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“How Drinking 3 Liters of Water Every Day Changed My Skin”

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How many times have we heard “drink eight glasses of water a day”? Eight glasses, for someone like me, always seemed out of reach. I’ve never been fond of drinking water—it’s bland, and it makes my stomach feel sloshy.

I’ve been dehydrated for as long as I can remember and have suffered a number of problems as a result: bad headaches, extreme fatigue, dry, dull-looking skin, dark undereye circles and, more recently, random breakouts. I wasn’t crazy for thinking these things might be caused by too-little H2O, either. According to NYC dermatologist and author of Skin Rules, Dr. Debra Jaliman, “If you’re dehydrated your skin will look more wrinkly and your eyes will look more sunken.” So after two years of failing my New Years resolution, to get myself hydrated, I decided that 2014 was the year I’d turn things around.

And I have. For the last six months, I’ve been drinking three liters of water a day. A huge improvement from my standard single cup—if that—and even a little more than the widely recommended eight, 8-ounce glasses (or 2.2 liters). It was extremely hard at first, but after I thought about all the ways it would benefit me, my mindset completely shifted.

I’ve never felt as good as I have than during these last six months. I rarely get headaches anymore, I feel much more alert throughout the day, and my skin has improved in more ways than I could have imagined. My face feels smoother and looks brighter. My undereye circles aren’t as dark and I don’t break out as often as I used to—and I haven’t changed anything else about my routine. It’s all because my skin, and entire system, is hydrated.

Even after the first week of drinking three liters a day, I noticed a difference in my skin. It suddenly looked brighter, less dull. Apparently, that can take effect even more quickly for some. Dr. Jaliman says you might even see improvements—like less dryness—within 24 hours. For me, seeing results so quickly helped keep me motivated. And I’m so glad. I’m much more confident about my skin, so much so, that now I only feel the need to apply a tiny bit of concealer before I go out. Who knew that water could be so beneficial?

Moral of the story: listen to those who tell you to drink more water! You may not realize it now, but you could be feeling a lot better just by incorporating more into your diet. To make it easy, pick up a 1-liter Nalgene bottle so you can monitor how much you’re drinking throughout the day. I typically drink one liter in the morning at the gym, one in the afternoon, and then another in the evening. Once you start incorporating water into your routine, it’ll seem natural. And trust me, it’s so worth it—your mind, body, and skin will thank you!