We all like to indulge in our favorite beverages once in a while. Who are we kidding? Almost daily. Latte in the morning, cocktail at night, energy drink before workouts. Although you may think opting for a drink in place of a doughnut or greasy burger is a healthier alternative, beverages pack a powerful punch too.
Even in small quantities, the liquids we drink can affect our mood, appearance, and health. Have you ever wondered why a pimple popped up after drinking a milkshake? Or why your skin might feel extra dry after a night out?
We’ve listed five common beverages consumed on a daily basis and the effects they can have on you.
Milk has been advertised as the ultimate source for protein and calcium for decades now. But did you know dairy products actually contain hormones that are known to cause acne? Teens often like to guzzle milk right out of the gallon, without knowing it can make their puberty-fueled acne worse.
Beverages heavy in milk, like a cappuccino, or a sweet drink like milkshake, can cause your skin to react with a breakout or be extra oily the next day. Combined with sugar, you can clog your pores and wake up to some serious acne – not just a pimple here or there, but cystic acne is common when dairy products are consumed. These are painful, under-the-skin breakouts that have deep roots and can leave scars.
Next time you’re at a coffee shop, ask if they carry milk alternatives – like oat or almond milk. These are hormone-free and won’t harm your skin as much!
A glass of wine or a cocktail here and there isn’t going to wreck your skin. But with consistent drinking, you might notice your skin starting to become dry.
Alcohol is known to be dehydrating. It is also pro-inflammatory, which means that it can make existing breakouts or skin conditions, like rosacea, worse. Blotchy skin, flakey breakouts and uneven skin tone are all effects of alcohol consumption.
Again, combined with sugar, drinks like white wine and craft cocktails can be a huge contributor to skin issues. Your liver has to work extra hard to filter through these drinks, which gives it less time to detox your skin.
It’s important to balance your alcohol consumption with lots of water. A good rule of thumb is to consume a glass of H20 for every drink. That way, you can hydrate your body and give your skin the boost it needs.
Working out is an excellent healthy habit. Sweating is actually beneficial to your skin and can help it flush out toxins and acne-causing bacteria. But, what you consume before and after a workout matters just as much as the workout itself.
Chances are, your favorite sports drink contains dozens of grams of sugar. Sugar is a big culprit in skin issues. Not only can it hinder your healthy habits, but it does its worst to clog your pores and cause acne. Even if the drink is labeled “sugar free,” often times they’re loaded with synthetic sweeteners, like aspartame. Dentists like Dr. Shaylar Hatch confirm that acid can be as dangerous to your teeth as sugar. These empty sugars and carbohydrates will do nothing to improve your figure, or your complexion.
When it comes to hydrating and getting your electrolytes, nothing is quite as effective as water. A typical workout doesn’t demand more than that.
Although it’s naturally derived from plants, coffee famously contains caffeine, which is a stimulant that can upset your body’s natural balance. It can increase your stress levels and also cause the infamous coffee breath. Luckily you can restore your breath with treatment from dentists like Dr. Anthony Dailley, but when it comes to your skin, you have to exercise some control.
Besides being frequently combined with milk and sugar – two of the skin faux pas – coffee is known to be dehydrating, like alcohol. Without proper rehydration, your daily cup of joe could be drying your skin out and encouraging breakouts.
Have you ever heard of beauty sleep? During your nightly rest, your skin rejuvenates itself and gets ready for another day. With coffee stimulating your mind, you might risk a lower quality of sleep. This can show in your complexion – when it should be healthy and glowing, fatigue can cause it to be transparent and filmy.
On the bright side, coffee is known to contain antioxidants that are beneficial to your skin. As long as you’re not adding a ton of cream and sugar packets to your cup every morning, a cup or two of coffee to get your day started shouldn’t have adverse effects on your lovely complexion.
Green tea is similar to coffee in that it contains powerful antioxidants that are beneficial to your skin. A cup a day can make you feel calm – aka, reduce stress levels – and since it’s brewed with water, can hydrate you, too.
There’s a reason why green tea is popularly served in wellness spas around the world. In Japan, you can even take green tea hot baths that are meant to restore your skin to a youthful complexion. Many skin products also contain green tea extract for its light caffeine properties and soothing effects.
Moderation Is Key
With coffee, cocktails, and really any treat, moderation is key. It’s totally fine to enjoy a latte from the neighborhood coffee shop, a drink with coworkers after a long week, or a milkshake on a date. Treating yourself feels good and can reduce stress, which is the number one culprit for skin aging and acne. So don’t sweat the small stuff.
With the knowledge of what causes skin issues, you can look for healthier alternatives next time you buy a beverage. Little changes can make a big difference, and incorporating healthy habits, like sipping on water in between other treats, can positively impact your complexion and overall health.
Chesiree Katter is currently working as a copywriter, freelancer and barista in sunny San Diego, where she graduated from SDSU with a degree in journalism and international studies. She loves to write about her travels and people she meets along the way. Chesiree loves sitting on the beach with a good mocha, book, and lots of dogs nearby.