The truth about water and acne:
Drinking plenty of water benefits your body in many ways, and one in particular is healthy skin. While water is not the cure-all to your acne problems, a steady flow of H20 will help your fight against breakouts. So, how does drinking water help acne?
How drinking water helps acne:
About 70% of your body is water. Much of this is the fluids circulating through your body including blood, lymph, mucus and others. These fluids serve two primary purposes for your organs: (a) to carry nutrients and vitamins, and (b) to flush out toxins and waste products. As your skin is the largest organ of the human body, it is affected when you don’t drink ample amounts of water. Those toxins, bodily waste, and even bacteria can be trapped within your skin without adequate hydration to flush them out, which can increase your likelihood of acne.
“Skin cells require water to function properly. Dehydration causes damage, accelerated aging, and inability to heal properly,” says Dr. M. Christina Lee, a dermatologist from Walnut Creek, CA. “All skin conditions and diseases would become worse in a body not receiving proper nutrition or adequate hydration.”
Water is better than the alternatives:
Drinking water also helps your acne in an entirely different way. When you are quenching your thirst with H20, you stay away from consuming other high-glycemic beverages which may affect your acne like soft drinks and milk. By substituting out these other drinks, you improve your overall diet as well as your skin.
8 Glasses a day keeps the doctor’s away:
The Institute of Health suggests that adequate intake of water for females is 9 cups a day and for males is 13 cups. This comes out to roughly 11 glasses of water every day. Drink up, your body (and your skin!) will thank you.
Water isn’t a miracle cure:
Drinking water, however, is not the cure-all for pimples. Hydrating helps your skin self-moisturize and cleanses your cells of built-up waste, but It does not directly affect your oil production. For many, over-production of oil is the main cause of their acne. To combat excess oil, treatment is necessary. For those with very mild acne, some over-the-counter products might be all you need. For those with moderate to severe acne, a prescription medication may be necessary, which can only be obtained through a dermatologist.
In conclusion, staying well hydrated has major benefits for your skin. It fights dryness and gets rid of unnecessary toxins. This can definitely help clear up your acne, but for some it will not be enough to rid yourself of breakouts.
If you have more than the occasional pimple…
Fortunately, topical retinoids are not hard to obtain. All you need is to do is consult with a dermatologist, who will write you a prescription for the medication. If you don’t already have a dermatologist, or if you want a more convenient way to get consultations, take a look at our online dermatology service (only available in California).
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- Staff, Mayo Clinic. “Water: How Much Should You Drink Every Day?” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 12 Oct. 2011
- Lee, M. Christine. HealthTap. “I heard that water helps your skin conditions. Is this true?”
- Staff, ZocDoc”How Does Drinking a Lot of Water Help Your Skin?” ZocDoc.