So you may be wondering – what is this miracle product that can help your dull, tired-looking skin? You’ve tried loads of products already, how is this one any different?
Here’s a dead giveaway hint: it comes right out of your tap, at home.
Yes, we’re talking about plain old WATER. In urban settings, most people don’t consume enough of water in its plain form on a daily basis. Sure, we may be getting it in the form of our coffees, teas, fruit juices, as well as from our food. But drinking enough plain water is probably best for making sure the body functions as it should.
Best of all, it costs practically NOTHING.
So today, I’d like to quickly share how water plays a huge role in our body’s overall wellbeing, its effect on our skin health, and finally, throw you a super easy challenge that shows how you can visibly improve your skin’s appearance in just 10 days, from the inside out.
All without you spending a penny.
…you can visibly improve your skin’s appearance in just 10 days, from the inside out. All without you spending a penny.
What does water do for our body as a whole?
I’m sure you’re probably quite well-versed with the benefits of being sufficiently hydrated. Before I get into the effect it has on skin, let me highlight just a few things that this precious, but seriously overlooked resource does in your body:
- Water enables cell functions to be carried out normally, because the exchange of nutrients and toxins happen efficiently, with water as the metabolite.
- Improves cognitive performance (translation: helps you think more clearly)
- Allows the liver and kidneys to function optimally to cleanse the blood
- Makes it easier to clear the bowels, and regularly.
- Prevents bad breath (goodbye halitosis!) – a dry mouth is almost guaranteed to smell bad.
- Keeps your body from overheating on a hot day.
- Your muscles are less likely to cramp, especially during workouts.
- Could possibly reduce water retention around your body, by helping prevent a build-up of excess sodium from the food that you eat.
- Could potentially reduce your weight! There is a school of thought that your body retains water if it senses it doesn’t get replenished regularly, which means you carry added water weight if you’re dehydrated. I can’t find any scientific research to back this up, but there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that there may be some truth in this notion.
How does water influence our skin’s wellbeing?
- When toxins are routinely flushed out of the body, it helps to prevent inflammation, to a large extent. With regards to the digestive system, inflammation in the gut tends to show up on the skin in the form of eczema.
- When skin cells are properly hydrated, they give the skin a plumper, more luminescent (brighter, fairer) appearance.
- Plumper skin means less visible wrinkles!
- If you have oily skin, dehydration tends to make this even worse, because the skin tries to compensate for the lack of moisture by producing even more sebum to coat the skin. Getting your ideal level of hydration for the skin will cause sebum production to normalise.
Can you imagine – the water that you drink, that you get mostly out of your tap at virtually ZERO cost – does ALL that for you and your wellbeing. No expensive skincare / weight-loss products required!
How Much Water Should We Consume?
The quick answer is – it depends. For most adults, it is recommended that we take 3-4 litres of water daily – that’s roughly 12 cups (1 cup = 250ml) for women, and 16 cups for men. If you’re more active or live in a dry, or hot and humid climate, you’d need to have a slightly higher water intake.
Personally I go for 4 litres a day, which for me seems to be the “magic” tipping point where it makes a remarkable difference in my overall sense of comfort and wellbeing during the day. I tend to move around quite a bit, and live in a warm, humid climate.
Okay, Now What?
All that head knowledge is all well and good to know. Now, let’s just say you have a nagging thought that you aren’t getting enough water, and you KNOW you should do something about it. You’ve tried and failed to sustain this practice in the past, for whatever reason.
That’s okay, you don’t have to feel badly about it. It’s never too late to flip the proverbial switch in mindset, and try again.
So instead of beating yourself up about not sticking to yet another new year’s resolution, how about you try this little 10-day challenge so you can see for yourself just how quickly your skin can change, just by consuming enough plain water regularly.
We’re going to get you started on building a new (good) habit, and give you tips to set yourself up for success.
Are you ready?
The 10-Day Water Challenge For Visibly Better Skin
I did this for myself over a year ago, and it easily turned into a habit – something I don’t have to even think about, and yet it’s yielding benefits ALL the time – because I could SEE, and FEEL the difference it made in just over a week.
I’m sure you’ll be delighted with its results too (and perhaps even get some unexpected side benefits).
Things You’ll Need
- A notebook / your journal / whatever tool you normally use to record things on a daily basis
- A refillable water bottle (optional, but highly recommended)
What To Do
Step 1: Establish Your Baseline
- In your notebook, write down how you currently feel about your skin’s appearance, and your overall health. (E.g. “My skin is dry and requires constant moisturization; I feel groggy in the mornings and it takes a while to become fully alert” etc)
- How many cups / bottles of water do you currently consume? Write that down.
- Optional: note down your weight.
Step 2: Set Your Target Daily Water Intake
- I’d recommend 12 cups for ladies, and 15 for men, for best results. But in the end you just decide on a reasonable number to stick to.
- For example, my target is to drink a minimum of 4 x 750ml bottles of water every day.
- To kickstart your day, keep a cup of water next to your bed, so that you can drink it first thing in the morning when you wake up. That’s one cup accounted for already, without you even trying!
Step 3: Track Your Progress Daily
To borrow a quote from the father of management thinking Peter Drucker:
What gets measured gets done.
- Find a way to mark your progress though the day
- For example: In my journal, I draw 4 little water droplets for each day of the week, and every time I finish one bottle of water, I colour one water droplet in. I get a sense of satisfaction every time I colour one in, and even more so when all four are filled!
- Repeat daily. Don’t worry if you missed your target for a day or two – the idea is to aim for overall improvement, not perfection.
- See how good you are at reaching your daily water target. If you’re falling behind in a day, it’s easy to catch up!
Step 4: Evaluate
- At the end of the 10 days, look back at your Baseline and observe any changes you notice since then.
- Some questions you can ask:
- How do I feel in the mornings now?
- How is my mood throughout the day?
- Has my skin condition changed at all? If so, in what way?
- Has my weight changed at all?
- Most importantly: Was this challenge worth my time and effort?
Step 5: Celebrate!
You completed the 10-day streak of increasing your daily water intake, congratulations! Your skin’s appearance should have improved noticeably by now – how’s that for a reason to celebrate? Then again, feel free to find other fun ways to mark your accomplishment (and tell us about it!)
Tips To Help You Stay On Track
We understand – sometimes the wheels fall off for even the most enthusiastic and well-intentioned attempts to hit certain goals. Life happens. That’s okay. Here are some ideas to help you get back up:
- Do you keep forgetting to reach for a cup of water throughout the day? Set up reminders for yourself – use your phone’s alarm, set calendar notifications, find an exercise app that has this built in (I noticed the Fitbit app on my Android phone had a water tracking function too, that was quite fun to use – but that was over a year ago)
- If you’re the kind of person who gets antsy if you can’t keep a promise to someone, consider getting an accountability partner – tell a friend that you’re doing this challenge, and ask them to check up on you about it. Or better yet, ask them to do this water challenge along with you too!
- Bring a water bottle with you everywhere you go. Glass or stainless steel is best, so that it doesn’t get affected by the sun if you happen to leave it in your car.
“…but drinking plain water is so BORING…”
Ideally, swap out your sweet fruit juices and carbonated drinks for plain water, just for these 10 days. Remind yourself that you can go back to taking them after this challenge in done – but for now, just stick to plain water.
If you really find plain water a chore to drink because it’s tasteless, you can steep fresh fruits in them overnight, and keep them in the fridge if you prefer something cold and tasty (but I personally prefer, and recommend room temperature water. I tend to cough and feel tight-chested if I drink something that’s cold). Common and easy to find ingredients include lemons, mint leaves, cucumber and apple slices.
Notes and Precautions
Be prepared to go to the bathroom more frequently than usual. This is fine, and it’s normal – especially in the first few days of your challenge. Your body is actively flushing out excess water (remember what we mentioned about water retention earlier?). You will find that the frequency of bathroom visits will normalise after the first 3-5 days.
Oh, and imagine all the waste and toxins being carted out of your body so efficiently in those few days… isn’t that a great feeling?
Also, the irony is that your lips may seem drier than usual, because more water is passing over that skin over the course of each day. If this is the case, just apply a little of your favourite lip balm or lip gloss to keep your lips moisturized and protected. We have our own Double Duty Balm, if you’d like to consider an unscented option.
Although the general recommendation is to drink more water on average, please don’t go overboard – there is such a thing as water poisoning! Fatal cases involved people drinking too much, too quickly – one girl died from supposedly drinking 7.5 litres of water, just to win a game console. Talk about first world problems…
Are You Excited To Start? Because We’re Excited FOR YOU!
Sometimes the path to lasting improvement starts with the simplest little tweak in our daily lives. I do believe that taking this water challenge can only do you good (as well whoever else you encourage to join in!) – not just for your skin, but your overall wellbeing.
And I hope this will be the start of a lifelong healthy habit that you will find effortless to maintain.
We’re looking forward to hearing how this water challenge impacted your skin! Tell us your stories in the comments below.
Now get started on the challenge and –
Go Claim Your Healthier, Happier Skin For Yourself!
With all my best wishes for your journey to better skin.