Does Drinking Soda Cause Acne?

Growing up, I drank soda like no one’s business. Even now I am likely to pick up a can of soda over a glass of water. As I went through the awkward stage of puberty in my middle school years, pimples and blemishes emerged on my face out of nowhere. My old fashioned step-father always told me, “It’s that soda! If you stop drinking soda, your face will clear up.” But is that statement necessarily true? Is it educated to think that soda is a direct cause of acne?

I asked my doctor several years ago this question and his response was, “I’m no dermatologist, but to my knowledge, no it is not.” If that’s the case, why is the rumor still circulating around? According to Amy Wechsler, the origin of acne is more complicated than food. She says, “The root of virtually all acne is genetics, hormones, stress and inflammation.” Later on in the article, Jody Levine goes on to say, “While there is no direct evidence that soda causes pimples, some ingredients may trigger the body to produce acne.” And that is where the rumor lies.

Soda is obviously loaded with sugar, refined to be exact, and consuming the high glycemic drink that we love oh so much can lead to blood sugar. Then, Levine explains, will cause more insulin and testosterone, which leads to skin inflammation or clogged pores.

Another blog states, “If your persistent pimple is large and inflamed, its most likely coming from under the skin…which usually means the cause is internal. Stress and hormonal changes can cause systic (inflamed) breakouts. Caffeine, sugar, pesticides, MSG and other food additives found in sodas, bottles teas, energy drinks, flavored coffee, and juice can throw your body off balance, causing stress and breakouts. Sodas in particular, have also been known to pull calcium from the bones.”

So no, drinking soda does not DIRECTLY cause acne as adults always throw around. But it does make an impact on your body’s natural performance and balance.

8 thoughts on “Does Drinking Soda Cause Acne?

  1. Katerina Economikos

    I try not to drink soda but I have found that when I drink it for a few days in a row, I actually begin to break out a little. This goes for junk food as well. When I got my driver’s license junior year, my friends and I would go to McDonald’s several times a week after school because we could drive ourselves. After a few weeks of doing this, I noticed that I had a lot more acne than usual and I immediately stopped eating fast food. It wasn’t long before my acne cleared up again. Even though acne is hormonal, I can see how drinking soda can be linked to acne.

  2. Douglas Matthew Leeson

    I’m glad to see that drinking soda doesn’t directly cause acne, but speaking from experience, abstaining from soda certainly doesn’t prevent acne. This could be a twisted example of intelligent design, where when our bodies realize they’re taking in unhealthy food, they pay us back by screwing up our faces.

  3. Alexandra Elisabeth Monahan

    It is interesting to know that some people think soda causes acne, I personally have never heard that one! I always hear that stress causes acne. I have to be honest, I do consume a rather large amount of soda! So thank god soda does not directly cause acne.

  4. cmh5996

    I also had my stage when soda was my preferred beverage almost every time. However as I have gotten older and realized that all the sugar and calories in sodas may not be the best for someone I have cut my intake by quite a bit. I started drinking water a lot more often and have found myself to feel more hydrated and energized. Here is a list of some of the benefits of drinking water over soda.

  5. Kendall Agosto

    I always eat a lot of junk food and I have never had my skin break out because of it. Of course we all went through that awkward phase in middle school where we had acne but I don’t think that was due to the amount of junk food I ate. I eat just as much junk food now as I did back then and my skin is much better now than before. Acne is due to hormones, not what you eat.

  6. Jesenia A Munoz

    I was doing research on this too because I get random break outs all the time and I read the same information! There are so many myths about these foods having a direct relationship with breakouts. I even read that milk is thought to cause acne too. Of course healthy eating habits can help reduce the oils and dirt that pile up on your face but there is SO much more that adds to it! Stress and even change in environment are huge causes of acne.

  7. Abigail Charlotte Ventosa

    I eat lots of chocolate and when I started to break out everyone told me that it was due to chocolate, so I asked my doctor and she said there was no direct causation from chocolate, but basically the same thing as you were told with soda. I’m really surprise about how soda makes such a big impact on your body’s natural performance and balance.

  8. Alexi Zacarias

    I usually only drink soda when I am out to dinner, but I don’t generally enjoy drinking it. I know like you said, the sugars in soda can cause stress which could lead to break outs. Although soda does not directly cause acne, it seems it can trigger some of the body’s natural performances to later cause a pimple here and there. I know junk foods and consuming a lot of unhealthy products can cause oily skin and stress levels in the body leading to acne.

Leave a Reply