When it comes to having healthy, glowing skin, most of us think of drinking lots of water. However, did you know that our skin can only retain moisture and get that ‘dewy’ look if we are getting adequate amounts of essential fatty acids in our diet?
Essential fatty acids (omega 3 and omega 6) assist in the formation and maintenance of a healthy skin cell membrane which enables the skin to retain hydration. Omega 6 fatty acids are typically easy to get enough of and sources include nuts and seeds. However, we all need to be more mindful of omega 3 fatty acids.
There are two types of omega-3, short-chain and long-chain, and both are important for our overall well-being as well as for the health of our skin. Short-chain omega-3 fatty acids are in foods such as chia seeds, ground flax seeds and walnuts, and for long-chain omega-3s it is best to take a algae-based omega 3 supplement daily. As the algae are grown and harvested in clean water, these supplements will not contain any of the heavy metals and pollutants that come with fish and fish oils.
The characteristics of dehydrated skin
Dehydrated skin is actually a skin concern rather than a skin type. If you have dry skin, you are not producing enough sebum (oil) but if you have dehydrated skin, you are lacking hydration in the skin, meaning that your body may not have enough water.
Due to their similar characteristics, many become confused and believe themselves to have dry skin rather than dehydrated skin or vice-versa, leading to incorrect skincare purchases.
Unlike dryness, dehydrated skin is not genetic but is often caused by the use of harsh, aggressive skincare products, low water intake, increased sodium intake, excessive flying, medication, low intake of essential fatty acids, and an impaired skin barrier, to name but a few.
Dehydrated skin is often noted as being dull, tight, with prominent fine lines, and potential irritation and tightness after cleansing and throughout the day. Dry skin, on the other hand, tends to feel dry all the time, with exacerbation of this in low humidity environments (such as in the winter months) and it will be prone to flaking or dry patches.
Don’t just drink your water, eat it!
Once you have upped your essential fatty acids, it’s time to get hydrating! Aim to drink 8 glasses of water a day, however, water-rich foods can also be handy way of increasing your hydration levels without having to drink endless glass of water, and a wholefood plant-based diet is packed with water-rich fruit and veggies!
Here are Dave and Steve’s top tips for eating and drinking more water:
- Fruit and veg can be a great source of water. Watermelons and strawberries are made up of 92% water, with raspberries, pineapple, plums, peaches, oranges, cranberries, apricots and blueberries all comprised of between 85 and 87% water. Water-rich veggies include cucumbers, celery, tomatoes, courgettes, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, sweet peppers and spinach. Time to tuck in!
- If you carry a bottle of water with you, you will be more inclined to remember to drink water. So keep a reusable bottle on your desk in work or take one with you on the go.
- If you find plain water boring, pimp it up by adding some fresh herbs like mint or rosemary, and fruit or veggies like berries or cucumber, for an extra infusion of flavour.
- Herbal caffeine-free teas are a good way to keep hydrated and make a nice switch from plain water. There are so many to choose from so try a few different flavours and see which you like best! We love fresh mint or fresh ginger and lemon.