There’s no doubt about it - acne can be a frustrating and embarrassing condition, especially when it crops up unexpectedly in your adult life. The good news is: you are not alone! Many adults experience periodic breakouts throughout their lifetime.

If you feel like you’ve tried every cream, mask, and face wash on the market to no avail, it might be time to start adding some natural remedies to your routine and remember that proper nutrition can be  a fantastic remedy to unhappy skin.

In this article, we will investigate if it is possible to clear acne with natural beverages.

What Causes Acne?

To understand how various drinks can help tackle stubborn outbreaks, it’s important to understand the science behind acne. Where does it come from, and what can help?

woman with acne

Acne is usually caused by a buildup of oil, dead skin, or bacteria in the pores in the outer layers of the skin. Every pore is the opening to a follicle, which holds a hair and an oil gland. These glands release sebum, or oil, which travels out of the pore onto the skin.

Oil is produced naturally and is an important part of keeping the skin healthy and lubricated. However, when pores become blocked, and oil builds up in the follicle, the pore becomes irritated, forming a painful bump over the affected area. If the oil buildup is close to the surface of the skin, you will see a whitehead. If it is deeper in the skin, you may only see a red, irritated bump.

There are several causes for acne formation ranging from poor hygiene, hormonal imbalance, low immunity, and even stress. A number of factors play an important role in acne formation, including our diet and genes.

About Hormonal Breakouts

side view portrait of woman with acne scars

While breakouts can occur from poor hygiene, more often than not, they are the result of a hormonal imbalance in the body.

Hormones are natural chemicals that move through the body to stimulate growth, metabolism, and fertility. They are a crucial part of a healthy, functioning body. However, if your hormones become imbalanced, you may find yourself struggling with acne, along with other symptoms such as indigestion, hot flashes, or constipation.

Acne in teenagers

Most teenage acne breakouts are thought to be triggered by the hormone called testosterone. Levels of testosterone tend to increase during puberty to help children develop. Studies have shown that testosterone can cause the glands to generate more sebum than the skin requires.

Acne in women

Research shows that women are more likely to experience adult acne than men. This is because women tend to have more natural fluctuation in their hormonal levels. During a woman’s monthly menstrual cycle, the hormone progesterone is released, causing the skin to become more oily, while the pores swell shut.

Hormonal changes can also occur as a result of hormonal birth control, or during pregnancy. Some women find that their skin is noticeably better or worse thanks to these hormonal changes.

So, Can Water Help With Acne?

lime water
Photographer: Mae Mu | Source: Unsplash

It is an accepted truth that oily skin can cause acne. How does the skin become oily in the first place? The answer is counterintuitive. Oily skin can occur when the skin is excessively dry. The oil glands respond to this dryness by working harder to produce extra sebum to lubricate the skin.  

You’ve probably heard that simply increasing your water intake can help to ease acne breakouts. Can drinking water actually help with acne? Or are things more complex??

Indirectly, drinking more water is thought to help acne as...

  1. It keeps the skin hydrated. If the skin is hydrated, the oil glands won't have to work extra hard to produce oil.
  2. Maintaining proper hydration also contributes to the elasticity and resilience of the skin as water is a main component of skin. 

By including a minimum of eight glasses of water in your daily routine, you will ensure that your entire body is properly hydrated. Hydration affects all of the bodily systems for the better, including the epidermis, or the skin.  

Does Drinking Water Help With Acne Scars?

If drinking water can help acne to an extent, can drinking water also help with acne scars? Proper hydration, to some extent, may come to your rescue. Some studies suggest that dehydration affects the healing process and increases the likelihood of infection in damaged skin tissue. As water carries oxygen and nutrients around the body it can help with the healing process, and in turn, can reduce the chances of scarring.

Sometimes, you may also end up with a keloid scar, where your body produces excessive collagen in the process of healing and you are left behind with a firm bump on your face. Keloid scars are dealt with medical management, which may include steroids and other minor surgical procedures.

In short, if you have an already formed scar; water intake won't completely get rid of it. You will have to consult a dermatologist if you are seeking permanent resolution of depressed scars. However, that said, drinking water can reduce the appearance of scars by increasing the elasticity and reducing the dryness of the skin.

Remembered a brighter, plumper skin goes a long way in making acne scars less apparent.

Top 7 Drinks to For Clear Skin

Tumeric Tea

cup of turmeric tea

Turmeric is one of the most popular superfoods at the moment; with turmeric lattes and teas being more popular than ever.

This root does more than just flavoring your latte. Turmeric may help with acne breakouts, because this spice is known for its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties.

A 2016 study shows that curcumin, a component of turmeric is responsible for the antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effect of turmeric. In this preliminary study, curcumin was shown to help reduce the severity of acne.

You can prepare simple turmeric tea by boiling water and adding turmeric powder. If you’re looking for more flavor, add lemon, honey, and other herbs to improve the taste and goodness.

Lemon Water

fresh lemon water
Photographer: Francesca Hotchin | Source: Unsplash

Lemon water is another very popular health drink that may help you attain clear skin

Lemon is rich in vitamin C, which gives lemon anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Vitamin C inhibits the chemicals required to initiate inflammation and this way may be helpful in managing acne. In addition to that, it also stimulates the production of collagen, which is an essential component for proper wound healing. 

Holy Basil Tea

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Photographer: Manki Kim | Source: Unsplash

Holy Basil, also known as tulsi, is a well-known herb from Southeast Asia. It may help manage acne to some extent.

Basil has many health benefits. It is no wonder it is a celebrated herb in Ayurveda practices! Not only does it have anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic effects, but it also has anxiolytic effects. i.e. it can help to relieve anxiety.

So if you are under a lot of stress and you suffer from stress-acne, a cup of holy basil tea each day may prove helpful.

Spearmint Tea

glass of spearmint tea

Mint is well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Of all the mint varieties, spearmint is reportedly the best. Spearmint tea is widely touted as a defence against hormonal acne. There are countless success stories that provide encouragement. It’s important to remember that these accounts are anecdotal and scientific studies are lacking to definitively make any claims.

However, there is no risk in incorporating this drink into your daily routine so you may be inclined to try it out! 

Celery Juice

a pitcher and a glass of celery juice

Though research directly relating celery juice and skin health is limited, celery has been found to have powerful antioxidant characteristics and antiinflammatory benefit. We love adding this vegetable to green juices. 

Blueberry Juice

full grown blueberries
Photographer: Élisabeth Joly | Source: Unsplash

Blueberries are a wonderful source of vitamin B6, which has been shown to have a mild reduction of premenstrual symptoms. . If you struggle with hormonal acne when your time of the month comes around, blueberry juice may be worth trying.

Kale Juice

bouquet of kale leaves in a pitcher
Photographer: Vince Lee | Source: Unsplash

Kale has certainly become something of a fad in the past few years.. In kale, you’ll find a mixture of vitamin A, vitamin C, and magnesium. Vitamin A has been shown to help to regulate the sebaceous glands. We know that vitamin C is helpful to stimulate collagen creation and magnesium has been shown to control stress hormones and insulin levels. This winning combination may be helpful for the health of our skin.

Final Thoughts

Staying hydrated helps us in countless ways.  The reason why any natural drinks might help you get your clearest,most radiant skin is because they help stay hydrated. However, consumption of water and these natural remedies will not be the cure all solution for clear skin and acne management. We will flat out be lying if we said otherwise.

There are many factors that cause acne. When it comes to managing acne, a regime with many components is likely the most helpful rather than seeking a single one size fits all  solution. This regime should include proper hydration, a healthy diet, regular exercise, and a proper skincare routine that is specific to you.

Apart from that, any systemic conditions should also be managed. For example, women with PCOS are more likely to have acne outbreaks because of higher testosterone levels. You can also experience acne during pregnancy, and around the time of your menstruation. Similarly, an acne outbreak can happen when you are under extreme stress for a long period.

If you’re struggling with persistent acne breakouts, try not to get too frustrated. Do not hesitate to speak to your doctor about possible solutions tailored to your specific type of acne.