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Skin Care and Caffeine – What You Need To Know

Nothing soothes the soul better than a steamy mug of freshly brewed coffee and, if you’re like us, you’re relying on that third cup of coffee to help you survive the 3pm stretch. Whether you’re relying on a cup to get you through a workday day or enjoying a latte with friends over Sunday brunch, you might be curious about the effects of caffeine on your complexion.

Let’s take a look!

The Bad News

As a diuretic, coffee dehydrates and drains the body of its fluids and moisture, leaving it dry and flaky. This loss of fluid can lead to increased inflammation in the body and the storage of excess toxins that are difficult for the body to properly flush out. So, what are the visible effects of excess caffeine consumption on skin? You may experience a less luminous complexion, uneven skin tone and texture, and a loss of skin elasticity.

One of the main drawbacks of drinking coffee has less to do with the caffeine and more with what goes into our coffee. For example, consuming cream and sugar can increase one’s struggles with acne. Dairy products are known to cause serious skin problems as they can contain unwanted hormones. Sugar, on the other hand, is known for its inflammatory effects on the skin and can lead to spikes blood sugar and insulin levels. Overproduction of insulin may cause your glands to increase production of sebum – leading to the clogging of pores and swelling of skin. If you’re oily, try skipping the sugar. While everyone takes their coffee differently, you may want to pay attention to your particular preferences and the impacts these choices have on your skin!

is coffee bad for your skin

The Good News

Yes, there is good news. Caffeine and skin care CAN mix well and, in fact, coffee is now frequently being incorporated into beauty and skin care products because of its exfoliating and anti-inflammatory benefits. When applied topically, caffeine is known to treat and reduce the appearance of redness, inflammation, under eye circles, cellulite and stretch marks. Incorporating coffee into your self-care routine can leave your skin smooth, soft, and toned all over.

  • Redness and inflammation: Caffeine’s antioxidant-rich composition and anti-inflammatory properties nourish the skin and may help to combat redness and inflammation. Coffee scrubs and face masks with caffeine are the best way to reap these topical benefits of caffeine.

  • Under Eye Circles: Caffeine works to minimize blood pressure build up under the eyes, reducing the appearance of unpleasant dark circles, eye puffiness, and discoloration.

  • Cellulite + Stretch Marks: Drinking too much coffee reduces skin elasticity, while applying it topically increases it! When caffeine is applied to your skin, it helps break down and redistribute fat cells, thus helping prevent the formation of more cellulite. Caffeine also aids in the prevention and removal of small varicose veins by helping to shrink blood vessels. Caffeine tightens the skin and helps release toxins and fats found in the skin.

  • Exfoliation: One of our favorite coffee benefits is its fabulous exfoliating strength. Coffee grounds are effective enough to scrub away dead skin cell buildup, yet gentle enough to not irritate the skin. Rather, it leaves skin softer than ever before!

How much is too much?

To help you monitor your caffeine levels, we’ve included a simple consumption guideline to keep in mind. 

Coffee consumption is commonly classified into the following tiers:

- Light Consumption: 1-2 cups a day

- Moderate Consumption: 2-3 cups a day

- Heavy Consumption: 4 – 6 cups a day

One cup of coffee contains about 100mg of caffeine. For most, it is considered that 300-400mg of caffeine can be ingested safely per day. 

Just like anything in life, balance is key! Giving up coffee altogether is far too big a sacrifice to make (especially on Mondays!) but being cautious about how much caffeine we intake and skipping a few cups throughout the week is definitely doable and your skin will thank you for it!


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