Before you reach for yet another glass of water, Essex skin expert, Sue Ibrahim would like to shed some light on some of the skin fads out there.
At Elan Medical Skin Clinic in Rayleigh we do not offer new technology or recommend certain skin care regimes until there is a wealth of clinical evidence to show they are safe and the results are clinically proven. Here are some myths that have no evidence base behind the advice.
Skin fad no.1 – drink 2 litres of water a day
It is claimed that drinking two litres of water a day is the amount we should drink for optimal health. This much water is said to benefit us in many ways from flushing away harmful toxins from our bodies, reducing lines and wrinkles, clearing acne, to helping us lose weight and fighting infections, among others.
But according to American paediatrician Aaron E. Caroll from Indiana University, there’s absolutely no science to back up the idea that we should be drinking eight glasses of water a day, and there never was.
In the New York Times in 2015 he wrote: “Contrary to many stories you may hear, there’s no real scientific proof that, for otherwise healthy people, drinking extra water has any health benefits.
“For instance, reviews have failed to find that there’s any evidence that drinking more water keeps skin hydrated and makes it look healthier or wrinkle free.”
The myth is widely believed to have started way back in 1945 in a food and nutrition board recommendation that was misquoted. News reports at the time – and since – seem to have left out the vital part that explains that the prepared foods we eat are likely to include most of the water we require.
Just think of all the foods we consume that include fluid, from fruit and veg, to soups and juices. And that leads us to the next myth…
The fluid we drink must be water
Nope, also not true. In fact there is loads of evidence to suggest that tea, coffee, fruit juice, alcohol, soup, stews all add beneficial fluids to our bodies. Yes, you did read that correctly – that includes tea, coffee and alcohol (in moderation).
We had previously been told that drinking caffeinated drinks and alcohol would dehydrate us and were diuretic. This means that they cause our bodies to expel more liquid than we have taken on. Science has debunked that myth time and again but it is firmly rooted in our beliefs.
If we feel thirsty it’s too late
In fact, a 2002 review by physician Heinz Valtin from Dartmouth University in the US found that we feel thirsty exactly when we are supposed to. So, if you feel thirsty listen to your body and drink something. And please remember that if you are exercising or battling an illness, you may very well need to drink more than usual in order to alleviate your thirst.
For skin care advice that is firmly back by scientific evidence, contact Elan Medical Skin Clinic.
Coming soon – Read our next blog for more myth debunking…