If you are having problems with breakouts you’ve probably explored many theories to find the root cause. You may have tried several treatments including dietary changes (cutting out sugar and dairy), stress reduction techniques (yoga and meditation) or even harsh acne products and medication.  You may have just given in to the thought that your acne is caused by hormonal changes or from genes you’ve inherited – the unfortunate luck of the draw.

There is one trigger that you might not have considered… your drinking water.  How could drinking water or washing with tap water cause acne, you say?  It seems so unlikely.   Your esthetician may have even told you to drink more water to help flush out toxins.  You’ve probably heard of hot water and lemon as a therapy.  Most people dismiss the thought that the water you drink and wash with is causing your acne, but becoming fluoride free can give you great rewards.

Have you ever noticed that when you go away on vacation your acne clears up, especially if you travel outside the United States?   Then you come back home and sure enough, you start to break out again.  Was it that you changed your diet?  Lived with reduced stress for a while?  It could be something in the water you’re drinking – and washing your face with.

What’s different about our tap water?  I’m glad you asked.  Typically tap water in over 70% of American communities contains added fluoride.  In societies where there is no fluoride added to the water supply, adult acne is pretty much non-existent.

Fluoride is also abundant in black tea.  Plants used to produce black tea are typically grown in soil that that is laden with fluoride-based pesticides. The plant used to produce the tea leaves uptakes significant amounts of fluoride directly from the soil, as does grapes.  We’ve found that fluoride is particularly concentrated in raisins.

Fluoride toothpaste and dental treatments have been known to cause an acne-like skin condition around the mouth and chin called perioral dermatitis.  If you’re fluoride sensitive, swallowing even a bit of your fluoride toothpaste while brushing can cause acne, too.

What to do?

Right off the bat you should quit drinking water that contains fluoride.  You can research bottled water that has been tested for fluoride content.  You can invest in a water filter.  The pitcher type filter is not very effective for removing fluoride.  They may work for the first couple of fills but quickly lose their effectiveness.  If you search, you can find bottled water that is fluoride free.  I prefer to use a countertop machine that removes fluoride, chlorine and other toxins via reverse osmosis.  Although it’s a bit expensive, it’s probably the best way to get fluoride out of your water.  The brand I use is called ZIP.  I like the fact that the filters only need to be replaced every couple of years.

If you have acne you might consider washing your face with either water that has been purified via reverse osmosis or washing with distilled water.  A wonderful addition to your cleansing regime is to soak a cotton pad with a hydrating toner and swiping it over your skin after washing.  A whole house purification system would be ideal, but very costly.  Don’t worry too much about your shower water hitting the rest of your body as far as the acne is concerned. Splash your face with distilled water after your shower and follow with a trusted toner.

Look for organic when it comes to tea, wine, grapes and raisins to avoid the fluoride based pesticides they absorb and that play havoc with your skin.

Of course you should also switch to a fluoride free toothpaste.  They are easy to find in your local health food store.

Your esthetician can advise you as to other areas of concern that can trigger your acne.  Remember to keep your pores clean and look for corrective products that are not too aggressive for sensitive problem skin.

We would love to hear from you if you choose to go on a fluoride free program.  You can contact us at Elizabeth Renee Esthetics Skincare Spa or email us at

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