how much water should i drink to clear acne

There’s no arguing the fact staying hydrated is important for the health of our skin and entire body. However, some sources say we should drink 64 ounces (eight 8-ounce glasses) per day, while others insist that one gallon is what you need…especially for clearing pimples. With such a wide range of recommendations, you might be feeling confused and frustrated as you wonder “how much water should I drink to clear acne?”

After doing some research on this question, here’s what I learned:

The amount of water you need to drink in order to clear acne will vary depending on other factors like your diet, your environment and even, your activity level. For some people, the standard recommendation of 64 ounces is sufficient for clear skin, while others may need less or even, twice as much.

In addition, other factors – such as your age and the overall state of your health – also affect how much water you need. In general, when a person is sick or has a health issue the body needs more water.

Since acne is a visual indicator that there’s an underlying health issue (i.e. inflammation) that means most people with acne will need to drink more water.

But what does more water mean? Well, that’s what we’re going to discuss in this article. So, keep reading it you’d like to learn more about:

  • A quick and easy way to ensure that you’re getting the right amount of water for you.
  • Simple ways to increase water intake without relying solely on plain water.
  • Why you should care more about hydration and not just how much water you’re drinking.

But before we dive into all of those things, let’s start with the basics and look at why water is important for clear skin.


1. Water Supports Detoxification

Detoxification is a multi-step process that involves various organs, such as the liver and colon.

When it comes to the liver, it’s job is to “clean” your blood and basically filter out toxins. And one of the many things that the liver needs in order to function properly is good old water!

Now, once your liver has filtered out those toxins, they have to exit your body. This happens through urine and, most of all, bowel movements.

Once again, water is one of the many essential ingredients for healthy bowel movements. In this case we’re talking at least 1 bowel movement every single day. 

As basic as all this sounds, some research indicates that many people who struggle from constipation are simply not drinking enough water (source).

And if you’re not eliminating regularly, then those toxins stay in your body where they can contribute to more inflammation and acne..

2. Water Supports Healthy Blood Sugar Levels

Blood sugar spikes are known to contribute to excess sebum production and subsequently, acne.

Interestingly enough, when blood sugar is high, the body naturally tries to lower it eliminating the excess sugar through urine (source).

So, drinking enough water helps this natural process to function as effortlessly as possible and in the long-term it can be beneficial for your skin.

3. Water Plays A Role in Balancing Cortisol Levels

So, we all know that cortisol is the stress hormone. And more stress means more cortisol production, which leads to more sebum and down the line, more breakouts.

In addition, every single cell in the body needs water (and other things too!) for optimal function.

Now, guess what happens if we don’t drink enough water? The body is now working at a deficit, which puts it under stress!

As a matter of fact, some research shows that being dehydrated raises cortisol. Also, the more stressed out you are the more water you lose because stress causes your heart rate and breathing to increase (source).

Yep, it’s a vicious cycle, but it’s one that you can break once you understand how to stay hydrated (more on that shortly!).

4. Water Helps to Nourish the Skin

Approximately 55% of blood is plasma and just over 90% of that plasma is water (source). This is an important detail to be aware of because plasma carries various nutrients including vitamins, minerals and amino acids (which are the building blocks of collagen and elastin, for example).

And even though the skin can get some nourishment from the right topical products, the true nourishment comes from the blood that is supplied to the skin.

So, where does water fit into all of this? 

Well, water keeps the blood fluid so that it can easily travel to where it needs to go. 

Without sufficient water intake, blood volume decreases, leading to thick blood that can’t travel quite as easily through the body. If this persists, it could mean diminished nutrient supply to the skin.


Although consuming 8 or more cups of water per day is the standard recommendation, the best way to quickly determine how much water you need to drink is to look at the color of your urine. Urine that is dark yellow is very concentrated and it’s a sign that you need to drink more water. On the other hand, urine that is clear or pale yellow is an indication that you’re getting the right amount of water for your body at the present time.

I say at the present time because our water requirements are subject to change throughout our lifetime, based on various factors, such as:

  • Diet: if your diet contains plenty lots of water-rich fruits and veggies, then you don’t have to drink a lot of plain water since you’re already “eating” a lot of your water.
  • Activity level: if you workout regularly then you need you’re sweating more and losing more water. That means your water intake should be higher than the intake of someone who’s less active.
  • Climate: if you live in a hot, humid or dry environment, then you definitely need more water to keep your body functioning optimally.
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: if you’re carrying a child or nursing one, you’re doing extra work for another human 🙂 Drinking more water is a must during this time.
  • Overall state of your health: very often, being sick or having health issues can increase how much water the body needs. Of course, there are some exceptions (for example, if there are kidney issues it might be necessary to reduce water intake).

So, overall, rather than just focusing on drinking 8 cups of water a day, use it as a general guideline. And then listen to your body to see if you actually need more (or less) water, depending on all the factors we’ve covered above.

By the way, if you’re curious what some authority institutions have to say about water consumption, below are summaries of two guidelines. The first is what the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends for a generally healthy person (source):

GenderAmount of water per day
Female11.5 cups
Male15.5 cups

Next, here’s what the Institute for Medicine recommends for a generally healthy person (source):

GenderAmount of water per day
Female9 cups
Male13 cups

As you can see, depending on which expert source you listen to, you get some variances.

Lastly, the video below provides a nice summary of the topics we’ve covered so far and it’s a good reminder that we have to customize those old rules about water consumption to actually fit our individual needs.


The real answer to staying hydrated and combatting pimples isn’t simply about drinking water. It’s actually about having enough electrolytes in the body.

But what exactly are electrolytes anyway? Electrolytes are minerals – such as sodium, magnesium, potassium or calcium – that help maintain the right balance of water in our tissues (such as the skin), blood and other parts of the body (source).

Without proper intake of minerals from our diet, our electrolyte balance will be off and that means water balance within the body will be out of whack as well.

This is why eating whole foods, particularly water-rich produce, is so helpful for getting clear skin. Let’s take watermelons for example. Yes, they’re high in water. But even better is that they contain potassium, magnesium, calcium, sodium, phosphorus and much more.

Understanding the subtle difference between hydration and simply “drinking water” helps explain why adding fruits and vegetables to our diets results in healthier skin. Those electrolytes play a role in regulating the water content of all tissues. That means even the water content of skin is affected by those electrolytes!

So, as you work on clearing up your skin, here are some foods and drinks that you can easily add to your diet to help you reach your clear skin goals.

  • Smoothies: blending fruits and veggies makes them much easier to digest. This is particularly helpful if you have a lot of inflammation and/or your digestive system is sluggish. In guide to making an anti-acne smoothie, I give you some tips and a basic yet powerful recipe that you can use to nourish your skin from the inside out. Be sure to read it for all the details.
  • Juices: making your own juices at home is an amazing way to pack in more electrolytes; in fact, much more than you can can get from a smoothie or from the whole fruit. If you want to get on the fast lane to clear skin, juicing is definitely the most effective thing you can add to your diet today!
  • Water-rich fruits and vegetables: whether it’s oranges, watermelons, cucumbers, lettuce or celery, the more water-rich fruit and veggies that you can eat or drink, the better.
  • Herbal teas: nettle, dandelion, milk thistle and dandelion are just a few herbal teas that are great for the skin. And these teas all provide different nutrients as well. Add them to your diet as a form of nourishment and self care.
  • Lemon water: in Ayurvedic medicine, starting your day with a warm glass of lemon water and raw honey is a staple. It supports digestive health and thanks to the nutrients in the lemon water, it’s an easy way to rehydrate the body after a full night of sleep. All you need is the juice from 1/2 lemon, 1 cup of warm water and a small amount of raw honey for flavor. Drink this on an empty stomach each morning and you’re off to a great start!

If you’d like to learn a little more about hydration and overall water quality, the video below provides some helpful tips that are worth checking out.


how many bottles of water should i drink to get rid of acne

Since water bottles come in various sizes, the total number that you need to consume as part of your clear skin regimen will vary. However, here are some general guidelines of how many bottles you will need if you’re aiming for a total of 1 gallon per day.

Bottle sizeTotal number of totals (for 1 gallon consumption)
16 oz8
32 oz4
40 ozapproximately 3 (3.2 to be exact)
48 ozapproximately 3 (2.7 to be exact)
64 oz2


Water is essential for healthy skin and overall well-being. However, simply drinking water all by itself is likely to be a miracle fix for acne.

Given that inflammation plays a strong role in the progression of acne, your best bet is to pay attention to the various underlying causes of that inflammation so that you can address them appropriately.

So, let’s say most of your inflammation is due to diet. Well, simply drinking water without addressing the other foods won’t change much. That’s why looking at your total water intake from food – such as smoothies and whole fruits – can yield far better and faster results.

Also, remember that when there’s chronic acne, there’s most likely leaky gut, excess candida, hormonal imbalance and other factors that are all contributing to skin problems.

So, you might temporarily need more water (again not just plain water, but from other sources). And then as those issues and your skin improve, you might find that your total water requirements decrease.

I hope this article has helped you get a better understanding of what hydration really means and what you can do to live blemish-free.

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