If you’re one of the millions of adults who struggle with acne, you know that, unfortunately, we can’t always leave breakouts behind in our teen years. And while there are a variety of causes for acne — from hormones to pollution to chronic health conditions — staying hydrated is one of the best things you can do to help keep your pesky acne at bay.
Why Hydration is Essential for Healthy Skin
Staying hydrated is important to keep your skin healthy and clear. Acne is caused by oil and dead skin cells clogging up pores in the body. Dry skin produces more oil and is more likely to be clogged by dead cells. Studies have shown that drinking an additional 68 ounces of water daily significantly improves skin hydration.
Staying well-hydrated can also improve your immune system, supporting your body in fighting off infections — which in turn helps prevent acne. Many studies indicate that having a healthy immune system also keeps your skin’s microbiome strong and able to fight off acne-causing bacteria.
Unlike what many “detox” fads suggest, your body has its own internal detoxification system in your liver, kidneys and even your skin. Water helps carry nutrients through your body, flushing out toxins and heavy metals that naturally occur in your body.
How Much Water Should You Drink?
The amount of water you need to stay hydrated varies from person to person, and may change based on how active you are or what medications you are on. A standard way to figure this out is to take your weight and divide it by two: that’s how many ounces you should drink. A person weighing 200 pounds should be drinking, on average, 100 ounces a day or six cups a day. Talk to your primary care provider about your ideal water intake, especially if you are on prescription medications.
Your body also goes through daily cycles, so make sure you are drinking water at periods when you are more likely to be dehydrated, like when you wake up in the morning.
Serious or Stubborn Acne Could Be a Sign of a Health Condition
If you’re having prolonged issues with acne, there could be an underlying issue like a hormonal imbalance or infection. Find a doctor near you who can support your whole health and help you feel your best, inside and out.