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Skin Dehydrated from the Summer Sun? Repair It from the Inside

A woman's sunburnt back.
Mallika Home Studio/Shutterstock.com

The summertime sun can give your skin a healthy glow, but the heat and constant exposure can also leave it dehydrated and nutrient-depleted. Here’s how to get the jump on dry, damaged skin and start repairing it from the inside.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

A woman drinking out of a blue Cactaki Water Bottle.

Drinking plenty of water is often the best solution for almost every physical problem (it makes up almost 60% of our bodies, after all), and dry skin is no exception. When it’s hot outside, we tend to perspire more and lose more of this precious liquid.

That’s why keeping track of your water intake is crucial for all of your body systems to function properly. From improving digestion and relieving muscle tension to keeping your skin plump and dewy-looking, few things can beat drinking water.

Try to drink at least eight to 10 glasses of water each day, if not more on particularly hot days, especially if you’ve also worked out or just been sweating more than usual. For some people, drinking enough water comes easily, while others might need some reminders throughout the day.

The following tips can help you meet your water quota each day:

  • Set alarms: Your phone can remind you every hour to sip some water.
  • Keep a water bottle with you at all times: Keep one on your work desk, near your bed, in your bag, and in your car.
  • Add a slice of lemon or lime: If you’re not a fan of the taste of water, this can make it more flavorful.

We like these Cactaki Water Bottles because they have time markers that remind you when to drink. By the end of the day, you’ll have met your hydration goal.

Eat Hydrating Foods

A cucumber and watermelon salad.
New Africa/Shutterstock.com

Hydration doesn’t always have to come from drinking water or other fluids. You can also get it from vegetables and fruits, along with additional vitamins and minerals. This makes hydrating foods the perfect partners for your fight against dehydration.

Try incorporating some (or all) of the following foods into your diet:

  • Cucumber
  • Bell pepper
  • Watermelon
  • Lettuce
  • Celery
  • Pineapple
  • Radishes
  • Melon
  • Citrus

All of the above are made up, predominately, of water. However, they’re also packed with tons of fiber and a variety of micronutrients, all of which are ready to be dispersed and absorbed into your cells.

There are tons of ways you can include these hydrating foods in your diet. Cut them up and toss them in a salad, make smoothies or smoothie bowls, turn them into homemade ice cream, or simply eat them raw.  Once you get a hang of it, you’ll form a healthy habit for every season, not just fall and winter.

Minimize Dehydrating Factors

A glass of water sititng next to a mug of coffee.

If you’re a coffee-lover, try to be more mindful about your caffeine intake during the summer as it’s commonly considered to be a diuretic. This means it causes you to lose even more fluids. The same goes for alcohol and very salty foods—they’ll leave you feeling parched.

Although completely avoiding all of the above would be your best option, it’s more realistic to minimize these dehydrating factors to the best of your abilities. Whenever you do consume them, always equip yourself with a glass of water to drink at the same time.

This might not completely offset the dehydrating effect of caffeine, alcohol, and salty foods, but it will at least help lessen the effects.

Eat Fewer Inflammatory Foods

Salmon on a plate next to a glass of milk, an egg, and a bottle of vitamin D.

Another easy way to deplete your skin of many necessary nutrients and water is by consuming processed foods, large quantities of sugar, or hydrogenated vegetable oils. All of these are known to be extremely inflammatory and harmful.

When these types of food enter your digestive system, they tend to cause an inflammatory reaction. All of your systems recognize these as toxins and will do everything they can to prevent their ingredients from breaking down and entering your cells.

Because that’s a much harder task than simply rejecting them from your body, it causes a spike in your stress levels and uses up your resources for fighting these unwanted particles.

Minimizing the amount you eat of these each day is a great way to prevent dehydration, as well as micronutrient depletion which causes skin breakouts and dryness. It’s far more difficult to correct these problems with just a facial cleanser and moisturizing routine.

Take Supplements

Due to the way food is grown and produced today, and the fact that soil is being severely depleted, it can be really difficult for us to get all the nutrients we need just from our food.

Although everyone needs different amounts of minerals and vitamins, finding high-quality supplements and taking them consistently will, undoubtedly, help your body’s functions work properly.

For example, studies have shown that vitamin D3 deficiency is almost epidemic, with worldwide numbers being terrifyingly low. Therefore, almost everyone could benefit from taking a vitamin D3 supplement.

We usually get it from the sun, but, as most of us now work indoors, we’re getting much less exposure that way. It’s also extremely difficult to absorb D3 via food—it would have to be highly bio-available to yield any results. Oh yeah, and you would have to literally live on sardines.

Taking a vitamin D3 supplement will nourish your skin, boost the production of collagen and melanin, and just generally help your skin stay healthy. It can also lower stress levels and increase the production of serotonin—the happiness hormone.

Another highly deficient micronutrient is magnesium, with studies showing that up to 75% of the population isn’t meeting the recommended intake.

Magnesium plays a role in more than 300 biomechanical reactions in the body, including improving the overall appearance of your skin, as well as reducing acne and other skin disorders. It also helps the body maintain proper nerve and muscle function and supports a healthy immune.

When you sweat, you flush a ton of magnesium out of your system, so summer is the most important time of year to replenish it. If you’re deficient in this crucial mineral, it can wreak havoc on your entire body, causing muscle cramps, acne, sleep disorders, bowel issues, and much more.

So, in addition to proper hydration and avoiding the things that drain it from your system, adding a few supplements can vastly improve not only your skin, but also your overall health.

Caring for your skin from the inside is really the only way to replenish the depleted nutrients and hydration levels that protect it and keep it looking plump and healthy. These tips can help you implement a new skin care routine that will address and correct any issues.

Karla Tafra Karla Tafra
Karla is a certified yoga teacher, nutritionist, content creator and an overall wellness coach with over 10 years of international experience in teaching, writing, coaching, and helping others transform their lives. From Croatia to Spain and now, the US, she calls Seattle her new home where she lives and works with her husband. Read Full Bio »
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