Maintaining skin hydration is important in the management of acne, since over-drying of the skin can cause irritation to acne lesions. Unfortunately, drinking more water has not been shown in research studies to improve skin hydration, overall appearance of the skin, or acne directly.
However, drinking more water could have an indirect benefit on acne severity. A diet that is high in sugar has indeed been shown to make acne worse. Beverages such as soft drinks, sports drinks, milkshakes, smoothies and juices can have high sugar contents.
By replacing beverages such as these with water as an alternative, overall sugar content in the diet can be reduced, which may in turn improve acne.
Increasing water consumption may also be of benefit to those who take isotretinoin (an oral medication that is related to vitamin A and generally reserved for severe acne that has not improved with other treatments). Isotretinoin can have a pronounced drying effect; drinking more water may help with the drying of the lips and lining of the mouth that is associated with its use.
Other tips for maintaining skin hydration include using a mild soapless cleanser rather than soap, avoiding alcohol based products (such as toners that are not alcohol-free), and maintaining adequate humidity in your house.