9 drinks that are making you break out

These drinks are not your skin’s best friend.
Copyright © 2014 Spanfeller Media Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Daily Meal® is a registered trademark of Spanfeller Media Group, Inc.  // Copyright © 2014 Spanfeller Media Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Daily Meal® is a registered trademark of Spanfeller Media Group, Inc.

Acne is the bane of everyone's existence: whether you are a teenager or an adult, it's just not something that is welcome on anyone's skin. Other skin problems such as eczema, dermatitis, or just dull skin are not fun to deal with, either. Of course beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but outward appearance is the first thing we respond to before we can get to know someone's personality.

As a physician, my first approach is to inquire about overall lifestyle including stress and nutrition. Research has linked high levels of stress with acne outbreaks, as well as changes in cortisol and hormone levels. And while there always seems to be controversy about whether sugar, dairy, or greasy foods can cause pimples, research has suggested that these foods in fact do trigger acne and poor skin health. Eating or drinking foods that have a high glycemic index like soda, juices, cookies, and pastries can stimulate a release of the hormone insulin which leads to increased sebum or oil production in the skin glands, clogging pores and making way for breakouts. Dairy products have been shown to cause inflammation throughout the body, on every level from cells to tissues to organs, and if you remember your biology classes in high school, you know that the skin is the largest organ.

A diet low in essential fatty acids like omega-3, which is often the case in the Western diets, can be a culprit in unhealthy skin and many skin conditions. The "good" fats are beneficial because they offer anti-inflammatory properties: not only do the heart and brain benefit from these fats, but also the skin. Many GI disorders, such as celiac disease and Crohn's, are linked to poor gut health overall, are implicated in more serious conditions like psoriasis. When I see patients with any type of skin condition, I immediately check their hormone and cortisol levels along with a gut health profile which includes food allergies/intolerance and markers for celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. I also check in-depth diabetes, micronutrient, and cholesterol panels which offer a lot of information on oxidation and inflammatory markers.

I advise my patients to reevaluate what they are eating, and I teach them how to decrease mental/emotional stress. The synergy of mind, body and spirit is essential for optimal health. There are a few things in life that every human will positively benefit from, and it is essential to find and make time for these things.

  1. Restful and adequate sleep
  2. Healthy diet
  3. Exercise/Yoga
  4. Good sex

All these things allow cortisol and hormone levels to be regulated while sugar is balanced and the body is being detoxified on the mental and physical realms. And when you are treating your body well, it will radiate from the inside out: and there is nothing better to have radiant skin, hair, and nails. Following these four rules will guarantee you glowing skin.

When you consider what to drink, choose simple drinks like water and coconut water, what Mother nature has readily available for us. Avoid sugar overload and artificial sweeteners and colorings. Replace milk with almond and coconut milks. Detoxify and alkalinize your body—all of the drinks mentioned below can increase toxicity and acidity in the body, which has deleterious effects on the skin.

Cheers to radiant and healthy skin!

1 of 11 REX Features

Soda (diet or regular)

Loaded with more sugar or artificial sweeteners, these drinks contain many harmful chemicals than the body is capable of handling. The sugar load incites a detrimental cascade of events in the body, which eventually causes insulin resistance, weight gain, diabetes, and cardiovascular problems.

More: Whether you're a fan of diet or regular, soda may be worse for you than you think.

2 of 11 Image courtesy of The Daily Meal


Unless you whole juice at home, you are buying yourself a very unhealthy drink loaded with sugar, preservatives, and artificial colorings, all of which cause acne and lackluster skin. Packaged juices or boxed juices are loaded with additives, preservatives, and high fructose corn syrup, and these are all damaging, causing skin to lose its elasticity and youthfulness.

More: Before you take a swig of your favorite apple or orange juice, you might want to take a second look at the ingredients on the label — they may not be what you expected.

3 of 11 Image courtesy of The Daily Meal


Besides all the unnatural hormones and antibiotics found in milk these days, the human body is just not meant to digest another mammal's protein. Think about it: we are the only species of animal that consumes another species’s milk, and we do so after we are weaned from mother's milk or formula — and we wonder why lactose intolerance is a huge problem. Dairy consumption increases inflammatory activity in the skin and eventually causes acne.

More: Skim milk may actually be worse for your health than full-fat.

4 of 11 Image courtesy of The Daily Meal


This beverage messes with the adrenal glands, responsible for cortisol, and this is the hormone that modulates stress. Coffee has been shown to impair glucose metabolism which causes insulin resistance — add milk and sugar, now you've made a triple-threat for your skin. Not to mention all the other chemicals found in a cup of Joe that will harm your body and skin, like acrylamide, which is listed on California's Prop 65 as a carcinogen.

More: Coffee might be worse for you thank you think.

5 of 11 Image courtesy of The Daily Meal

Energy drinks

These “quick boost” drinks claim to enhance your mental and physical activity, which sounds enticing, but they can actually be very harmful and even deadly. These drinks come loaded with insane amounts of caffeine and tons of sugar. Besides having adverse effects on the heart, blood pressure, and the brain, the skin is subject to premature wrinkling and acne due to the excessive sugar and caffeine.

More: 8 energy drinks that might cause you more harm than good.

6 of 11 Image courtesy of The Daily Meal

Sports drinks

These are popular with all age groups, especially young athletes, but the truth is that these drinks are just as bad as soda. The high levels of sugar or artificial sweeteners are a culprit for acne formation — and throw in the rainbow of artificial colors, you have the perfect recipe for bad skin. Artificial colorings have been shown to cause skin irritation and allergic reactions, as well as pimples. Opt instead for coconut water or aloe water, which are much more beneficial and all-natural.

More: The next time you go to grab a sugary sports drink to hydrate yourself after the big game, think about these questionable health effects.

7 of 11 Image courtesy of The Daily Meal

Sweetened iced tea

While unsweetened tea is good for your health, sweetened versions are loaded with unnecessary sugar or sugar substitutes or high fructose corn syrup — whatever form the "sweetness" is in, your skin will not be happy.

More: Pick up these iced teas to boost metabolism and lose weight.

8 of 11 Image courtesy of The Daily Meal

Most bottled lemonades

Homemade lemonade can be low in sugar and good for your health, but high levels of sugars cause a lot of inflammation in the body, and the byproducts of sugar breakdown bind to skin collagen, which leads to early aging of the skin and also exacerbates skin conditions like rosacea and acne.

More: Battle of the Lemonades

9 of 11 Image courtesy of The Daily Meal


I don't mean to burst anyone's champagne bubble, but excess alcohol intake can cause dry skin because it dehydrates, and too much alcohol can accelerate the aging process of the skin. The liver is our main organ to detoxify all the toxins in the body, and too much alcohol can interfere with this.

More: We set out to discredit a few alcohol myths that have been bothering us since our college days.

10 of 11 Image courtesy of The Daily Meal