2 Drinks Dermatologists Say Women Over 40 Should Avoid At All Costs Because They Speed Up Aging
This post has been updated since its initial publish date to include more expert insight.
In general, consuming too much of anything with high amounts of sugar and high fructose corn syrup is not ideal for your skin if aging gracefully is your goal. With that already being known, we checked in with experts to learn more about two specific drinks that many of us might consume daily that could deter our other skincare efforts .
Read on for tips from Dr. Cheryl Rosen , Director of Dermatology at BowTied Life, Ksenia Sobchak , dermatologist and cosmetologist at Loxa Beauty, and Jay Cowin , NNCP, RNT, RNC, CHN, CSNA, registered nutritionist and Director of Formulations at ASYSTEM, who all explained which popular beverage types should be limited (and then ultimately avoided) if you’re putting your skin health and overall health first: sugary soda and alcohol.
How Drinking Soda Frequently Could Lead To Faster Aging In Skin
There are plenty of negative health effects of drinking soda that you’re probably aware of, like its sugary contents leading to weight gain or tooth decay, but what about your skin? “Many people don't realize that drinking soda can be bad for their skin,” Rosen explains. “Soda is loaded with sugar and empty calories, which can lead to weight gain, but the sugar in soda can also have a negative impact on your skin.”
Rosen says that heavy amounts of soda every day can lead to premature or faster aging because “it's packed with sugar and chemicals” that are harmful to the body. “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,” she continues. When you drink soda, Rosen notes, the sugar molecules bind to proteins in your skin, causing inflammation and acne. Soda can also “dry out your skin,” and make it more “susceptible” to wrinkles, and because soda contains caffeine, it can “dehydrate you, which can further damage your skin.”
Sobchak agrees, and adds soda is high in sugar amounts that can accelerate the aging process. “Consumption of sodas frequently spikes up blood sugar levels in the body and is highlighted on the skin by conditions such as wrinkles, sagginess, rough texture, dull and oily skin,” Sobchak says.
She points out that soda contributes to premature aging by releasing harmful inflammatory effects that impact overall skin health. “Most sodas are packed with advanced glycation end products that negatively interact with essential nutrients such as lipids, nucleic acids, and proteins. The ages destroy these nutrients making the skin vulnerable to infections and heightening the aging process,” she notes.
How Alcohol Can Lead to Premature (or Faster) Aging
Alcohol is another frequently enjoyed beverage with its fair share of health consequences—both short term and long term. We all know about the dreaded hangovers, the liver damage, and the weight gain this drink can cause. But one of alcohol's lesser known fallbacks is the fact that it can speed up the aging of your skin due to dehydration.
Similarly to soda and other sugary beverages, the main issue with alcohol when it comes to the health of your skin is the fact that it's highly dehydrating.
"Dehydration can lead to several skin problems, including dry skin, wrinkles, and acne," Cowin notes. "Additionally, alcohol is a known toxin that can damage the skin over time."
Dietitian Dana Ellis Hunnes , PhD, MPH, RD and author of Recipe For Survival, agrees, noting that the dehydrating effects of alcohol "can make skin appear duller and lose elasticity." That means that, even though a glass of wine with dinner every now and then surely won't kill you, it's best to lay off the binge drinking if you want to keep your youthful glow for as long as possible. As Cowin points out, "A healthy diet is important for keeping your skin looking its best," and alcohol typically isn't the healthiest option.
Overall, if you're trying to achieve clear, youthful-looking skin, ditching the soda and excessive alcohol is a good place to start. If you already practice a healthy skincare routine with dermatologist-approved products, ample amounts of water per day, a balanced diet, a consistent sleep schedule and regular exercise, drinking heavy amounts of soda could ultimately deter your other efforts to promote your skin health. “Choose water or unsweetened tea instead — both will help keep your skin healthy and maintain your overall health,” Rosen concludes.