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Can Dehydration Cause Acne? (Everything You Need to Know)

Every skin type, whether oily, normal, or dry, has a unique requirement. Hydration is the most overlooked yet crucial factor that determines your skin's health and appearance. Ever wondered, "Can dehydration cause acne?" 

This article uncovers the answer to this question, connecting the dots between hydration, dehydrated skin, and acne. By the end, you'll have a comprehensive understanding of how to bring your skin back to life!

Also read: How to choose the best acne treatment

Biggest Take-Aways:

  • Dehydration can exacerbate acne, prompting the skin to produce more oil and accumulate dead skin cells, leading to clogged pores and breakouts.
  • Hydration, both internal and external, is essential for maintaining skin health and minimizing acne breakouts.
  • Drinking plenty of water, using hydrating skincare products, and incorporating lifestyle changes can effectively manage acne caused by dehydration.
  • Exposed Skin Care, with its active ingredients like salicylic acid, offers an effective solution for managing acne, providing hydration and protection for all skin types.

Woman feeling hot in car

The Skin’s Thirst: What Dehydration Does to Your Skin

Dehydration is more than just a lack of water intake; it's a complex state that affects various body systems, including your skin - your body's largest organ. When your skin is dehydrated, it's essentially gasping for a drink. It lacks the high water content it needs to function properly, resulting in a variety of skin problems.

When your skin is a skin condition known as dehydrated skin:

  • Increased Oil Production: To compensate for the lack of water, your skin may ramp up sebum (oil) production. Excess oil can clog pores, creating a hard plug that can lead to blemishes and acne breakouts.
  • Dead Skin Cell Buildup: Dehydrated skin often experiences a slow cell turnover rate, causing dead skin cells to get caught up by the surface. These cells can further clog pores, causing blackheads and acne.
  • Fine Lines and Wrinkles: Dehydrated skin often displays premature wrinkles and fine lines due to its lack of elasticity.
  • Flaky and Dry Patches: The surface of dehydrated skin can become flaky and develop dry patches.
  • Tightness: Dehydrated skin may often feel tight and dry after cleansing.

Understanding these effects underscores the fact that dehydrated skin contributes to most skin problems, including acne.

Image of woman looking at mirror worried about tight skin

The Bridge Between Dehydration and Acne

With a clearer understanding of the impacts of dehydration on skin health, let's delve into the connection between dehydrated skin and acne. Can dehydration cause acne? Yes, in many ways, dehydration is a major trigger of acne. It can also cause the existing acne condition to worsen.

Dehydration and Increased Oil Production

When your skin lacks adequate hydration, it tends to compensate by producing more oil. This surge in oil production can exacerbate oily skin and acne, leading to more breakouts. The skin's attempt to correct the water loss by increasing oil production is a clear example of how a lack of water can cause acne.

Dehydration and Dead Skin Cell Accumulation

Dead skin cells that don't shed properly can accumulate on the skin's surface, leading to clogged pores. When the pore is clogged, it becomes a breeding ground for acne-causing bacteria. Dehydrated skin contributes to the vast majority of these clogs.

Dehydration and Inflammation

Dehydration can also lead to inflammation in the body, which can increase the severity of acne. Inflammation can cause redness, swelling, and discomfort in acne-prone skin, making the acne more noticeable.

Dehydrated Skin vs. Dry Skin: Not Always the Same

While "dehydrated skin" and "dry skin" are often used interchangeably, but they differ. Dry skin naturally produces less oil, while dehydrated skin is a skin condition caused by a lack of water.

Dry skin can be permanent, whereas dehydrated skin is usually temporary, caused by lifestyle changes, harsh products, or not drinking enough water.

A skin type like dry skin includes symptoms like a lack of natural oils, while dehydrated skin's symptoms reflect a need for a balance of water. By understanding the distinction, you can better approach the question, "Can dehydration cause acne?"

Close up of woman with acne due to dehydration

Decoding Dehydrated Skin and Acne

Now that we've distinguished between dry and dehydrated skin, let's unravel how dehydrated skin contributes to acne.

Oily Skin and Acne: A Surprising Result of Dehydration

Believe it or not, dehydrated skin can become excessively oily. As we discussed earlier, when your skin isn't receiving enough water, it can compensate for the lack of hydration by producing more oil. For those with an already oily skin type, this can cause a surge in breakouts.

Dry, Dehydrated Skin and Acne: The Flaky Problem

While oily skin and acne are common, even people with dry, dehydrated skin can experience breakouts. When your skin is dry from lack of water, it can cause dead skin cells to accumulate and clog pores, leading to blackheads and acne.

Dehydration-Induced Inflammation and Acne

Dehydrated skin is a skin that can easily get inflamed. When inflammation increases, it can worsen acne. Inflammatory acne includes painful, swollen blemishes, which can become severe acne if not addressed.

How Hydration Can Help Reduce Acne

Since we've established the connection between dehydration and acne, it's essential to understand how hydration can help acne. Increasing your water intake and maintaining a balanced skincare routine can benefit your skin significantly.

Asian woman drinking glass of water

Drinking Water Really Helps!

While it's no magic potion, drinking plenty of water ensures that your body and your skin are adequately hydrated. When your body is properly hydrated, your skin is too. This can help reduce the appearance of acne and promote clear skin.

Skincare for Hydration

Hydrating skin care products can go a long way in keeping your skin supple and clear. Ingredients like hyaluronic acid and aloe vera, which have a high water content, are excellent for rehydrating the skin. Additionally, using a moisturizer can help lock in moisture, preventing your skin from dehydrating.

Lifestyle Changes

In addition to increasing your water intake and incorporating hydrating products into your skincare routine, you should also make lifestyle changes. These can include avoiding harsh products that strip the skin of natural oils, not overwashing your face, and ensuring your environment isn't too dry.

Using Exposed Skin Care for Acne Management

Exposed Skin Care, with its potent active ingredients, offers an effective solution for managing acne. Its benefits extend to all skin types - from dry to normal - providing a path to healthier skin.

 Exposed Skin Ultimate Kit

Here are some of the benefits of Exposed Skin Care:

  • Salicylic Acid: The line prominently features salicylic acid, renowned for clearing congested pores. This key ingredient unclogs the buildup of dead skin cells, a major cause of congestion and blackheads, thus preventing potential breakouts.

  • Balanced Hydration: The Exposed Skin Care line products respect your skin's need for a balanced water level. They hydrate without causing excessive oil production that could otherwise lead to acne.

  • Protection: Regular use of Exposed Skin Care helps protect your skin from dehydration, where the skin can lose water and become dry and susceptible to acne.

  • Skincare Routine: The line offers specially designed routines that cater to specific skin types and needs, avoiding the lack of moisture that can also cause acne.

Couple your skincare routine with drinking more water to augment the effects of the Exposed Skin Care line. This dual approach can ensure your pores remain clear, leaving your skin looking radiant and acne-free.


From understanding the connection between dehydration and acne to discovering the benefits of a well-formulated skin care line like Exposed Skin Care, we have explored a comprehensive view of managing acne. We have uncovered how a lack of water can cause our skin to overproduce oil, ultimately leading to breakouts. Conversely, maintaining a water balance within the skin can help normalize oil production and cause fewer clogs in our pores.

Whether your skin type is dry, normal, or somewhere in between, taking care to hydrate and care for it appropriately is critical. An effective skincare routine that clears away dead skin cells and allows our pores to remain clear is essential in managing acne. This is where products with key ingredients such as salicylic acid come in, helping to ensure the skin becomes less prone to acne over time.

Moreover, it's crucial not to overlook the potential causes skin can face, such as the changes that occur when skin loses moisture. Equally, causing your skin to become dehydrated can have adverse effects. Hence, it's important to follow skincare routines designed to maintain balance and protect our skin.

In conclusion, understanding hydration's crucial role in skin health can pave the way for healthier, clearer skin. Staying well-hydrated, following a suitable skincare routine, and using effective products can minimize breakouts and promote healthy skin.


Can Dehydration Cause Acne?

Yes, dehydration can cause acne by increasing oil production, accumulating dead skin cells, and inflammation, which can all contribute to breakouts.

How Can I Hydrate My Skin to Help Acne?

Drinking plenty of water, using hydrating skin care products, avoiding harsh products that strip your skin, and maintaining a healthy diet can help hydrate your skin.

Does Drinking Water Really Help Acne?

Drinking water helps to hydrate your body, including your skin. While it's not a cure for acne, it can help maintain overall skin health and reduce the severity of acne.

Is My Acne Caused by Dehydration?

While dehydration can contribute to acne, it's not the only cause. Factors such as hormones, diet, and genetics can also play a significant role. If your skin feels dry and tight and you're experiencing more breakouts than usual, there’s a good chance your acne may be exacerbated by dehydration.