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Does Soda Cause Acne?

author image Brenda Barron
Brenda Barron is a writer, editor and researcher based in Southern California. She has worked as a writer since 2004, with work appearing in online and print publications such as BabyZone, "Cat Fancy" and "ePregnancy." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from California State University, Long Beach.
Does Soda Cause Acne?
Soda may cause acne breakouts. Photo Credit: Oleksiy Mark/iStock/Getty Images

Numerous myths surround acne. Some people say that eating chocolate or greasy foods will cause a breakout. Others claim that sugary sweets like soda are to blame. While there is no direct link between soda consumption and the development of acne, substances in soda could create issues in the body that cause acne as a side effect.

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Consuming too many refined sugars may be linked to the development of acne, according to Refined sugars are present in soda and cause weight gain because they contain empty calories. This causes a spike in blood sugar. Your body makes insulin and testosterone to compensate, and you could develop clogged pores and skin inflammation.


Many sodas are caffeinated, which could have an effect on whether you develop acne. However, many believe that caffeine is not a direct cause of acne. The more likely culprit is what often goes with caffeine, like milk products, according to a study published in "The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology."

Sleep and Digestive Problems

While drinking a lot of soda may not directly cause acne, the caffeine in it can cause insomnia and digestive upset, both of which are directly related to acne. Failing to get enough sleep because of caffeine stimulation causes your body to get stressed out and release cortisol, which causes the overproduction of oil and the onset of acne. Likewise, having too much caffeine from soda can cause digestive upset from dehydration and constipation and lead to blemishes.


Soda does not cause acne, at least not directly. However, consuming too many sugary and caffeinated substances could cause sleep disturbances, digestive problems and weight gain, all of which could lead to acne to some degree. To avoid acne, limiting the number of sodas you drink can help improve your overall health, which is directly related to healthy skin.

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