Most of us need to drink more water, but most of us can’t tell if we are dehydrated or not. We tune out the symptoms like headache, hunger or fatigue. But there is one little trick that is used in the health care industry that can let you know if you should drink more water.

The Skin Turgor Test

Used by health care workers, the skin turgor test is a quick way to tell if a patient is dehydrated. Skin turgor is your skin’s ability to return to normal, and this is also based on elasticity.

  1. Pinch the skin on the back of your hand between two fingers until it creates a little tent.
  2. Hold for a few seconds, and release.

Happy, healthy, hydrated skin snaps back almost instantly. Skin that creates a little tent for a few seconds after you let go is an indicator you need to drink more water. If you’re in your 40s or older, your skin may tent for 1-2 seconds before snapping back to normal. Skin turgor decreases with age, regardless of hydration levels. If your skin is still tented for 3-5 seconds, you should drink more water. Decreased skin turgor begins around 5% fluid loss. It is worth noting, if you are a moisturizer addict, your skin will likely snap back even if you are dehydrated.