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Dehydration is the skin's first attempt at telling you it is not coping and, if left untreated, its long-term effects can be catastrophic to skin health. Water retention and levels can be best described as the skin's communication system and are often referred to as ‘extracellular’ or ‘intracellular’ fluid, both referring to the water-like substance that either surrounds or is inside skin cells. Extracellular fluid is the communication center for all cells: it is how messages, hormones and substances are passed from one cell to another. If water levels in the epidermis are inadequate, the cells of the skin cannot communicate ultimately depleting skin health and destroying the skin's precious structure.

If the main role of the epidermis in the body is to act as a protective force against invading organisms, toxins, viruses, and free radicals as well as the formation of pigmentation, it is easy (and scary) to understand that if this structure is destroyed (by poor communication caused by dehydration) its innate purpose in the skin fails too.

Dehydration begins with an impaired skin barrier: water evaporates from skin when a stabilised combination of oils and lipids on its surface is missing (known as the skin’s barrier), meaning the acid mantle (the first line of defence against environmental elements) is key to rehydrating a poorly communicating dehydrated skin.

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