As things often go with skincare, I have seen and read many outrageous claims on the internet when it comes to the link between hydration and clear skin.
I’ve heard things such as drinking a lot of water will help you prevent wrinkles, slow skin aging, accelerate healing, help with acne, and so on and so forth.
Therefore, if you yearn for smooth skin, chances are that at some point you have also been exposed to the idea to drink lots of water in order to flush out those evil toxins and keep your skin healthy.
But will drinking more water really help you get clear skin?
Beauty journals, the marketing team behind massive skincare brands, and everyone else you know recommend drinking six to eight glasses of water each day to keep the skin hydrated, looking healthy, as well as helping with inflammatory conditions (such as acne).
But let’s spill the hard-to-swallow truth:
The Biology of How Our Skin Functions
The water we drink flows throughout the systems and helps our bodies to run optimally. It also helps nutrients reach the skin through proper blood flow.
Meaning, our skin receives nutrients from our blood flow, however, drinking a lot of water doesn’t directly hydrate your skin.
The skin is a peripheral organ, which means, very little of what we do internally affects it.
What affects it most are the external factors and the skin as our largest organ exists to protect our bodies from external factors such as harmful bacteria in the environment, sun damage, free radicals, etc.
Additionally, water hydrates cells once absorbed into the bloodstream and filtered by the kidneys. So at a cellular level, drinking water is great as it flushes the system and hydrates our bodies overall.
However, drinking a lot of water definitely isn’t the be-all and end-all we need to have dewy, clear skin.
But, that is not all. While there is no data to support the idea that drinking water helps hydrate your skin, it turns out that if you are severely dehydrated, this will probably take a toll on your skin.
Research shows that skin might lose some of its elasticity and take on a “tenting effect”, but only in extreme cases of dehydration.
That being said, you should definitely not rely on plain water to get a clear complexion.
Is Your Skin Oily or Dehydrated?
Your skin can be both at the same time and the main reason for this is that oily skin is a skin type, while dehydrated skin is a skin condition any skin type can get.
Knowing the differences between skin types is important if you want to meet your skin’s needs effectively. However, the distinctions between different skin types are not as straightforward as they appear.
Oily vs dry skin is pretty much self-explanatory. Dry skins produce little to no oil, which causes the skin to appear dry, flaky, often red, and it typically feels tight and malnourished in a way.
Oily skin, on the other hand, is known for producing more oil, often in excessive amounts and this skin type is also characterized by large pores and that shiny or greasy look we are all trying to get rid of.
Now, things get a little trickier when it comes to dehydrated skin.
Dehydrated skin isn’t necessarily overly dry skin and can instead be an oily, combination, or normal skin that is lacking water rather than oil and this also makes it feel tight and often prone to irritation, or inflammatory responses such as acne breakouts.
Dehydrated skin is a skin condition and as such, it means that it lacks water content, but may still produce oil. In fact, it’s probably over-producing oil in order to compensate for the lack of moisture in the skin.
In my experience from working with many clients, I concluded that dehydrated skin is most common among people that have oily and acne-prone skin who are also using overly harsh and drying products that strip the skin of that much-needed moisture.
The result can be overly oily skin that feels tight and uncomfortable after cleansing, acne breakouts, redness, that papery kinda feel as well as uneven complexion, enlarged pores, etc.
How Can I Get Clear Skin Overnight?
The simple answer to this would be: You can’t get clear skin overnight. Just like you can’t damage your skin overnight.
Our skin is actually a very resilient organ and is also very good at hiding when it’s being irritated.
So even if you don’t notice an immediate reaction, chances are that some damage is still occurring beneath the skin’s surface, leading to problems you will see much later.
What does this tell us?
This simply tells us that you could be using products that are not agreeing well with your skin, however, your inflammatory reaction may not occur within one month of starting a particular product.
It can sometimes take years for the skin to show all the bad stuff you did to it, not knowingly. And once it happens, it often leaves us wondering as to what in the hell did we do wrong all of a sudden.
Common skincare mistakes that lead to inflammatory conditions such as acne breakouts are:
- Harsh cleansing products that contain drying agents.
- Over-exfoliating or not exfoliating enough.
- Not using a moisturizer.
- Not protecting our skin from the sun.
From here, there really isn’t much that you can do, except become pickier when choosing your skincare products and paying attention to the ingredient list at the back rather than the marketing claims on the front of the packaging.
Known skin irritants that are commonly used in skincare products are:
- Drying alcohols.
- Essential oils.
- Witch hazel.
So, coming down to the end of this short article, let’s answer the most important question:
My name is Simone and I am a certified skin specialist. I created this website to teach my readers how to take great care of their skin and I also like to occasionally share my honest opinions on skincare products I’ve tried. You can learn more about me here.
The Acne Solution: Your Ultimate Guide To Flawless Complexion
An extensive, no-nonsense course showing you how to never have acne again, from a licensed Esthetician specializing in oily/acne-prone skin.