Okay, so we’ve heard of Coca-Cola being bad for your teeth. We know it’s loaded with sugar and chemicals. But now people are lathering it on their skin?!
That’s right. People are taking the caramel-colored, fizzy drink and rubbing it on their arms, legs, and faces in an attempt to get tan. And it’s working.
Coca Cola contains caramel dye, which gives it — and now many people’s skin — that bronzed, darker hue. In England, people discovered this technique over a year ago and it’s just now made it into the United States.
But before you try it at home, there are a few things you should know. The soda was not medically tested for skincare safety; if someone did decide to test it, it would likely fail. Joshua Zeichner, the director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, explained the danger to Allure. “While some feel that Coca-Cola can speed up your tan, it actually can be dangerous, and I recommend staying away from it,” he advised.
Caramel dye isn’t the only reason the cola works produces a bronzing effect. Essentially, the acidic nature of the cola exfoliates dead cells on the surface of your skin, which normally protect the lower layers from UV light penetration. Therefore, the exfoliating effect of Coca Cola intensifies the effect of harmful UV rays. While you may temporarily get a warm, bronze glow, in the long run you are at greater risk for sunburn and skin cancer.
Our advice? It’s not worth it. Grab some sunscreen and sip on a nice cold Coke. Did you know that Coke actually used to contain cocaine? Read 10 famous Coca-Cola myths.