Why Your Pumpkin Spice Latte Might Be Bad For Your Skin

Let’s just start off by saying that we’re not in the coffee business. We’re in the skin care business. If you keep breaking out despite your stellar skin care routine, chances are that you need to look inward. When it comes to your skin, you are what you eat (or for the purpose of this article drink)

Call us basic, but there is nothing that feels more like fall than a Pumpkin Spice Latte. Starbucks originally launched this signature seasonal drink 15 years ago and it quickly became a fan favorite with over 20 million cups sold a year.

So why are we calling out the Pumpkin Spice Latte you ask? Well, it’s just one of many holiday drinks you may start consuming this year. The PSL, like all yummy holiday drinks, are packed full of dairy and processed sugar.  Those are two ingredients most skin care professionals advise you to limit or even all-out avoid, especially if you have sensitive skin. 

Just look at the nutritional value of a Pumpkin Spice Latte compared to a non-fat latte. (and that’s not even a Venti size)

You can see a spike in both calories and sugar with a traditional PSL with whole milk.

It’s no surprise to anyone that dairy might be a huge culprit when it comes to breakouts. As we’ve talked about before, dairy is difficult for the body to digest and is also mucous forming. Anything that affects your digestive system, will show up in your skin in some shape or form.

Sugar is another thing to look out when you start to break out. An excess of sugar can lead to inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation can cause swelling, redness, uneven skin tone and texture. It can be annoying in the short term and debilitating in the long term. For those of you that suffer from breakouts, acne, or rosacea sugar might even exacerbate your symptoms or even trigger it.

So is it possible to have your latte and drink it too?

We found a healthy alternative to PSL for you try.

  • 1 cup (240mL) nonfat milk
  • 1 tbsp (15g) pumpkin puree 
  • 4 drops vanilla creme stevia or adjusted to taste
  • ⅛ tsp ground cinnamon
  • tiny pinch ground nutmeg
  • tiny pinch ground ginger
  • ¾ cup (180mL) extra strong coffee
  1. Add the milk and pumpkin to a small pot. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a whisk, until the mixture begins to simmer. Add in the stevia, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Whisk the mixture until it becomes frothy.
  2. Add the coffee to a large mug, and pour the milk mixture on top.

We’re not telling you this to freak you out or place any shame around the PSL. We’re simply saying to keep an eye out for internal or external culprits that may impact your skin.

Going with a non-fat or plant-based milk is a great way to limit the amount of dairy you are taking in. It also might be worth trading that PSL in for a kombucha or plain cup of coffee with cinnamon every now and then.

Still a latte addict? We feel you. If you’re still not wanting to give up this little treat, you better make sure to have the right products on your shelf to minimize breakouts. Glycolic Serum, for instance, is a great way to spot treat breakout areas. It’s also a good idea to have a go-to cleanser that can clean up all the gunk. We’re thinking our Energizing Papaya Cleanser should do the trick.d

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