Water plays a crucial role in good skin care. We asked our resident dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellett to explain how water works within the skin.
Cosmetics: To start, what role does the water play in the skin health? What functions does it perform?
Dr. Kellett: Water is a vital to our physiological functions including those of the skin.
Cosmetics: At what levels of the skin is water’s role most crucial?
Dr. Kellett: Water is crucial for all skin levels.
Cosmetics: Many people confuse the level of oil on the skin with the amount of water in the skin. Can you explain both for us?
Dr. Kellett: Sebaceous (oil gland) function acts to coat the skin to prevent the skin from drying out. It is unrelated to the amount of water on the skin.
Cosmetics: What role does a good moisturizer perform?
Dr. Kellett: A good moisturizer will prevent transepidermal water loss in the sin. Moisturizers have evolved to be less mineral oil-based so that acne breakouts are less frequent.
Cosmetics: What is the latest scientific research you’ve seen regarding skin hydration?
Dr. Kellett: The most interesting studies we’re seeing now is looking at how to repair damaged skin cells and how to reduce the amount of moisture lost through the skin.
Cosmetics: Why is it that drinking lots of water doesn’t necessarily boost moisture levels in the skin?
Dr. Kellett: There is no scientific evidence-based medicine that supports the notion that intravascular (blood) volume boots moisture levels in the skin. Drinking enough water is good for overall health as is proper diet and exercise.
Cosmetics: Is dry skin more susceptible to sun damage?
Dr. Kellett: Yes, dry skin can lose some of the intrinsic barrier function that normal skin possesses and therefore be more susceptible to sun damage. That’s true.
Cosmetics: Should the skin always be damp when applying a moisturizer?
Dr. Kellett: Yes, absorption of topical agents is increased if the skin is wet.
Cosmetics:What is the most important point readers should know about the skin’s relationship to water?
Dr. Kellett: That water intake and skin dryness can be unrelated and that you can get a sun burn in a swimming pool. Believe it or not, many people think that as long as you are under water you can’t burn.