Ah, the first inklings of fall. The early mornings aren’t sweltering, stores are displaying their new seasons of activewear front and center, and—most importantly—Starbucks is, again, offering the pumpkin spice latte.
Chances are, if you’re one of the zillions of devoted fans of the festive beverage, that you order it with utter excitement. After all, its base is pumpkin—that’s a fruit, and it’s full of antioxidants (I mean, pumpkin even does wonders for your skin when applied topically).
But, does that mean that, by extension, the PSL means good things for your skin, too? Err, hate to be the bearer of bad news, but not exactly. Like, if sipped on the reg, one derm says that these could even lead to breakouts.
“This type of drink is a good example of something that sounds like it should be good for you because of all the good nutrients and antioxidants that come from pumpkin,” says Ava Shamban, MD, a Beverly Hills dermatologist and founder of Skin Five. “However, it’s not good for you due to the excessive amount of sugar.” Yikes! Sugar is inflammatory, so it breaks down collagen, and triggers insulin production, which can thereby increase oil production and lead to acne.
“While there’s a small amount of pumpkin purée, it’s not enough to counteract all of the syrup sugar, which could contribute to premature aging of the skin,” adds Dr. Shamban.
So what’s a PSL-loving gal to do? Dr. Shamban recommends making your own healthy autumnal drink. “Start with sparkling mineral water and add a quarter or a third of your favorite juice, like cranberry with lime,” she says. It’s not pumpkin, but you’ll get antioxidants and a taste of fall in your own way. Oh, and it’s just as good for the ‘gram.
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