Dermatology

Coffee, Caffeine and Your Skin

As if you needed another excuse to enjoy your cup of joe…coffee is actually really beneficial for your skin.  I’ve been a coffee drinker since college…long before I knew or recognized the health benefits of this drink that I enjoyed so much.  And I credit my daily coffee drink (that’s all I have…about 1 cup a day) as a significant contributor to my healthy skin.

Coffee is an excellent source of antioxidants, which are compounds that help fight and neutralize damaging free-radicals in your skin.  These free radicals can result from inflammation from stress or a poor diet, changes in hormone levels, or ultraviolet light exposure.  The end result of the protective effects of the antioxidants is healthier, clearer, and stronger skin that ages at a slower rate due to the support and repair achieved from those compounds. 

Ever notice skin care products that contain caffeine as one of the primary ingredients?  Caffeine constricts blood vessels in our skin which decreases inflammation and reduces redness and swelling.  This can improve the appearance of puffy under eye circles. 

Caffeine  can also help cellulite (for example on the thighs or buttocks) by blocking fat accumulation in cells via stimulation of fat degradation .  To obtain this benefit, it is best to directly apply a skin care cream containing caffeine to your skin rather than try to ingest an adequate amount of coffee to produce this improvement.

The polyphenols in coffee are known to support healthy blood pressure and the function of the cells that line our blood vessels, thereby reducing mortality from heart disease and stroke.  Likewise, these polyphenols help regulate blood flow in our skin in response to stresses such as ultraviolet light or extreme hot or extreme cold conditions. 

There is evidence that caffeine can also stimulate hair growth by blocking one of the enzymes involved in the hair loss process.

Coffee consumption (in a dose dependent manner) may even contribute to a lower risk of nonmelanoma(1)  and melanoma(2) skin cancer. 

So that should convince you…if you enjoy a cup of coffee, or two, daily, you are actually helping protect and strengthen your skin.  Enjoy, and relish the benefit to your skin!


1. Vaseghi G1Haghjoo-Javanmard S2,3Naderi J2Eshraghi A4Mahdavi M2Mansourian M2,5. Coffee consumption and risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer: a dose-response meta-analysis. Eur J Cancer Prev. 2018 Mar;27(2):164-170.

2. Shaowei Wu,1,2Jiali Han,3,4,5,6Fengju Song,7Eunyoung Cho,2,6Xiang Gao,6,8,9David J. Hunter,6,10 andAbrar A. Qureshi  Caffeine Intake, Coffee Consumption, and Risk of Cutaneous Malignant Melanoma.  Epidemiology. 2015 Nov; 26(6): 898–908.

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