Everyone has likely heard the same age-old skincare tip: drink water.
Water has been the most prescribed medicine in modern medicine. Headache? Drink water. Overheated? Drink water. Flu? Drink water. Proper hydration has always been the key to health.
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But, drinking water for better skin has always, at least to me, felt a little useless. Many celebrities and beauty influencers have touted water as their best-kept beauty secret in an aim to seem relatable and effortless while simultaneously neglecting to credit their thousand-dollar skincare routines, complete with regular facials and dermatology appointments.
But, can you actually drink your way to better skin?
Very Good Light decided to investigate if drinking water truly leads to better skin or if it’s all just a myth.
How does drinking a gallon of water help your skin?
Multiple studies have indicated that increased water intake can positively impact the skin.
One study, published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science in 2007, found that drinking over half a gallon of water for just four weeks improved the skin’s density. Denser skin means there is a higher presence of naturally occurring collagen and elastin. The more collagen and elastin present in a person’s skin, the less likely they are to develop wrinkles and fine lines.
Another done by the University of Missouri-Columbia increased skin’s blood flow, which decreases the possibility of dark undereye circles, skin discoloration, breakouts, and eczema flare-ups.
If your skin gets dehydrated, it can cause dryness, tightness, and loss of elasticity. Hydrated skin also decreases the chance of any potential skin itchiness.
How much water should I drink a day for clear skin?
So, how do you know how much water you should be drinking each day? That’s where it gets a little less clear. There are no explicit daily water consumption guidelines from scientific or governmental organizations – just general recommendations, and even some of those are disputed.
The common suggestion from many sources, including doctors, is around six to eight glasses, 48 to 64 fluid ounces, daily, though that has been disputed by some experts.
The CDC has made no recommendations on daily water consumption, but the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine generally suggests about 15.5 cups, or just under a gallon, for men and about 11.5 cups for women.
Is it OK to drink a gallon of water a day?
Drinking a gallon of water each day can be a lot to take on and some scientists feel a gallon may be a bit too much to drink daily.
Rather than aiming for a set goal each day, it is most important to drink water when you are thirsty. That may add up to a gallon a day but it may also be a little less. Each body is different and the amount of water needed to keep it healthy varies.
Does drinking a gallon of water a day help acne?
There has been no dermatological research connecting water consumption and acne, but it is entirely possible that consistent water consumption can help decrease breakouts.
The more hydrated the skin is, the less oil it produces. Excess oil production is the source of most breakouts, so by drinking more water, it is possible that production will decrease.
Increased hydration is also linked to better immune health. A strong immune system increases the likelihood of fighting off C. acnes, a type of acne-causing bacteria.