5 Drinks That Will Clear Your Acne, According to Science

tea being poured into cup

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There's no denying we're product junkies, but when it comes to acne, we'd rather take more of a holistic approach than hoard spot treatments and cleansers. Especially for those of us who fall victim to the drying and burning side effects of pimple potions, addressing the situation internally makes for less stress on the skin (and in general).

So when we recently learned that spearmint tea is acne's foe (more on that to come), we decided to research some other ways to sip our way to a clearer complexion, sans skincare products. Truth be told, there are lots of teas ahead (tea is the Magic Eraser of pimples), but we've included a few other tasty libations to quench your thirst—for a smoother complexion, that is. Take a look at the best anti-blemish beverages below!

Matcha Tea

Along with a bevy of other incredible health benefits, this trendy drink is chock-full of antioxidants, including epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), to help counteract the sebum oxidation that occurs before acne forms. Ingesting antioxidants also helps to reduce signs of inflammation from the inside out, and, given that matcha has 137 times more antioxidants than plain old green tea, you can rest assured you're getting a hefty dose with each drink. 

Turmeric Tea

Curcumin, a component of the spice turmeric, is widely known for its anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antioxidant, and antifungal properties. In Ayurveda, it's used for medicinal purposes to heal a wide range of internal and external maladies and conditions. While today, turmeric is a popular DIY mask ingredient, you can also add one teaspoon to hot water to drink as tea for similar acne-healing benefits.

Kefir

The gut is greatly connected to your skin health, which is why ingesting probiotics from sources like kefir is good for counteracting bad bacteria and reducing inflammation. The protein lactoferrin gives kefir extra blemish-fighting power. In one study, participants who drank fermented milk with 200 milligrams of lactoferrin daily saw an almost 39 percent decrease in inflammatory acne lesions over 12 weeks.

Spearmint Tea

After meeting with Dr. Carl Thornfeldt, founder of Epionce Skincare, we learned that drinking two cups of organic spearmint tea daily reduces inflammatory acne lesions by 25 percent after one month and by 51 percent after three months—which is even more effective than prescription remedies. Amazing, right? I tried it myself and was met with impressive results (read: bright skin, far fewer breakouts, and reduced redness). 

Organic Tart Cherry Juice

Don't reach for the cherry juice cocktail loaded with sugar from the grocery store—in order to get the best skin benefits of this beverage, sip on the real thing. While tart cherry juice may be tough on the palette, it's packed with antioxidants and vitamins A, B, C, and D, and helps balance your skin's pH. It's also anti-inflammatory and even has melatonin, which is a great sleep aid. Is this a miracle drink, or what?

Drinks Proven to Clear Acne
Michela Buttignol/BYRDIE
Article Sources
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  2. Chainani-wu N. Safety and anti-inflammatory activity of curcumin: a component of tumeric (Curcuma longa). J Altern Complement Med. 2003;9(1):161-8. doi:10.1089/107555303321223035

  3. Bowe WP, Logan AC. Acne vulgaris, probiotics and the gut-brain-skin axis - back to the future? Gut Pathog. 2011;3(1):1. doi:10.1186/1757-4749-3-1

  4. Kim J, Ko Y, Park YK, Kim NI, Ha WK, Cho Y. Dietary effect of lactoferrin-enriched fermented milk on skin surface lipid and clinical improvement of acne vulgaris. Nutrition. 2010;26(9):902-9. doi:10.1016/j.nut.2010.05.011

  5. Kuehl, Kerry S., et al. “Efficacy of Tart Cherry Juice to Reduce Inflammation Biomarkers among Women with Inflammatory Osteoarthritis (OA).” Journal of Food Studies, vol. 1, no. 1, 2012, doi:10.5296/jfs.v1i1.1927

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