Supermodel and Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi tells Us Weekly that one of her beauty secrets is drinking three liters of water every day to maintain her perfect skin.
"I pee a lot," she comments.
That's an understatement!
The "drink lots of water for your skin" myth is just as prevalent as the "drink eight glasses of water every day" one.
For some reason, celebrity and beauty magazines fully embrace it.
I suppose it provides Hollywood's glitterati a "beauty tip" to always fall back on when the question comes up.
Because, really, saying "kickass genes, expensive chemical peels, killer airbrushing, and a stylist at my beckon call" wouldn't sit well with readers.
Anyhow, allow me to explain why chugging water all day will not do much for your skin.
Hydration levels of our skin are largely determined by the sebaceous glands, located on the dermis (the layer of skin right underneath the one visible to the eye).
These glands are responsible for producing sebum, an oily, waxy-ish substance that helps protect water in our skin from evaporating.
Not surprisingly, insufficient natural lubrication is one of the main causes of dry skin.
External factors -- harsh temperatures, air conditioning, heat (especially in winter months when we are cooped up indoors), exposure to the sun, showering too often, and soaps made with strong chemicals -- decrease sebum production, as does aging.
From a nutritional standpoint, significant deficiencies in Vitamin A are associated with dry skin.
Drinking excessive amounts of water, however, is useless, as it will not penetrate the epidermis (the topmost layer of the skin), which is in need of excess hydration.
Let me be clear here. Getting enough hydration is definitely important, but this can be from variety of fluids as well as water naturally found in foods.
There is no need to chug down three extra liters of water every day.
The best thing you can do for you skin is apply moisturizer on a daily basis, especially right after a shower (this helps lock in moisture).
During winter months, humidifiers are also helpful in preventing overly dry indoor environment.
Although a great beverage -- and essential nutrient -- water is not a drinkable skin miracle potion.