Education, Physical Health, Wellness / Self-Care

Are we aging or just dehydrated?

*Asking for a friend*

words by: Natasha Marsh
Jun 8, 2021

Whenever my face looks puffy I can often track it down to my water intake. The more water I drink, the healthier my skin looks. And as it turns out, there is some science connecting dehydration to premature aging.


Many of the features associated with aging — fine lines, wrinkles, uneven tone or texture — can be linked back to water. Dehydrated skin is basically skin that lacks the moisture needed to have even texture, bounce, glow and plumpness. Essentially, hydrated skin equals youthful skin. So before you panic about aging skin and invest in anti-aging skincare products, let us explain.


Aging vs Dehydration

Premature aging, or rapid aging as it’s sometimes referred to, can occur when fat is lost beneath the skin or when you lose muscle or tissue. The result is “collapsed” skin and an aged appearance. The science bit: when the production of collagen (cells that promote tight skin) and elastic plummet and the epidermal layer thickens — skin will be dull, lifeless and more prone to wrinkles.


Whereas, dehydrated skin lacks water. Some examples are excessive alcohol consumption, abrasive weather conditions (think: wind and temperature changes), and drying ingredients (alcohol, retinol, and benzoyl peroxide) in some skin care products.


It’s important to note that if you are not drinking enough water daily, your skin can default to dehydration and actually exacerbate skin aging — a term experts call, chronic dehydration. When this occurs, your skin will not be able to function properly as the reproduction cycle of the skin’s cells will be too far impaired. Bottom line: dehydrated skin can cause aging.


What to do if your skin is dehydrated

Skin that is dehydrated will look tired, thin and feel oil or congested by layers of dry, tough skin. It can also chap, crack and be inflamed. And because dehydrated skin lacks bounce, it can accentuate fine lines and wrinkles, leaving you to think you’re suffering from premature aging.


Hydrated skin on the other hand is more plump and firm so fine lines are less obvious or disappear altogether. Our tip? Increase your water intake and see if it helps.


In case you fall into this category, trust that it is actually an easy process to reverse and genuinely happens quickly after you up your water game. If you hate the taste of water, you could also over-indulge in water-dense fruits like cucumber, watermelon and oranges. And for the overachievers, you can also invest in a humectant product (like hyaluronic acid) to help retain moisture.


And when in doubt, wear sunscreen! Often times the biggest skin issues are due to sun exposure.

Photo via Getty Images