Mayo Clinic Health Library

Question

Hydrated skin: Does drinking water help?

Does drinking water cause hydrated skin?

Updated: 12-14-2012

Answer

Although proper hydration is important for your overall health, it's not clear whether drinking extra water affects skin hydration in healthy people.

Skin is made up of three layers — the outer layer (epidermis), the underlying skin (dermis) and the subcutaneous fat tissue. If the outermost layer of the epidermis doesn't contain enough water, skin will lose elasticity and feel rough. Despite this connection, however, there's a lack of research showing that drinking extra water has any impact on skin hydration or appearance.

If you're looking to maintain hydrated skin, there are steps you can take, including:

  • Avoid exposure to dry air
  • Avoid prolonged contact with hot or chlorinated water
  • Use a gentle cleanser instead of soap
  • Avoid using skin care products that contain alcohol
  • Moisturize immediately after a bath or shower and regularly throughout the day
  • Use a humidifier
  • Wear a scarf and gloves when going out in cold weather

If you're concerned about dry skin, contact your health care provider or a dermatologist.

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