Should you drink water to improve your skin? I have always thought it sounds believable, but there wasn’t any actual proof. But now there is a article in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science that furnishes some evidence.
It is a well written article and well designed study. Even so, the authors clearly set themselves high standards because they consider it simply to be a pilot study for some more detailed work. They are troubled by the fact that it is not a blind study. Trials of drugs are usually blinded so that the participants don’t know whether they are being treated with an active or a placebo. Clearly there is no practical way of blinding a trial that involves drinking two litres of water. I think in this case we will just have to live with the lack of placebo.
A total of 86 subjects finished the trial, which is quite a large number and enough to make the findings believable. I like papers where the authors are a bit reticent about drawing conclusions from their data. This makes what they do claim all the more believable. In fact you would be hard put to reading the paper to work out whether they think that the effects of the mineral water are beneficial or not. So as they haven’t, I will stick my neck out and say what I think of their results.
The observation that water intake can have any affect on the skin is quite interesting. The results seem to imply that at the very least the extra water intake leads to more water transfer across the skin so the skin is more hydrated. The fact that a difference can be observed between mineral water and tap water is even more intriguing. The better skin tone observed in the mineral water group is probably the result of the minerals. Calcium and magnesium were at a high level in the mineral water. My guess is that it is these minerals that are giving the benefits.
As the authors say in the paper, more research is definitely needed.
Many thanks to Daffodilious on Flickr for permission to use her fine image of a glass of water.
Original Reference: International Journal of Cosmetic Science Volume 29 Number 2 April 2007 S.Williams, N.Kruger, M.Davids, D.Kraus and M.Kerscher Effect of fluid intake on skin physiology: distinct differences between drinking mineral water and tap water