The short and happy answer is, yes; drinking water can absolutely help to combat acne. Despite its elegantly simple molecular composition, drinking sufficient amounts of water brings a ton of health benefits, rejuvenating your skin, being just one of them.
Did you know that 60% of the average adult human is composed entirely of water? Probably — it’s a well-known fact. But did you know that the brain and heart have a water content of roughly 74%, while the lungs are 83% water?
How about that our skin has a water content of 63%? H2O-my-gosh, am I right?
Over half of our skin is plain old water. That’s what gives skin its elasticity and keeps us looking and feeling fresh, but the thing to understand about water content is that it fluctuates.
You may not feel it, but our skin is constantly at work trying to retain as much moisture as possible to keep us looking vibrant and youthful — hurray, thanks skin!
But it’s not always capable of holding in as much moisture as it requires. Sometimes, if we’re not drinking enough, it’s because it doesn’t have the right amount of moisture to work with, but life can be hard on our skin in many other ways.
Things such as hormones, excessive bathing, using harsh soaps, and taking certain medications can also reduce our skin’s ability to hold on to that sweet, translucent miracle moisture.
As the moisture content in our skin drops from that 63% standard level, the chances of developing acne skyrocket. This is partly because skin-bound water has a number of jobs to do in order to keep our skin fresh, and one is to flush away toxins.
Contaminants are one of the main causes of non-hormonal acne, so it stands to reason that the more toxin-fighting liquids you can get into your system, the healthier your skin will become. Having said that, there is such a thing as too much water, but more on that later.
Water is also one of nature’s most effective natural anti-inflammatories, which is why arthritis sufferers are often advised to increase their water intake. It can have the same soothing effect on inflammation caused by acne.
Ultimately, drinking plenty of water fights acne by keeping our skin hydrated, which brings me to my next point.
Does drinking water help with oily skin?
If you’ve been suffering from acne or oily skin recently, instead of paying for some sort of chemical-infused solution from the chemist, your best bet is to start by drinking more water.
To understand why drinking more water will help, we should observe the causal chain of events that lead to these irritating and often painful skin conditions…
- Acne – Acne occurs when the sebaceous glands on the surface of our skin become plugged up. What is it exactly that blocks them? Well, these glands are attached to hair follicles, tiny holes in our skin that individual hairs grow out from.
Sebaceous glands release small amounts of an oily substance known as sebum in order to lubricate the hair from these follicles as well as our skin. Acne breaks out when these glands go into hyperdrive, producing way more sebum than is necessary. It mixes with dead skin cells and blocks the glands.
The takeaway here is that acne is caused by excessive sebum oil production.
- Excessive Sebum Production – Our sebaceous glands get kicked into fifth gear automatically when our skin is dry or flaky. It’s not their fault that it can eventually lead to flare-ups of acne. These clever glands are just trying to compensate for the lack of natural hydration in our skin.
The bottom line this time around is that excessive sebum production is caused by dry and flaky skin.
- Dry and Flaky Skin – Our skin becomes irritated when it doesn’t have high enough water content, as it’s water that’s responsible for keeping our skin supple and soft.
The reason we get dry and flaky skin? Low moisture content.
- Low Moisture Content – As we’ve already touched upon, life can be hard on skin, reducing its ability to retain moisture, but the best way to give it a helping hand is to drink lots of water. The more water we drink, the more our skin’s moisture levels will be replenished.
There you have it, folks. Acne is caused by oily skin – oily skin is caused by dry and flaky skin – dry and flaky skin is caused by low moisture content – low moisture content is caused by not drinking enough water.
Once you increase your water intake, you should start to notice that your skin isn’t quite as oily as before, and shortly thereafter, blemishes will start to fade away and stay away!
How much water should I drink a day to get clear skin?
The good news is that, for clearer skin, you don’t have to drink any more water than you already should be drinking for general health purposes, so you shouldn’t gorge yourself to see results.
As long as you drink the normal suggested amount, you’ll see improvements not just in your complexion, but across the board.
You’ll feel energized, your brain will function more efficiently, your digestive health will improve, your joints will be cushioned, your heartbeat will stabilize…it’s all good.
How much water you should be drinking depends on your activities and the weather. As a general rule of thumb, you should always consume at least 2 liters of water a day, which equates to around 8 glasses.
Do bear in mind; however, that 2 liters is the bare minimum. Even if you’re having a lazy day indoors with a moderate ambient temperature, you still need your 8 glasses of water to ensure your skin and all the rest remain on top form.
If you’re exposed to heat throughout the day, you’re going to have to add at least another four glasses of water to your hydration schedule, bringing your total intake to about 3 liters.
If you’ve got a particularly rigorous day planned or you plan on getting lots of exercise, drinking 4 liters of water is absolutely essential to ensure your skin remains hydrated and clear.
It can be difficult to kick-start an entirely new hydration schedule, especially in the colder months when you’re generally not as thirsty. I also found it hard at first, so I used a reusable time-marked drinking bottle like this BuildLife one to keep me up to date on my water intake.
From nails to skin and hair to makeup and even waxing and eye care, Steph loves it all. A firm believer in personal expression and style she’s rarely ready on time herself but loves helping others look their best.