I thought acne was supposed to be a passing phase, like shopping at Hot Topic or chunky highlights. You grow out of it. Your adult skin is supposed to become clearer and more radiant. I fantasized what life would be like without finger-painting topical acne treatments onto my face every night and every morning, what it would be like to have skin that didn’t dry and flake and seemingly worsen after spending too much money on fancy bottles and tubes, and finally, a trip to the dermatologist.
In college, my skin did calm down. But in my early 20s, I still experienced breakouts more often than I wanted, waking up with a constellation of angry, red pimples after drinking too many drinks, switching birth control pills, right before my period, or when I was super stressed out. After another visit with my dermatologist, she confirmed that I was experiencing hormonal acne. Totally normal, but totally annoying.
My dermatologist offered a low dose of antibiotics, but I didn’t want to take medication on a daily basis, and I knew that if I ever wanted to stop, the breakouts would most likely come back with full force. This was not a long-term solution. So I tried other things. For awhile, I diluted tea tree oil with water and used it as a spot treatment. My room smelled like a spa, but nothing changed. I bought fancy cleansers and masks with my credit card so that I wouldn’t have to *really* pay attention to what I was spending (don’t ever actually do this, there is a thing called interest). After those didn’t work, I made DIY masks with honey and cinnamon because both supposedly decrease inflammation.
Nothing worked, and especially not for the kind of money I was paying and the mess I was creating in my tiny grad school apartment bathroom.
One night, after my then-boyfriend came home from work, he noticed three cans of Diet Coke by my bedside while I typed on my laptop, finishing up homework.
“Did you drink any water today?” He asked.
“I guess not?” And I thought about it. How much water was I actually drinking? I literally couldn’t remember the last time I had liquid that wasn’t soda, juice, or coffee.
“Oh my god. I am the reason why my skin sucks,” I exclaimed. It was an epiphany. A revelation. I read women’s magazines and gorgeous ladies with gorgeous skin always insisted that the “secret” to their clear, dewy face was water. And I always thought that was bogus.
Was it though? Aren’t our bodies made of, like, 99% water? It’s around actually around 60%, but you get the idea. Maybe the gorgeous ladies were right. Maybe water was the answer. So I made a plan to drink more of it.
The only problem? Water is freakin’ boring. It tastes like I opened my mouth and swallowed air. It’s not really satisfying the way an iced coffee is satisfying. I filled my 32-ounce water bottle with plain water and set reminders on my phone to finish it. And I did, even though I had to pee every fifteen minutes and wished I was drinking something more tasty.
And then one day I was at Whole Foods, in the beverage aisle, and discovered the world of flavored water. Water! With flavor! Water that wasn’t boring! I could cry with joy. I bought every single flavor of hint water that was available (watermelon was my favorite) and from that day forward, supplementing my ambitious water intake with water that actually tasted like juice was a game-changer.
After about a month of introducing water into my life (and into my skin care routine), I finally saw a difference. And it lasted. After years of trying product after product after product, it turned out that the solution to my hormonal acne was water. Oh water, you were there all along, all this time.
Even now on days when I don’t drink enough water, I immediately notice my skin becoming more sallow, more lackluster. If at dinner time I want something that feels like I’m drinking sugar, I go to my old standby, hint. It feels indulgent even though it’s just infused water. You can buy a pack of 36 for $39 to save, or even treat yourself to a subscription, so no matter what, infused water just shows up at your door.
While this was my personal experience, the pretty women in magazines weren’t actually bluffing — you can’t go wrong with drinking more water.
Before you leave, don’t forget hint is giving SoYummy readers 30% off your order of Hint water by using this special link.