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Skincare 101

The Soda Hack for Healthier-Looking Skin

We all know that drinking soda can expand your waistline.

But, as it turns out, it can wreak havoc on your skin too.

“When it comes to getting healthy, youthful-looking skin, what you put in your body is just as important as what you put on your skin,” says Dr. Anthony Puopolo, a clinical advisor to Nava MD. “I tell my patients, soda is one of the worst things you can drink.” 

But why is soda so bad for your skin?

Well, besides lacking in essential vitamins and nutrients, the average can of pop has more than 9 teaspoons of added sugar (the kind of sugar that doesn’t occur naturally in fruits and dairy). And consuming too much sugar can cause glycation, a process that interferes with your natural supply of elastin and collagen, making your skin more likely to wrinkle and crease.

Diet sodas are hardly a healthy alternative. These drinks are made with aspartame, a chemical sweetener that’s been linked to weight gain, migraine headaches, and other serious health issues.

Fortunately, soda lovers can get all the crisp sparkling goodness of classic soda without the drawbacks.

We created a homemade soda recipe that will help you ditch your traditional cola for good.

Homemade Vanilla Cranberry Orange “Soda”


  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cranberry juice
  • 2 cups of fresh-squeezed orange juice (you can make your own using 4 large oranges)
  • Zest from 4 large oranges
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon stevia extract powder
  • Sparkling water


  1. Combine the cranberry juice, orange juice, orange zest, and stevia in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Allow the mixture to cool. Then, strain the syrup through a cheesecloth or sieve to remove any large pieces of zest and pulp. Add in the vanilla extract, place the mixture in a bottle, and keep refrigerated until cold.
  3. To make this “soda,” fill about a third of your glass with the orange vanilla mixture, throw in some ice, and fill the rest of the glass with sparkling water.

Not only is this recipe free of added sugar and aspartame, it’s also packed with Vitamin C a must for healthy hair growth. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps to protect your skin from free radicals, molecules that contribute to premature aging. It also helps your body produce collagen, a structural protein that slows the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.

Plus, because this homemade soda recipe is mostly water, it can help with hydration a must for healthy skin.

Dr. Puopolo says he’s “all for” healthy soda alternatives like this one. “This is definitely worth trying,” he said. “When you eat the right foods and avoid the bad stuff you will absolutely see a difference in your skin.”

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This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice.
Consult a healthcare professional or call a doctor in the case of a medical emergency