Does Drinking Water Help With Acne?

We all know that staying hydrated is vital for our skin health. But does drinking water help with acne or is it only a myth?

December 18, 2021 5 minutes read
Woman drinking water

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Did you know that more than 60% of the human body is made of water? Another fun fact: Did you know that we can go without food for up to 21 days, and without water only for about three days, on average?

Therefore, water is essential for the body's major systems and not just for quenching the thirst. And the consequences of insufficient water intake are quickly reflected on our skin – the first visible signs of dehydration are pronounced dark circles, dry skin, and, believe it or not, acne.

So, will drinking enough water make that acne disappear?

Let's find out!

How Does Water Impact the Skin?

Skin is the largest organ in our body. And just like any other organ, it's composed of cells that need water to function properly. When dehydrated, our skin becomes less resilient and more prone to dryness and wrinkling.

Likewise, dry skin cracks more easily, allowing bacteria to end up in its deeper layers, causing acne. So, water impacts our skin in many different ways, all of which are essential for acne-free and clear complexion:

#1: It Hydrates the Skin.

So, we've already established that well-hydrated skin is a prerequisite for healthy and acne-free skin. In addition, water improves blood circulation and the delivery of nutrients into the skin – one of the main precursors to a beautiful and healthy complexion.

#2: It Flushes Out the Toxins.

Drinking enough water flushes the toxins out of our body and our skin. Without toxins, our skin can breathe and function properly. Also, drinking enough water cools our bodies which in turn reduces sweating. And since we know that sweat plus dust and bacteria equals acne, this is another argument in favor of drinking enough water.

#3: It Reduces Sebum Production.

Excess sebum (our natural oils) production is often linked to acne. Excess sebum leads to clogged pores and increased bacterial growth, resulting in inflammation and pimples. If your skin is well hydrated from the inside, it won't compensate for the lack of water with excessive oil production. And less oil usually means less acne.

#4: It Improves Skin Tone and Texture.

Since drinking enough water increases blood flow to the skin, it provides it with a steady supply of nutrients. As a result, the tone and texture of the skin become more even and supple.

#5: It Prevents Premature Aging.

As mentioned above, dry and dehydrated skin is more prone to cracking and wrinkling as it usually lacks elasticity. Drinking enough water will make your skin more plump and bouncy, preventing sagging and premature aging.

#6: It Supports Immune Function.

Staying hydrated is of paramount importance for a healthy immune system. With a strong immune system that functions properly, our bodies can better fight off infections, preventing acne in the long run.

#7: It Maintains a Healthy Gut.

Our gut health is often reflected on our skin. Drinking enough water aids proper digestion, which is responsible for maintaining a healthy gut. It regulates bowel movements and the flushing of toxins through feces and urine. With this whole process running smoothly, our gut is healthy, and so is our skin.

Ways to Make Water Taste Better

three jars of water with fruit slices in them

If due to the lack of taste in water, you often resort to other, more flavor-packed options in the store, like flavored water and juices full of sugar and additives, you could try adding some fruit or spices to your water to jazz it up a bit and make it tastier and healthier.

Here are several ideas to make your water taste better:

#1: Add Lemon, Lime, or Orange Slices.

lemon slices in a bottle of water

Those lemon wedges you get with your water in restaurants are more than just a garnish. Vitamin C in lemons, limes, and oranges boosts your immune system and stimulates collagen production, keeping your skin clear and youthful. Plus, these will make your water super refreshing. You could also squeeze some lemon juice and add it to your morning glass of water.

#2: Add Slices of Ginger.

ginger and lemon slices in a tea

Ginger is widely known for its many health benefits, including helping digestion and decreasing inflammation. So besides making your water spicy and aromatic, it will have endless benefits for your acne-prone skin. So slice ginger roots and add them to your bottle of water to sip throughout the day. You could also grate, boil, and steep it like tea, the perfect beverage for cold winter days.

#3: Infuse It With Fresh Mint Leaves or Basil.

two glasses of water with lemon slices and mint leaves

Mint is an excellent digestive, while basil is full of anti-inflammatory agents. These are also chock-full of flavonoids, powerful antioxidants that protect your skin and make it look younger and fresh. Together, they make a powerful duo but are just as tasty and potent separately. Just remember to use fresh leaves and let them soak in your bottle of water for a while before drinking it. This will allow all the nutrients to seep into it.

#4: Add Cucumber Slices.

bottle of water with cucumber slices

Cucumbers contain vitamins and minerals essential for your skin health. Cucumber-infused water would be perfect post-workout as it can also promote muscle recovery. Likewise, it's excellent for your acne-prone skin, reducing inflammation and keeping it de-puffed.

#5: Fancy It Up With Some Fruits.

two glasses of water infused with watermelon and melon

You can add watermelon, melon, or kiwi slices to your bottle of water. These are packed with skin-loving vitamins and ingredients. Aside from being super sweet and tasty, they are also very beneficial for your skin. You can even take it up a notch and add some crushed berries to your water. Whatever berries you choose, you won't make a mistake as they are all full of antioxidants, keeping your skin young, healthy, and acne-free.

How Much Water Should You Be Drinking Per Day?

woman holding a glass of water and a glass of milk

According to experts, women need about 2.7 liters of water per day, while men need about 3.7 liters. This includes water intake through certain foods, like soups, plant-based milk, and other water-rich foods, like watermelons or cucumbers.

However, your daily water intake needs will depend on your weight and activity level on that day. So, some rule of thumb would be to drink at least eight glasses of water (or 2 liters) a day to make sure you stay hydrated. Essentially, never feeling thirsty is a good indicator you're well-hydrated.

Too much water can be equally as harmful as drinking too little. Excessive amounts of water can lead to overhydration, also known as water intoxication. This usually makes salts and other electrolytes in your body, important for your heart function, too diluted, which can be fatal. The most common symptoms of overhydration are headache, nausea, vomiting, disorientation, confusion, muscle weakness and spasms, blackouts, seizures, and even coma.

Is Water Enough?

While water is the healthiest drink there is, playing a key role in our overall health, it probably won't be enough to heal your acne.

Acne is a specific problem that must be addressed on several fronts, inside and out. This means checking your hormones and other possible acne causes to make sure you know the root of the problem. Furthermore, it would be best to treat your skin from the outside as well, using skincare with salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, tea tree oil, sulfur, and retinol.

And lastly, you might have to change your diet too. You should avoid eating fried, too salty, and sugary foods, as these can all contribute to acne. Instead, base your diet on fresh fruits and veggies, unprocessed meat, and other foods full of vitamins and fibers.


Water can indeed do amazing things for your overall health and your skin. From fighting aging to helping with acne, it truly is a miracle drink. So make sure to make drinking water a habit and a part of your daily routine (carry a bottle of water everywhere you go) – both your body and your skin will be immensely grateful.

how water helps with acne infographic


How much water should I drink to get rid of acne?

It will all depend on your level of activity on a particular day as well as your weight. Experts say that an average person needs about eight glasses of water per day which is approximately 2 liters.

Can drinking water reduce acne?

Yes, staying hydrated from the inside has an impact on the level of sebum production of your skin. If you're dehydrated, your skin will compensate by producing more oils, leading to clogged pores and acne.

How fast can acne clear up?

It depends on the root of the problem. For example, hormonal acne or adult acne caused by hormonal imbalances is a long-term problem that needs medical treatment. While regular pimples and impurities usually need about a week or ten days to clear up.

Does milk cause acne?

Some research claims that cow's milk has a potential comedogenic effect on the skin, causing oily skin and acne. This is partially due to the hormones produced by cows during pregnancy. These hormones stimulate insulin-like growth factor 1 which can cause acne.

What drinks help clear acne?

Drinking enough water and staying hydrated throughout the day is vital for skin health and keeping acne at bay. You can infuse your water with other ingredients that have anti-inflammatory properties, such as ginger, mint leaves, lemon, basil, cucumber, and berries.

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