Skincare question:Can Cola Cause Breakouts?

Ask-the-esthetician question:

I am fair and have red hair and have been plagued by breakouts my whole life. I now realize it’s a myth that as you age, you will no longer experience breakouts but this is getting ridiculous. I almost constantly have at least 1 minor to moderate pimple. I use pretty good skincare (Aveeno for acne and sensitive skin Aveeno moisturizer), I wear very little makeup, I get plenty of rest and I try to mostly avoid the sun so what is going on? My question is do sodas really have a major impact on breakouts? I am addicted to Cola and drink 1-2 per day and do you think this could be a large part of my problem? On a side note, I do have some stress constantly due to my job and high blood pressure. I recently started taking Zija because a friend said it has greatly helped her breakouts. Any suggestions?

Dear Stephanie,

As my Naturapath would say…”if you are addicted to something, its probably not that great for you.” Colas (or as I call, them: Sodas) contain tons of sugars (fake and real), as well as caffeine, and synthetics that can wreak havoc on your body and skin when overdone. I know this is not fun news.

What you eat and DRINK makes a huge impression on the way your skin looks and feels. 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…eeek.

My advice is to eliminate the sodas, and drink only water and herbal tea for one week. If your skin looks clear, you know the culprit. However, you will probably go through some kind of withdrawal from the soda – usually in the form of headaches and a bad mood for a few days…just keep drinking the water and know that this is a GOOD thing! It means you are getting healthier.

As for the Zija, I cannot give an opinion as Ive not tried it or thoroughly researched the product. My experience has been that when something man-made (even if the ingredients are naturally based) is advertised as a “heath” product, don’t overdo it. In other words, dont switch your addiction from soda to an addiction to this beverage. Water is the BEST drink for your skin, hands down!

I don’t like to endorse over the counter medications for acne, as many of them have side effects and do not provide a real, long-term solution. Diet, water intake and stress reduction are the key to keeping your skin clear. I would suggest that you keep your home-care regime simple. Your skin responds best to ingredients it recognizes. For example, raw organic honey is a great substitute for over the counter pore reduction masks. If your skin is feeling oily throughout the day, try using a gentle vitamin serum instead of a lotion or cream moisturizer in the morning.

Here are some helpful links:
Caffeine and Sugar:

Water and Silica:

Strawberry Honey Facial Mask Recipe:


Good luck to you and be well,


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