Beverages sometimes get swept under the rug when it comes to skincare, but considering how you may actually be drinking far more frequently throughout the day than eating a meal or snack, it’s important to remember that beverages you drink have just as much impact as what you eat. Drinking enough water is obviously important, but it’s also crucial to avoid beverages that do damage to your skin and weaken skin elasticity, like coffee and soda. We spoke with Dr. Nadir Qazi, DO, a board-certified physician, cosmetic dermatology surgeon, and owner of Qazi Cosmetic Clinic, and Dr. Cheryl Rosen, Director of Dermatology at BowTied Life. They said coffee and soda are two drinks you should avoid at all costs because they both contain high levels of caffeine which has a diuretic (water-losing) effect. So drinking coffee (even decaf) or soda can leave you dehydrated and your skin dry and saggy.
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On its own and in moderation, a cup of coffee really isn’t anything to worry about. In fact, it may even help aid weight loss and improve brain function, among other health benefits. However, adding ingredients like sweeteners to your cup of joe can be detrimental to your skin health.
“Coffee is among the most acidic and dehydrating beverages on the market,” Dr. Qazi explains. “It’s full of toxins that can leave the skin dry and dehydrated, especially when consumed excessively. The caffeine in coffee may bring the rush you desire to get through your day; however, most coffee can rob your skin of the elasticity your desire and reduce your skin’s natural glow.”
If you’re over the age of 40 and are used to creamer and sweetener in your coffee, it may be time to switch to a black coffee. While drinking one cup of black coffee a day has numerous health benefits, drinking it with added sugar will cause skin dryness. Excess refined sugar consumption causes damage to collagen and elastin proteins in the skin. This reduces the integrity and elasticity of skin, making it prone to dehydration and wrinkling.
Instead, Dr. Qazi suggests replacing your morning coffee with morning tea. “Green tea has antioxidants that prevent inflammation, redness, and puffiness from plaguing your skin,” Dr. Qazi says. “Not only can green tea replenish the skin with rich antioxidants, but can also boost collagen production.” Perfect!
As you probably already know, soda is usually loaded with sugar and chemicals that can be bad for your body. It can promote weight gain and lead to negative effects on your skin. According to Dr. Rosen, “Chemicals like phosphorus, potassium, and caffeine leach minerals from the bones and can damage the cells in the body. The sugar in soda is one of the leading causes of diabetes, which can also lead to premature aging.” Rosen warns that because of its caffeine content, soda can “dehydrate you, which can further damage your skin” and “make it more susceptible to wrinkles.” Drinking soda with lots of sugar may also result in acne.
To kick your soda habit, Dr. Qazi recommends drinking coconut water instead. “Coconut water is rich in Vitamins C, K, and A which are all great for the skin,” he explains. “Although coconuts do provide a moderate source of naturally occurring sugar, it’s the refined sugars that steal the skin’s elasticity and provide the harmful toxins.”
So there you have it, two drinks dermatologists say women over 40 should not drink because they can cause wrinkles and sagging skin. As our experts recommended, instead of coffee and soda, drink green tea and coconut water. Or, plain and simple, just drink water. It’s a beverage that is essential for keeping the skin hydrated and flushing out toxins. And, drinking enough water has a plethora of other benefits for your overall health.