Acne affects 80% of Americans between the ages of 12 and 44 to some degree, so chances are good that you or someone you know is well aware of the discomfort acne causes. Dermatologists say it’s the most commonly treated skin problem today, and a walk down the aisles of any pharmacy will speak to the scope of the problem. There are quite literally hundreds of over the counter products to help solve acne, and it’s not hard to see why. It hurts, it can harm self esteem, and if improperly treated acne can leave scars that last for life. Here I have provided the truth about drinking water for acne.
Why is Drinking Water So Important to the Body?
Drinking water is absolutely essential to your health. The human body is 60-70% water, yet many people overlook drinking the proper amount of water each day.
How Does Drinking Water Help Prevent Acne?
It is a little known fact that dehydration is one of the main underlying causes for acute or chronic acne. Acne is caused by hormonal imbalances that can be triggered by puberty, a woman’s menstrual cycle, and a variety of other factors. However, our complexions and self esteem need not be bound to hormone spikes. Being properly hydrated has shown to help aid in hormonal regulation, which in turn helps control acne. Skin is the largest organ in the body, and so it is no surprise that it is the most affected when you are improperly hydrated. Acne is caused primarily by an overproduction of oil in skin pores. This overproduction is primarily caused by inherent skin dryness, which generally causes an overproduction of oil that then clogs pores.
Additionally, water serves to flush out toxins from your body, and when you are dehydrated, these toxins become trapped in the skin, which contributes to acne breakouts. However, water does not directly affect oil production. It’s a good first line of defense that will aid in your overall health as well as helping your skin, but if you’re getting more than the occasional pimple, it might be best to look into a topical ointment as well, such as salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, or a doctor-prescribed retinol cream.
What Type of Water is Good for Acne?
There is little evidence that the kind of water you drink has any effect on your health, as long as it is safe to drink. Hard water doesn’t do anyone much good, so if you live in an area with hard water as over 85% of Americans do, and consider a water filtration system. However, well water and municipal water are generally perfectly fine and more or less equivalent in their health benefits. As long as the water is safe to drink and not going to cause any additional health problems, you’ll reap the benefits.
How Much Water Should You Drink Per Day to Get Rid of Acne?
It is recommended that you drink 5 oz to 1 oz per pound, per day. The lower end of the scale is fine if you are mostly sedentary and not moving around in hot environments much. The more active you are and the hotter your environment, the more water you need to drink to stay hydrated. Of course, staying hydrated comes with a myriad of other health benefits, like improved kidney and liver function, reduced risk for blood clots and kidney stones, and improved metabolism.
Will Drinking More Water Cure My Acne?
Drinking more water is certainly good, but there does come a tipping point where more water is actually detrimental to your health. If you drink too much water too fast, your cells can burst and cause other, also very serious issues. Sticking with the recommended amount of water is probably your best bet, and honestly, you likely won’t want to drink much more water than that anyway.
Is Hard Water Causing Your Acne Breakouts?
Earlier we touched on hard water, and while it is safe to drink, it may not be so harmless on your skin. There is emerging research that the heavy metals in hard water may be clinging to the surface of the skin, creating a soap scum that then sinks into pores and clogs them. Even products that are comedogenic can cause problems if you use hard water to wash your face; the products stick to the heavy metals like iron, calcium and magnesium and wreak havoc on your pores. Of course, this research is new, and some dermatologists insist that as long as you use a gentle cleaner and moisturizer, your skin can adapt to any kind of water.
Still, if you’re having pernicious issues with acne and you’ve tried everything else, it may be worth switching to anhydrous (without water) products or bottled water. It may seem a little extravagant, but it’s worth a try for the sake of your complexion.
Does Drinking Lemon Water Help Acne?
There is some debate over the benefits of drinking lemon water to help with acne. Some people swear by it, but since there have been no scientific studies to back up these claims, no one can say for sure. Still, it can’t hurt to try. The juice from half a lemon mixed with half a glass of water, drunk first thing every morning is the recommended dose, and proponents of the treatment claim they’ve seen tremendous benefit. At worst, it’s extra vitamins and water, which is never a bad thing, and at best it may really help with chronic acne.
It is recommended that you drink this lemon/water mixture through a straw to avoid contact with your teeth; lemons are very acidic and too exposure much could cause damage to tooth enamel. Similarly, it is not recommended to drink a lot of lemon water during the day. Because of the high acidity, it has the capacity to cause mild heartburn and to inflame any gastric issues you may already have.
Coconut Water for Acne
There is also some circumstantial evidence that drinking coconut water or applying it topically may have some of the same benefits as lemon water, as well as being beneficial applied topically. Truly, any water that you drink and any vitamins that you consume will have a positive effect on your overall health; whether it’s possible to say definitively that drinking lemon or coconut water is a cure for acne, it’s impossible to say.
Hot Water and Cold Water
The temperature of the water has little effect on acne one way or the other; the only benefits to drinking warm or cold water is that cold water lowers your core body temperature, which may burn a few additional calories by forcing your body to heat up, and warm water makes you feel fuller, leading to eating less. Because diet is such a huge part of what causes acne, either one could be potentially helpful. You will just have to use your best judgment as to what seems most appropriate for any given situation.
To conclude, drinking water of any kind has a myriad of benefits both for your skin and your health in general. Drinking proper amount of water, but not more, will ensure the most positive effects for your skin and body.