As someone who suffered from pretty bad acne in my teenage years, I was constantly looking for the face product or skincare routine that would end acne once and for all. Back then I was turning over every rock to try and find that one solution. From my experience, there are definitely face products and skincare routines that help to reduce acne. However, what I struggled to realize back then was that for most people, acne is a part of going through those teenage years. While creams, antibiotics and skincare routines help, it is equally important to main a healthy lifestyle in order to reduce acne. A healthy lifestyle includes eating foods high in nutrients, exercising regularly, and staying hydrated. In this article, I take a closer look at how hydration and acne are related, and if drinking water can help acne.
Does Drinking Water Help Acne?
There is more to this question than a simple yes or no. But before we can answer it, let’s back up a bit.
Water is an essential part of your body, in fact, the human body is made up of over 60% water. Keeping properly hydrated is important so your bodily fluids can transport nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Adequate hydration is also important for removing toxins and waste from your body.
In its simplest form, dehydration occurs when your body is losing more fluids than it is receiving. When your body is in a dehydrated state, it doesn’t have an adequate amount of water to transport nutrients or flush out toxins. So yes, drinking water definitely helps your body fight acne, but no, drinking water will not cure your acne once and for all.
Drinking water can help fight acne by keeping your skin hydrated, flushing out toxins, and reducing inflammation. I’ll discuss each one of these in more detail below.
1. Drinking Water Can Help Acne By Keeping Skin Hydrated
It should be noted that dehydrated skin and dry skin are two different things.
Dry skin is a skin type, and it is in relation to the amount of oil your body produces, it is not influenced by external factors. Dehydrated skin is a result of your body not receiving enough water, and it is influenced by external factors.
Dehydrated skin can appear dry for periods of time, but it is not the same as having a dry skin type.
Your skin can become dehydrated from hot showers, spending extended periods of time in air-conditioned buildings, sunburns, alcohol consumption, and a lack of sleep.
These external factors can leave your skin feeling tight, itchy, and looking dull. Symptoms of dehydrated skin can affect your acne as described below.
- Tight And Itchy: Generally, acne medication and over the counter creams cause your skin to dry up. Acne medications are purposely designed this way to remove excess oil from your skin. This leaves your skin feeling tight and itchy. As you itch, dirt can be transferred from your hands to your face which can result in further breakouts. A moisturizing face lotion can help reduce dry skin caused by acne medications. However, drinking water can help fight acne by keeping skin hydrated in the first place.
- Dull Looking Skin: A build-up of dead skin cells on the surface of your skin can result in a dull coloration. Dehydrated skin can slow the process at which your dead skin cells are replaced by new ones. This can contribute to clogged pores and increase acne breakout.
For more information on how hydration (or lack thereof) affects your skin, have a read of the article we recently wrote How Does Dehydration Affect Your Skin.
2. Drinking Water Can Help Acne By Flushing Out Toxins
Adequate hydration will help flush your body of toxins, including ones built up on your skin. Apart from acne related to hormones, one of the largest contributors to acne breakouts are clogged pores.
Furthermore, these clogged pores can be a result of dead skin cells, bacteria or oil. Drinking enough water will help to remove the toxins that are clogging your pores.
3. Drinking Water Can Help Acne By Reducing Inflammation
Drinking water and staying adequately hydrated can help reduce inflammation throughout your body, not just inflammation caused by Acne. When your skin is dehydrated it lacks nutrients to protect itself.
This can result in your skin becoming more irritable and sensitive to external factors such as pollution, germs, and bacteria. Skin that is hydrated will be able to reduce inflammation from acne, as well as protect itself from external factors.
How Much Water Should I Drink To Clear Acne?
As discussed above, drinking water alone will not cure your acne. However, drinking water is important to keep your body adequately hydrated which will help fight acne.
Doctors and hydration specialists have come up with various statements over the years that relate to the amount of water you should drink in order to stay hydrated.
One theory that is often recommended, and many individuals have heard of, is the 8×8 rule. The rule states that you should be drinking eight, 8-ounce glasses of water a day.
While this amount might be a good baseline for some individuals, for others it might be too much or too little. The amount of water an individual requires to stay hydrated is different for each person and can be influenced by various external factors.
To keep your body adequately hydrated to help fight acne, you should be regularly drinking water when you are thirsty. Keep in mind that your body loses more fluids during exercise, when sick, and in warmer climates. So be sure to compensate accordingly if you find yourself in one of those scenarios.
Does Drinking Water Help Acne Scars?
Drinking water will not get rid of acne scars on its own. However, consistent with the theme of this article, drinking water and staying hydrated is important for the health of your skin.
When your skin is well hydrated, it is more effective at removing dead skin cells, and over time can help to reduce the appearance of scars. However, talk to your dermatologist who can suggest over the counter products, prescribe medication, or perform medical treatments for reducing acne scarring.
Tips For Staying Hydrated
Many individuals are aware of the importance of staying hydrated, but a lot of people still struggle to consume enough fluids each day. We live busy lives, and our attention is constantly occupied by friends, family, work, smartphones, social media, etc.
Without setting reminders or daily hydration goals, many of us often forget to consume an adequate amount of water. Below are some tips and products to help you fight acne by keeping your skin hydrated.
1. Get A Reusable Water Bottle
Purchasing a reusable water bottle can help keep you accountable to drink a consistent amount of water each day. Fill your water bottle up once in the morning, and aim to fill it up again at lunchtime.
It is a lot easier to track how much water you are drinking and achieve hydration goals when using a water bottle. Keep it with your throughout your day and take sips throughout the day as you are thirsty.
We recently wrote an article titled Best Water Bottle For Daily Use, our top pick was from Hydro Flask. It is a vacuum insulated, stainless steel water bottle that can keep contents cold for up to 24 hours. You can read the full article if you are interested, or check out the Hydro Flask water bottle on Amazon here.
2. Eat Foods Rich In Water
Drinking water is not the only way to replenish fluids. We consume a lot of water from the foods we eat.
Foods rich in water are generally a healthy snack, and a great way to increase our daily water intake. Fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon, peaches, lettuce, cucumbers, celery, and tomatoes all have a high water content, as well as soups, and broths.
3. Try Fruit Infused Water
Many people complain about how boring and bland water is, and instead turn to sugar-filled or caffeinated drinks. Limit these types of drinks whenever possible.
Instead, try fruit infused water. It is healthy, refreshing, tasty, and isn’t filled with sugar or caffeine. We recently wrote an article, What To Put In A Fruit Infuser Water Bottle, where we review our favorite recipes. If you are getting bored with water, have a read through this article and try out one of the recipes.
The focus of this article was around the question: does drinking water help acne? As discussed above, drinking water helps your body fight acne, but it won’t cure you of acne once and for all.
Staying hydrated will help your acne by keeping your skin hydrated, flushing out toxins, and reducing inflammation.
The amount of water you should drink to help acne is different for all individuals. However, to stay properly hydrated you should be drinking water regularly when you are thirsty.
Keep in mind that your body loses more fluids in warmer climates, during exercise, and when you are sick. So be sure to drink more water in those circumstances.
Finally, we ended the article with some tips on how to stay hydrated. These include purchasing a reusable water bottle, eating foods that are rich in water, and trying fruit infused water.
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Facts for this article are referenced from credible sources. For further information, please read the referenced article from the following organization:
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- Can You Drink Too Much Water? (Dangers Of Water Intoxication)
- How To Drink More Water (16 Easy Tips You Can Do Daily)
- Why Does Flying Dehydrate You? (And 3 Tips To Prevent It)