In the quest for flawless skin, some people are willing to try just about anything that doesn't involve a heap of money or a degree of pain. They'll adopt a detailed nighttime skincare routine to tackle different problem areas (they shouldn't), they'll cut dairy from their diets hoping it will reduce acne (it will), they'll avoid grilling food frequently in case it can help skin look less wrinkled (it can), and they'll hop onto any remotely promising beauty trend that just might work.
One of these common trends is drinking beverages that contain relatively unusual ingredients like charcoal or aloe. The premise is that these products claim to address issues like acne and aging skin, but dermatologist Angela Lamb cautions against placing too much stock in those assertions.
"I have a name for things that people are drinking that really aren't ... doing what they claim," she tells #OWNSHOW in the above video. "They're 'bogus beauty beverages,' or BBBs.
"Unfortunately, there just hasn't been a lot of research that drinking any of these types of things helps your complexion," she continues.
"Most of this doesn't actually get processed or absorbed into the skin. It gets processed, really, too quickly," she says.
Instead, placing these ingredients directly on the skin is a better way to go.
"Charcoal is really great on your skin as a mask," Dr. Lamb says. "If you're putting it on your skin, it can draw out impurities [and] it can dry up some residual blemishes. But as a drink, it's not really great because all it's doing is going right through [your system]. It's not doing anything to come into your pores and actually help your skin."
As for what we should be drinking, water is the beauty beverage winner. Beyond that, Dr. Lamb only recommends a few other types of drinks. "Some of the smoothies that have some good antioxidants, some of the green drinks... those are great," she says.
For those that believe they have seen improvement in their skin after drinking a trendy beverage or going on a cleanse, the real reason might have more to do with what they're elimination from their diets, rather than what they're adding.
"Probably, they're replacing some of the junk food that wasn't so good for their skin or their health in general with things that are just... intrinsically more healthy," Dr. Lamb points out. "That definitely leads to a better complexion, so that we can ideally get to that end goal, which is what you want, which is just fabulous skin."
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