5 Caffeine Benefits for Skin No One Should Pass Up
Everyone’s morning ritual varies; there is no “one-size-fits-all” ritual and honestly, that is the beauty of it. We’re all just trying to survive the mornings. If there is one thing, however, that most of us have in common, it’s caffeine. Surviving early mornings would not be possible without a little jolt from a good ‘ole cup of joe. Does this benefit of caffeine extend beyond saving us from sleepy mornings? Can caffeinated serums or creams save sleepy skin as well? Let’s dive into how our morning pick-me-up can pick up our skin too. Here are 5 caffeine benefits for the skin no one should pass up.
- Caffeine is an antioxidant and vasoconstrictor, meaning it has a positive effect on the aging process and reduces inflammation and puffiness of the skin.
- While caffeine reaps tremendous benefits for the skin, it will not be a permanent solution.
- Caffeine benefits for the skin include a reduction of stretch marks and cellulite, minimization of under-eye bags, brightening of the skin, protection against skin damage, and the soothing of inflammation.
A breakdown of caffeine
Recently, caffeine has become an increasingly popular ingredient in skincare products ranging anywhere from cellulite creams to eye serums to face masks and well beyond. This increase in caffeine-based products is likely due to a shift away from synthetic substances, instead maximizing the benefits of everyday plant ingredients like caffeine.
While most of the marketing states that caffeine will “wake up” your skin, this isn’t entirely true, but it also isn’t not true. It’s important to break down exactly what this marketing really means.
Similar to other berries, the coffee bean has strong antioxidant properties. Specifically, as an antioxidant, caffeine has the ability to have a positive impact on the aging process and minimize the production of free radicals and reactive oxygen species. When applied topically to the skin, it compresses blood vessels and lessens inflammation and puffiness of the skin.
In other (fancier) words, caffeine acts as a vasoconstrictor. It narrows blood vessels via the muscles in their walls, slowing or even blocking blood flow. This effect essentially tightens and brightens the skin, having a temporary impact on wrinkles and a visible, smoothing effect on cellulite across the body.
If you’re looking to incorporate caffeine-based, topical products into your skin, the application is recommended twice each day for a lasting effect. If you’re looking to brighten dark circles, applying a caffeine-based cream twice a day under your eyes will do the trick.
If you’re trying to treat cellulite, use a body scrub with caffeine once each week and a lotion with caffeine twice each day on affected areas. Keep in mind, however, that if you were genetically gifted those *designer* under-eye bags or cellulite, caffeine may temporarily reduce the appearance, but it won’t eliminate either one completely.
5 Caffeine benefits for skin
The topical application of caffeine is typically a more direct, healthier, and faster way to reap the benefits of the powerful antioxidant. Drinking coffee, however, is another way to reap the benefits.
Coffee is chock-full of other nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are excellent for both your skin and overall health. These antioxidants include hydrocinnamic acids and polyphenols which take on the role of neutralizing free radicals and preventing oxidative stress. In other words, they protect your skin from damage that can accelerate aging.
Regardless of how you choose to maximize your caffeine intake, here are five benefits that a caffeine boost will provide your skin.
1. Reduces the appearance of stretch marks and cellulite
when using a topical coffee-based scrub, the abrasive particles effectively exfoliate the skin, thus eliminating dead cells and allowing newer ones to resurface. These new cells bring about a more even tone, helping with stretch marks gradually, but surely. Caffeine content can improve collagen production to lighten and tighten the skin and fade away the visible marks.
In regard to cellulite, caffeine has been shown to stimulate enzymes and break down fats, ultimately dehydrating fat cells. The results? A firmer, smoother appearance of the skin.
2. Minimizes the appearance of under-eye bags
I don’t know about you, but I’ve got two Prada bags sitting nice and comfortably under my eyes. They’re worse after a rough night of sleep, and even worse with a hangover, but realistically, my under-eye bags are just there due to general exhaustion.
A caffeinated product may be just what I (and maybe you) need to lessen the appearance of my dark circles. It helps with microcirculation, meaning it constricts the blood vessels and *temporarily* aids discoloration of the skin.
3. Brightens the skin
As previously mentioned, coffee is a vasoconstrictor. The reduction in blood flow to the skin enhances the brightness and smooths out fine lines. Additionally, due to its role as an antioxidant, it encourages cell regeneration and fixes what is broken – meaning it repairs damaged cells. All of these factors combined contribute to that brightened and tightened skin we all desire.
4. Protects the skin from damage
Yet again, the antioxidant properties of caffeine are coming to the rescue! Research has shown that caffeine may offer sun protection benefits for the skin. When applied topically, it has been shown to aid against damage from the ultraviolet light that can ultimately lead to skin cancer.
Specifically, studies found that consuming three cups of coffee links to a 21% lower risk of developing skin cancer in women, and a 10% lower risk in men when compared with drinking less than one cup each month.
5. Soothes inflammation
Caffeine and chlorogenic acids (CGA) that are found in coffee can soothe inflammation as a result of skin problems including eczema, psoriasis, and acne. Additionally, coffee grounds can fight off skin infections and diseases due to the antimicrobial properties of caffeine and CGA. Even more, it has been known to stimulate hair growth by soothing inflammation surrounding hair follicles of the skin. It sounds like a win-win!
Overall, it’s important to keep in mind that, just like coffee can’t magically replace a full 9 hours of sleep when you wake up (I wish!), it can’t magically eradicate every skin problem. Most of the benefits of caffeine are temporary fixes that aim to address symptoms of greater skin concerns without repairing the root of the problem.
The FDA recommends no more than 400 milligrams of caffeine each day, so if you’re eager to provide your skin with these benefits, make sure to watch how many Celsius, Monster Energy Drinks, or venti double shots you’re consuming each day.
Written by Morgan Taylor
- Photo by Jocelyn Morales on Unsplash