Clear Skin Real-Talk Series: Water--How Much, How Often, What Type
I've gotten asked quite a few times over social media what I do to keep my skin clear and "glowy" (most of the time) and the answers I give out individually almost always result in, "Oh come on, really?!?!" or virtual eye rolls... aka no response back.
Had I written this any earlier than a year ago, I would be coming from the perspective of a girl who was thought she was blessed with perfect skin of life, giving tips based not on real, learned tips, but rather what I've always done to maintain good skin.
But, *gasp* my skin turned on me this time, last year. So, not to say that I am happy my skin had a change of heart, but in a way, I was forced to re-learn how to take care of my "new" skin and go through the same trial and error process of skin-clearing that so many young women battle for years. All that being said, my stint with breakouts started in October of 2016 and bled into April of this year & since has been on the road back to clear, glowy skin after re-learning what my new skin needed.
Many of you already know that I am highly influenced by traditional medicine aka "medicine from the East" (Aruveyda & Chinese) which embrace natural means of healing via getting to the root of the problem rather rather looking for quick, temporary fixes. What I learned after years of seeing a traditional medicine doctor for years, is that the body changes consistently throughout life.
Just beacause you never broke out before doesn't mean you'll never in the future and vice versa.
But instead of freaking out and running to your dermatologist for antibiotics, take a moment to think about what you want. You want lasting clear skin...Not skin dependent on cycling through antibiotics forever. So, I urge you to try actually healing first THEN if nothing happens after a few months, do what you want to get your confidence back.
So let's talk water. You already know that every health site out there says that water is an essential for clear skin...in fact it's usually the very first recommendation they give when it comes to clearing breakouts. But often, sites suggest that the standard "8-10" glasses a day will do the trick which leaves you wondering why on earth your skin isn't magazine ready, as you have been getting your 8 glasses in for months...
Well, guess what? That's a pretty ridiculously-off suggestion. 8-10 glasses is what a nutritionist or dietetician would refer to for general health--for everyday functioning. But acne should not be seen as "normal"--its a visual cue that your body is giving you about what's going on inside. It's honestly pretty rare to suffer from a case of long term acne that is caused by things such as make up...stubborn acne comes from within.
That being said, since blemishes & acne are not "normal" it should be seen as a issue requiring EXTRA TLC... NOT basic care. Just like you wouldn't recommend a prego woman eat a diet designed for a non-prego woman, your acne needs different care than that for already clear skin.
So how much water do you need?
You need to be drinking water like its your job. It's so easy to think that we've been drinking water all day, when in fact, you brought one normal sized bottle with you to school/work and sipped on it all day. Or maybe you went through 2... but I'm telling you that is not enough!
Back when I first broke out last year, I had also stopped drinking a gallon of water day like I had been for nearly 2 years. I know that may sound crazy, but it became so routine after a week or so that it wasn't a struggle at all! Anyway when I transferred colleges, among other things, I dropped the habit without really realizing it and probably cut down to drinking about half as much each day. For some people, 1/2 a gallon may be enough, but my body had become used to that amount of water and was very very confused when I suddenly stopped. So among other contributing factors that I discovered in hindsight, water was a major influencer.
So, after months of scratching my head as to why my skin was so different, I had a baby revelation and felt really really, *I hate this word*, "stupid." Well, ya live and ya learn! So around May of this year I slowly started to be very mindful about drinking at least 2 liters of water a day and DAMN, its crazy how fast my skin started to change. But when I say fast, I am saying fast in skin-time. Skin-changes take anywhere from a week to a month to happen, as inflammation forms in the deep layers of skin long before we see acne appear.
....So patience goes hand in hand with water.
Today, I drink no less than 2 liters a day. Every. Single. Day. & my skin is basically back to it's "glory days of high school." So, if you have acne or just problem skin and you think you drink enough water and that your skin problems can't possibly be due to a lack of water...think again & level UP! Drink at least 2 liters of plain, old-fahsioned water ever single day. You can add lemon or cucumber slices, but that's it! Keep it simple--make it easy for your body recognize and give your skin 2 solid weeks before evaluating the difference. I 100% understand the knee-jerk reaction of checking your face in the mirror after 3 days of starting a new regimine thinking, "THIS ISN'T WORKING!" but girl, you know it doesn't work like that! Also, if you're going to say, "omg that's a lot of water...I can't do that"...one of my absolute favorite quotes stands true:
"If it were easy, everyone would do it!"
Does everyone drink enough water? (No) Does everyone have clear, glowy skin? You know the answer ;)
All in all, water is still unrated not because it doesn't get enough press (lol) but because its under-utilized and underestimated! But, with that I will say that I am well aware that water alone is only 1 piece of the puzzle...especially for stubborn, hormonal acne. Nonetheless, it will help to varying degrees, but for me, it was the magic sauce.
And please, if you have any questions, ask away!