Does Soda Cause Acne?

logo by Editorial Staff | Updated on August 5th, 2022

Is There a Connection Between Diet and Acne?

Is soda a cause of acne? No, technically. Although there is no definite relationship between nutrition and acne, many individuals disagree.

Some individuals have worse acne after consuming a sugary beverage. And for such people, eliminating sodas aids in skin clearing.

soda acne

Here’s a hypothesis on how it may operate. If you currently have acne and add glucose to your diet, it may cause inflammation in the bacteria regions.

In principle, eliminating carbohydrates helps to minimize inflammation. However, researchers have not been able to demonstrate this.

The myth of soda and acne

We’ve been asked this question a million different ways. Is soda a cause of acne? Is pop a cause of acne? Is soda causing you to break out? Do you break out when you consume sugary drinks? We decided it was past time to respond to your inquiries finally.

For the time being, any link between soda and acne is only a rumor. No conclusive correlation has been demonstrated between excessive soda intake and an increased risk of facial imperfections. However, the rumor may have some validity behind it.

This rumor is fueled by the fact that soda contains a lot of sugar or other sweetening additives. This is why some people question whether soda causes breakouts.

One can of soda contains up to ten teaspoons of sugar. You’ve ingested your daily sugar allowance in a single can of soda, and chances are you’ll eat plenty more that contains even more of the sweet stuff.

All of that sugar might cause hormonal abnormalities in the body. Most notably, sugar intake affects insulin.

High insulin levels in the body may affect other hormones such as testosterone and estrogen. Hormonal imbalances have been related to acne outbreaks, and here is where the rumor begins.

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Is there any evidence that soda causes acne?

Finally, the link between soda and acne seems to be due to a person’s glycemic index. Every food has a glycemic index, which indicates how that item affects blood sugar levels in the body.

This index runs from 0 to 100 and indicates how rapidly the carbohydrates in the diet are broken down and absorbed via circulation.

Most soda has a glycemic index of about 59, which is regarded to be rather high. The greater the index, the more insulin is required to store it. These high levels may lead to greater total insulin levels over time, related to an increased risk of inflammation and weight gain.

It may also severely influence the body’s capacity to retain sugar over time appropriately, which can lead to type 2 diabetes.

What Causes Acne When You Drink Soda?

So, what about this delicious, sweet drink that our bodies refuse to accept? Sugar. In the nutrition field, sugar is a rather wide phrase. There are several sugar formulas and varieties available. This is because, although fresh fruits and vegetables do contain sugar, it is sugar that occurs naturally.

Natural sugars

Naturally, occurring sugar is exactly what it sounds like: it occurs naturally in strawberries and mangoes and typically comes with several health advantages.

For example, tomatoes have natural sugar since they are a fruit, but they also include lycopene, an antioxidant. This antioxidant offers several health advantages, including the possibility of lowering the incidence of breast, lung, and prostate cancer.

My argument is that, although food items like these include sugar, they are not harmful to our health when paired with other amazing advantages.

Remember that everyone’s health concerns are different. Not all fruits and vegetables should be consumed in large quantities without consulting your doctor, especially with some drugs, such as blood thinners.

Sugars Added

Then there’s the bad side of sugar, which, when consumed in items like cake and soda, has no health advantages and may be harmful to our bodies.

Sugars added. They are, once again, exactly as they sound. These are added to packaged goods before they are placed on store shelves.

According to the American Heart Association, the main sources of added sugars are “normal soft drinks, sweets, candies, cakes, cookies, pies, fruit drinks, and dairy desserts.”

It may be difficult to locate packaged foods that do not have some added sugar on the ingredient list, and it is practically hard to avoid entirely.

Caffeine Levels

Caffeine is a stimulant and the world’s most widely used psychoactive substance. When they are fatigued, many individuals consume caffeinated drinks such as coffee or soda to give them a jolt of energy.

On the other hand, caffeine has many undesirable side effects that might lead to increased acne and sebum production. Caffeine has a natural diuretic effect, causing you to shed fluids faster than usual.

Furthermore, the “energy boost” that coffee provides is mostly due to a cortisol rise, which raises stress and may contribute to hormonal acne.

The effects of soda on your skin

Soda has never been shown to cause acne in definitive research. It may, however, produce additional skin problems and health risks. A typical 12 oz. can of soda has 39 grams of sugar.

Adults should eat 36 grams of sugar per day (men) and 25 grams of sugar per day (women). A single can of soda has more sugar than you need in a single day.

Drinking numerous drinks every day might have a bad impact on your skin. Excess sugar consumption has been associated with increased oily skin, uneven skin texture, and premature wrinkles.

Caffeine is another issue with soda. It dehydrates you, which dries off your skin. Dark colas, in particular, seem to be hazardous due to advanced glycation end products (AGEs).

According to one research, AGEs react with the components in skin cells, causing accelerated aging.

Having a Coke once every few weeks will not harm you. The issue is that many Americans consume numerous drinks every day. That kind of use will almost surely impair your skin and general health in the long run.

Other frequent acne triggers

Aside from limiting your intake of soda, there are other things you can do to assist your skin. Be informed of the most prevalent acne causes so that you can treat your skin at its root.

  • The incorrect diet – Soda is just the beginning. Carbohydrate-rich foods, such as white bread and spaghetti, have been related to an increase in acne. Acne is also caused by dairy products and processed meals such as chips.
  • Stress – Stress affects your body that you may be unaware of. When you are too nervous, your body produces cortisol, which causes your skin to produce more oil.
  • Hormonal fluctuations – Teenagers are more prone to acne since their bodies undergo massive hormonal shifts. Acne may also be exacerbated by pregnancy, menopause, and certain birth control methods.

Is diet soda harmful to your skin?

Because the source of the issue with soda and acne seems to be sugar levels, diet soda appears to be a viable solution. After all, diet sodas contain no sugar at all.

Instead, they use artificial sweeteners to create a flavor comparable to soda. However, switching to diet drinks with your lunch doesn’t mean you’re safe.

Caffeine, which has been known to thin the skin, is still present in diet soda. While caffeine may be present in certain skincare products, it is only beneficial to your skin in small amounts.

If you consume numerous cans of diet soda daily, you are most likely damaging your skin and increasing your chances of acquiring premature wrinkles.

Diet Coke has also been connected to weight gain, which is paradoxical. This is because diet soda includes aspartame, which increases the appetite.

You may believe that drinking diet Coke would help you lose weight, but if you consume more calories for your meal, you will be doing more damage than good. Gaining weight is detrimental to skin firmness, so soda should be a treat rather than a daily accessory.

How can you help your acne?

A significant amount of study is still required to discover how food and acne are related. However, if you want to improve your acne, there are several foods that you should always include in your diet.

The first step is to eliminate sugary foods with a high glycemic index. This includes, in addition to soda:

  • Candy
  • Sugary cereals
  • White bread
  • Ice cream

Instead, aim for complete, nutrient-dense meals. Every meal should include a variety of colorful veggies and fruits. These foods include anti-inflammatory antioxidants, which benefit your skin and whole body.

Instead of white bread and rice, use whole wheat bread and brown rice. Healthy fats, including whole eggs, avocados, seeds, and nuts, are advised. If you’re looking for a drink to replace your soda, try lemon water, hibiscus tea, or sparkling water.

Consider using a concealer to assist disguise your acne for the time being if you’re searching for a short-term cure. You may also use a tinted moisturizer to keep your skin from becoming too dry and producing a breakout.

Are sugar-free drinks still acne-causing?

Sugar-free sodas, such as Zevia, are more similar to seltzer water than sugar-sweetened beverages and may be a better alternative when seeking something bubbly.

This is not to be mistaken with believing that sugar-free sodas are a healthy beverage. They include carbonated water as well as an extract such as Stevia leaf.

Although Stevia is still a sugar replacement, it is considered to have a lower impact on blood sugar than table sugar and other sugar substitutes. When our blood sugar levels are consistent, insulin and other hormones are more likely to remain ideal.

Which beverage is the most harmful to one’s skin?

Although every standard soda has a lot of sugar, some are worse than others.

Mountain Dew, Mug Root Beer, Pepsi, and Coca-Cola are the sweetened drinks with the most sugar. With more sugar, they are more likely to produce significant blood sugar spikes, acne, obesity, and various other health issues.

Are there any beverages that may assist with acne?

Water, of course, is one of the finest liquids for our skin, organs, and bodily systems.

The human body is made up of more than half water; when we are deficient, the body struggles to function effectively. Consuming enough water aids digestion, weight reduction, energy levels, and skin hydration!

When we are dehydrated, our bodies try hard to help the skin heal, which causes overproduction of oil, which may contribute to acne.

I recommend reading the ingredient list again when looking at other beverages. What are the very first ingredients? Then you can determine whether it is the best solution for you.


More conclusive evidence linking soda to acne is still needed. However, given all of the detrimental effects soda has on the body, it’s advisable to avoid it regardless of how prone to breakouts you are.

By substituting water or another healthy beverage for your daily soda, you may notice an improvement in your health with just that one adjustment.


Editorial Staff

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