In its new natural environment. Photo: Tolga Tezcan/Getty Images

It’s gotta be good for something, right?

With so many bottles gathering dust on supermarket shelves, it seems like a good time to test out some new applications — like a replacement for tanning lotion. As several beauty magazines point out this week, this, uh, trend is apparently catching on in the U.S., after enjoying brief popularity last summer over in England.

According to Dr. Joshua Zeichner, a dermatologist who’s also director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai, it’s really not!

“While some feel that Coca-Cola can speed up your tan, it actually can be dangerous, and I recommend staying away from it,” warns Zeichner … “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 [to] penetrate into the skin.”

In other words: Soda is basically unhealthy no matter how you apply it to your body.

Surprise: It’s probably not the best idea in the world.

Source: People Are Using the Soda Nobody’s Drinking As Self-tanner