Thales, the Greek philosopher, suggested that water was the material cause of all things - he wasn't off the mark.
Water comprises not only 75 per cent of our planet Earth, but also 75 per cent of the human body. Do you know that our blood consists 90 per cent water and the brain is composed of 85 per cent water? This helps us to understand the significant role water plays in our lives.
Why is the body made up of so much water? Water helps remove toxic products that enter our body through air, food and skin. It carries nutrition to every cell and is an inherent part of most metabolic processes. Lack of water would dehydrate your body just in a way your car engine will stop running without oil.
Water does it best
Modernisation has its disadvantages. Modern cities have high levels of air pollution and dust which take their toll on our skin. Dust and pollutants, together with sunrays and humidity, block the facial pores and make the face look dull and lifeless.
Water flushes out these hazards, and plays an extremely important part in having a healthy skin - both from within and without.
For clean, healthy skin
- Use soap-free, water-soluble cleansing agents with lukewarm water. If you don't fancy the array of branded products, a home-made paste of gram flour and milk is a natural and gentle cleanser
- Massage the cleanser into the skin with a light upward and outward movement, using the middle, ring and little finger. This ensures that the pressure is just right. Pay particular attention to the grease on the nose, under the chin, neck and ear lobes
- Wash with plenty of lukewarm water. Washing face with very hot or cold water tends to break the small capillaries under the skin
- Dab gently with a cotton towel and gently massage a blob of water-based moisturiser on the face and neck. This ensures that the moisture is sealed into the skin.
- Exfoliate using a micro-granule scrub once or twice a week. Rub gently and wash off with lukewarm water. Remember to be extra gentle. Less is more when it comes to exfoliation.
Experts assert that cleansing is the most important step in skin care. Proper cleansing with water will clear the grime and dust from the surface of your skin, thereby allowing the pores to breathe. This results in a healthy glow.
Hydrating from within
Water is nature's wholesome beverage for your skin. What happens when you just spray your plant with water, but don't water it at the roots? The plant will dry and wither! Same is the case with our skin. Using any amount of cleansing agents, or cosmetics, on the skin will not have the desired outcome, if your body is not hydrated from within.
The well-known adage - "Face is the mirror of the mind," can very well be adapted as "Face is the mirror of the body."
Skin is a principal detoxifying organ, second only to the liver. It dissolves the toxic load in the body and excretes them through the kidneys. If this is not done, these toxins will escape through the skin pores in the form of unsightly breakouts.
What quantity of water should one drink everyday is a much discussed topic.
There is no one answer that fits all because our water requirement is affected by conditions like exercise, environment, illness and pregnancy. The rule of the thumb is: you would do well to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day. This helps the toxins to be flushed out leaving your skin fresh and radiant.
Keepin' Cool when the Mercury Soars
- Spice your water with cooling herbs. Boil a litre of water for two minutes. Take it off the heat and add 1/4 teaspoonful of fennel seed [saunf], some rose petals, and one clove. Store it hot inside a thermos, but before drinking pour it into a cup and let it cool to room temperature. If used over time, these herbs help stimulate digestion and cleanse the micro-channels of the body, allowing the water to hydrate the deeper layers of the skin.
- Stay away from liquids that dehydrate more than they hydrate. These are caffeinated beverages like colas, tea, coffee, and alcoholic drinks. Drinking ice-cold water extinguishes the digestive fires, leading to toxins that keep you away from a healthy skin. Drinking herbal tea, milk, and butter-milk will cool as well as hydrate.
- Go for foods that hydrate your skin. Ripe juicy fruits like watermelon and papaya are great sources of moisture. They also purify the skin leading to a glowing and clear complexion. Mashed fruits make a refreshing face mask.
- Bathe away the grime. Baths in hot months should be taken in lukewarm water, and for not more than 10 minutes. Prolonged baths can dehydrate the skin leading to early aging.
- Take a cooling massage. Gently massage your face with coconut oil enriched by cooling herbs or essential oils of lavender or grapefruit. These oils are available readily in several ayurvedic and lifestyle stores. Massage gently with finger-tips, taking care not to stretch the skin.
- Whether it is the Holy Ganga in India, or the sacred spring, Zamzam, in Mecca, water has long been associated with spirituality. People frequent spas and hydrotherapy centres to experience the soul-soothing and mind-relaxing properties of water. A relaxing bath with aromatic oils will not only hydrate your skin, but also ease your stress.
- Water your skin liberally and you will be rewarded with the fruits of a glowing complexion from within and without.
Why Water Is Good For You
- Promotes healthy skin. Water moisturises your skin from the inside-out and, in the process, helps maintain elasticity and suppleness. It also helps prevent dryness.
- Helps you lose weight. Increased consumption of water prevents you from mixing hunger with thirst. It keeps your body systems, metabolism and digestion, in proper shape, and also provides you the energy for exercise.
- Natural detox agent. Water flushes toxins out; its appropriate intake reduces the burden on your kidneys and liver.
- Reduces your risk of a heart attack. Yes! In a study, researchers at Loma Linda University, US, analysed more than 20,000 healthy men and women and found that people who drink more than 5-6 glasses of water a day were less likely to die from a heart attack, or heart disease, in contrast to people who drank less than two glasses a day.
- Acts as natural cushion for your joints and muscles. Since water makes up a large part of the fluid reserve that lubricates and cushions our joints and muscles, its intake before, during, and after exercise, can help reduce muscle cramps and premature fatigue.
- Prevents constipation. Appropriate consumption of water adds fluid power to the colon and bulk to stools - this makes your bowel movements soft and easy to expel.
- Improves hydration, energy and alertness. All of us, on an average, lose about 10 cups of fluid a day through sweat, exhalation, urine, and bowel movements. Did you know that even minor dehydration can lead to impaired memory, or concentration, headache, irritability, and fatigue? The solution? Adequate intake of water rejuvenates our body, memory, and concentration.
- Regulates body temperature. Sweating/perspiration is our body's natural mechanism to control body temperature. As we sweat, we need good amounts of water to make up the loss.
- Reduces risk of disease and infection. Water helps prevent the formation of kidney stone and minimises the risk of bladder, kidney, and urinary tract infections. Researchers evidence that women who drink more than five glasses of water a day have a 45 per cent reduced risk of colon cancer than women who consume less than two glasses a day.
- Promotes good health; eases illness and convalescence. Remember the good old adage, "drink plenty of fluids," when you are ill? Simple reason — water aids us to manage fevers, replenish lost fluids, and ease mucous secretions and accumulation.
- Team CW
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