Caffeine & Your Skin: Here’s What You Need To Know

Many people start their morning with a hefty dose of caffeine. In fact, about 90% of the American population consumes caffeine on a daily basis, and more than half consume over 300mg daily.

Caffeine is a stimulant that can help wake you up, and there are some who say that it can also wake up your skin. When beauty editors began suggesting that exfoliating with fresh coffee grounds could reduce cellulite and firm the skin, topical applications of caffeine came into popularity. The side of the story you don’t hear, however, is that these results are usually temporary.

The desire to stay young drives many to do irrational things, often without taking the time to do their own research. If you were to look for scientific studies that support the use of caffeine as an anti-aging remedy, however, you wouldn’t find many.

In this article, we’ll explore the subject of caffeine as a topical ingredient and how it affects your skin.

What Effect Does Caffeine Really Have on the Skin?

Now that we’ve covered some of the way’s caffeine doesn’t affect the skin, you may be wondering what its true effects really are. Caffeine is a stimulant, though a natural one found primarily in coffee and tea. It works by boosting the central nervous system and brain, helping you stay alert and awake.

Caffeine is an addictive substance and it is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream. Side effects of caffeine can include dehydration, increased urination, nausea, increased blood pressure, rapid heart rate, restlessness, and more. Excessive amounts can even lead to hair loss.

But how does it affect the skin?

Caffeinated beverages like coffee and tea are also known for their antioxidant content. Antioxidants like phenols help fight free radicals which can cause damage to the skin. It may also dilate blood vessels under the skin to improve overall blood flow as well as the skin’s appearance. Other than that, however, the skin benefits of drinking caffeinated beverages are limited.

Though downing a gallon of coffee each morning is unlikely to be the secret to youth, certain caffeine-infused skincare products can provide benefits for your skin. Keep reading to learn more.

Caffeine-Infused Skincare Products

Topical applications of caffeine have shown a variety of skin benefits, especially for anti-aging. It is important to remember that most of these effects are temporary and more scientific study is needed to determine whether the link between caffeine and anti-aging is valid.

Here are some of the purported benefits of caffeine for skin:

  • Caffeine dilates the blood vessels under the skin, improving blood flow and reducing the appearance of cellulite.
  • Though caffeine is a stimulant when consumed, it provides calming benefits when applied topically thanks to its antioxidant content.
  • Applying caffeine to the skin may reduce the appearance of redness, fine lines, and sunspots.
  • Chlorogenic acid, found in coffee, offers anti-inflammatory benefits that may reduce hyperpigmentation.
  • The regular consumption of coffee helps fight harmful bacteria which, combined with the anti-inflammatory benefits, may help fight acne.
  • Caffeine dilates the blood vessels under the skin around the eyes, helping treat dark circles.
  • Adding caffeine to a daily SPF moisturizer may provide protection against the aging effects of UV radiation and pollution.

If you want to enjoy the benefits of caffeine-infused skincare products, you need to shop smart. The key is to know what you are looking for and to be realistic about the results you can expect.

Here are some tips for shopping for caffeine-infused skincare products:

  • Caffeinated scrubs like Yon-Ka’s Guarana Scrub can be used to exfoliate the skin, gently sanding away the top layer of dead skin cells to make room for renewed growth while also dilating blood vessels to improve blood flow. This imparts the skin with an energy boost, alleviates dullness so the complexion is uniform, and sallowness disappears.
  • Adding caffeine to a daily SPF moisturizer can provide skin-calming benefits in addition to protecting against UV radiation and pollution.
  • Topical caffeine solutions containing 5% caffeine or more can reduce the appearance of puffiness and dark circles under the eyes. Yet there are also caffeine free alternatives such as Yon-Ka’s Phyto Contour which can also produce these actions.
  • Caffeine-infused body creams can provide skin-firming benefits, though you’ll need to use the product for several weeks to see any real results.
  • Facial cleansers/scrubs made with caffeine can tighten the skin while the anti-inflammatory benefits reduce redness and irritation for smoother, more even skin.

Though caffeine-infused skincare products are readily available, it is important to remember that research results for some purported benefits are mixed. Understand what you’d like to get out of caffeine-infused skincare products prior to purchasing so you don’t waste your money.

Brianna Cunningham
Brianna Cunningham

Brianna is a writer and blogger living in Austin, Texas. When she isn't working, she enjoys running, watching beauty/skincare videos on YouTube and taking her dog to the park.

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