with fine lines, plumpness, drainage via massage, and elasticity. An example is vitamin e; it is a very supportive ingredient for combatting sun damage and it is fat soluble so diet and external application are great ways to support your skin with this antioxidant. Thus our tallow products are a great option for vitamin e application.
External can also be a great source of a wide range of benefits such as those that are sourced from herbs: “Chamomile (magnesium, zinc, iron, calcium) relieves sensitive, dry, inflamed skin. And Comfrey (calcium, potassium, phosphorus, silica, iron) boasts anti-inflammatory, cell proliferating and healing properties and is known for treating scars” (11)
If you would like to try a variety of tallow products our face gift box would be perfect for you. You can find it here: https://dandelionnaturals.com/product/face-care-gift-box/
If you would like to try a variety of powerhouse salves then our medicinal trio is the bundle for you. You can find it here: https://dandelionnaturals.com/product/medicinal-salve-trio/ Dandelion naturals all-purpose balm contains chamomile and comfrey. But our relief salve also contains the benefits of comfrey.
Happy New Year and cheers to staying hydrated internally and externally in 2024 from Dandelion Naturals!
https://www.skininc.com/science/ingredients/article/21878620/minerals-healthy-skins-dirty-little-secret (5) (11)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4428712/ (6) (8)
https://www.katesomerville.com/blogs/news/dehydration-lines-vs-wrinkles-whats-the-difference (9) (10)