There are so many things we’d like to do with a bottle of Coke. Namely, drink it.
But also: cook chicken with it, glaze a ham with it, throw it onto grilled sweet potatoes, marinate a flank steak in it, add it to tacos, glaze ribs with it, reduce it and make some jerky… We could go on.
See, we’re totally down to get creative with Coca-Cola. But pouring it all over our bodies? No, thank you. That’s where we draw the line.
Apparently, though, that’s a very real (and very concerning) trend taking off here in the States (and before you get all high-and-mighty over there on the other side of the pond, you should know that we’re not the first people to try it.) While the fad sounds bizarre—and, frankly, is bizarre—all the bronzed beauties who lather up with Coke aren’t crazy. Quite the opposite, actually: This stuff really does work. Which is to say, it makes you look tanner. According to Allure, that’s because “the soda contains a caramel dye, which when applied to the skin, can give it that coveted characteristically bronzed tone.”
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But that doesn’t make it good for you. The problem with the whole thing, of course, is that all that sun exposure is super dangerous…and believe it or not, Coke actually makes tanning worse. As Dr. Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital, told the outlet, “While some feel that Coca-Cola can speed up your tan, it actually can be dangerous, and I recommend staying away from it. Applying it to the skin may lead to a temporary darkening or staining of the skin, but because sodas are acidic, it may exfoliate dead cells, enhancing the ability of UV light penetrate into the skin. Ultimately, this may increase your risk of a sun burn.”
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Also, if you use regular Coke and not Diet Coke can you imagine the flies? No thanks.
…Let’s stick to pouring cola on flank steak.
This article originally appeared on Foodandwine.com