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The first time I heard about regularly drinking a gallon of water every day was a few years ago when I signed up with a hardcore trainer. He insisted that all that extra water will help with weight loss, muscle gains, hydration and "flushing your system of toxins." Now that I'm dealing with a much colder and dryer climate than Houston, the extra hydration part has gotten more important. I've tried topical solutions to combat dryness to some success, but what about hydration from the inside out? 

Skin is an organ, made of cells, just like any other part of the body. And to function well, these cells need plenty of water. Not getting enough water is certainly a health issue, but it can show up in your skin as well in the form of tight, dry, flaky and wrinkly skin. Since this is what I'm currently experiencing, no amount of topical treatment will mitigate my skin issues if I'm not hydrating enough. If you've ever struggled to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day, drinking a gallon is about double that. It sounds extreme, but maybe this is just what I need. 

Drinking a gallon of water is not easy. I had to make it a priority. I started by recalling what that trainer had suggested—literally carrying a gallon of water around with me and making sure it was finished before bed every night. This is cumbersome, but I did it for a few weeks to see what effect it had on my skin quality. Another option is to download a water intake tracker app like WaterLogged

The biggest effect I noticed in the beginning—besides how annoying it is to drink one gallon of water a day—is the trips to the bathroom every 20 minutes. This must be the magic of hydration at work, right? After a couple of weeks I started to notice some serious changes—more energy, lack of headaches, lack of hunger, better digestion. I could go on and on. I even managed to lose a couple of pounds, though I think that has more to do with a lack of water retention than actual fat loss.

In terms of physical appearance, my skin cleared up beautifully and I had a lovely glow that I didn't want to cover up with makeup. Was my hair extra shiny? Possibly, but I'm not sure that's from the extra water in my system. Even with those positives,  it didn't really do anything for my dry, flaky patches or to moisturize my skin the way coconut oil did. 

My plan is to continue to drink plenty of water a day, though a gallon is a little extreme. I'm happy with the results, but I'm disappointed it didn't make a huge difference in my goal to combat dry skin. What I'm learning from this dry skin challenge is I need to use a combination of solutions to tackle the problem. 

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