When a caffeinated drink is a non-negotiable and essential part of your morning routine, you are not alone. Some of us prefer coffee, while others prefer tea (which, if you did not know, actually contains almost as much caffeine as coffee). In any case, thanks to the energy and improved brain function it provides, caffeine is one of the most popular ingredients in the world.
But have you ever wondered how these magical drinks affect your body and skin? Does the "wake-up" effect apply to all of our coffee peels and caffeine eye creams on our skin as well?
Both coffee and tea contain large amounts of several antioxidants. A diet rich in antioxidants can help your body cells (including skin cells) fight off free radicals that contribute to the aging process, such as the sun, pollution, smoke, and more.
Coffee contains the antioxidant ferulic acid, which has been proven to have anti-inflammatory effects on the body and skin. Green tea, on the other hand, contains a compound called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is known to be anti-inflammatory and protects cells from damage.
Coffee is also rich in niacin (also known as vitamin B3), which helps the entire body system to function better. Talking about the skin specifically helps protect the skin cells from UV damage.
However, all these nice benefits do not mean you should soak your organs in caffeine! When it comes to eating, you should also pay attention to caffeine intake.
Not Captain Obvious, but this sleep …
Because caffeine stimulates our brain by blocking the sleep hormone adenosine, it could very well prevent us from sleeping properly.
If this is a no-duh moment for you, think of the beauty sleep as well. Our body heals and regenerates cells while we sleep, and reduces cortisol. In the long term, a lack of proper sleep can destroy the skin, not to mention the whole body.
If you are particularly prone to acne, be aware that caffeine itself does not cause acne. It can make acne worse.
Caffeine stimulates our adrenal glands, which produce the stress hormone cortisol. This hormone can increase oil production in the skin, which can lead to acne.
In addition to cortisol, it can also be how you take your coffee. Around 65 percent of people drink their coffee with cream and / or sugar. Both coffee supplements can have a negative effect on acne.
Dairy products contain growth hormones that can lead to acne. Sugar, on the other hand, causes insulin fluctuations and inflammatory surges that increase the hormones and cause the oil glands to overdrive. This creates a perfect breeding ground for the formation of P. acnes bacteria.
For stubborn acne, it may be a good idea to take a break from caffeine or drink it black to see how your skin reacts. Luckily, cafés now have many alternatives to dairy and sugar. We look at you, oatmeal.
Bonus? It can reduce the risk of skin cancer.
A 10-year study of nearly 450,000 people suggests that more coffee can reduce the risk of malignant melanoma. The researchers found that people who drank more than four cups of normal (non-decaffeinated) coffee a day had a 20 percent lower risk of malignant melanoma than people who did not drink coffee.
A common misconception about coffee and tea is that it dries up the body and skin. However, investigations suggest something else!
In this study, they compared people who drank 3 to 6 cups of coffee a day to those who drank only water and then tested their hydration. Ring the bells for the good news: Surprisingly, there was no real difference.
Sure, caffeine is a mild diuretic, but think about what coffee and tea are made of – almost all water with a small dose of caffeine. They would use the bathroom regardless of drinking water or caffeinated drinks.
However, this is not a permission not to drink water or to replace water with coffee and tea. As a rule of thumb, if your piss is darker than lemonade, drink more pure water.
In skincare you can find additional ingredients such as coffee arabica seed oil, caffeine or green coffee extract to grind coffee in a body scrub. The topical application also offers some great benefits, as the ingredients go directly to the area to be treated.
Coffee grounds for cellulite problems
Ground coffee is often found in body scrubs or caffeine / coffee extract as the main ingredient in cellulite treatments. The theory is that caffeine can constrict blood vessels and temporarily reduce the incidence of cellulite. But the research around that is slim. Smooth skin probably comes through the peeling of the coffee grounds and the movement of massaging over the skin. It is still skin care!
Coffee and tea extracts in serums and moisturizers
Due to the strong antioxidant protection, coffee and tea extracts are also found in moisturizers and facial serums. Look for products with coffee and tea extracts to fend off free radicals and slow down the appearance of wrinkles, dark spots and more.
Eye creams with coffee
Because caffeine can constrict the blood vessels, increase blood circulation and have anti-inflammatory effects, it is one of the main ingredients of many eye creams. Ideal for the morning when the eye area can look the most bloated. A caffeine-containing eye cream may be the wake-up call that dark circles and red eyes need.
All in all, there are many pros (and cons) to keeping caffeine in the rotation of your skin care, both topically and in the morning as a cup of coffee.
Dana Murray is a licensed beautician from Southern California with a passion for skin care science. She uses her knowledge since 2016 to blog about skin and bust myths on her Instagram.