There are many incentives to drink coffee: the burst of energy, the aroma of a freshly brewed pot, and the delicious spectrum of coffee drinks—from a rich espresso shot to a refreshing iced latte. If you need yet another reason to start your day with a cup of coffee, you can add the positive link between caffeine and skin health to the list.

Drinking coffee as well as applying topical coffee-based skin care products can yield a variety of benefits, like reduced risk of skin cancer, firmer skin, reduced inflammation, and more.

Caffeine and Skin Health

If you're a coffee enthusiast, you may have wondered whether caffeine is truly good or bad for your body. Though some are concerned that caffeine is dehydrating because it's a mild diuretic, the correlation between caffeine and skin health is predominantly positive.

If you've ever come across a coffee skin scrub or green tea eye cream, it's because the caffeine is believed to yield results related to anti-aging, firmness, and inflammation. Coffee grounds also make for an excellent exfoliant, helping to slough off dead skin cells to leave behind smooth skin.

Caffeine is cleverly touted for its ability to "wake up" the skin in the same way it rouses the rest of you. Seeing as caffeine is a stimulant, it can improve blood flow and circulation. This can tighten the skin and reduce the appearance of dark circles around the eyes. And seeing as caffeine may also reduce puffiness, caffeinated skin care products can make skin look more supple and firm.

Another important benefit of caffeine is that it may guard against certain skin cancers. According to Medical News Today, caffeine may offer sun protection benefits in skin. Caffeine applied topically to the skin may prevent ultraviolet light from causing skin cancer. The antioxidants in coffee also contribute to its skin protection benefits.

Drinking Coffee for Your Skin

You may drink more caffeine than you put on your skin, so your morning coffee for skin health may be an easier way to reap the benefits of caffeine. Per Healthline, coffee is also full of nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which are beneficial for skin and overall health.

The antioxidant content in coffee is especially noteworthy given that the beverage is one of the richest sources of antioxidants in the human diet. The antioxidants in coffee are linked to reduced risk of many diseases, including diabetes, liver disease, and Alzheimer's. They're also vital for skin health.

Antioxidant-rich foods and drinks, especially those containing vitamins A, C, and E, are among the best for skin health. The antioxidants in coffee include hydrocinnamic acids and polyphenols, which are responsible for neutralizing free radicals and preventing oxidative stress. In simple terms, this means they protect skin from cellular damage that can speed aging.

Are There Any Side Effects?

Too much of anything can be a bad thing. The Mayo Clinic recommends no more than 400 milligrams of caffeine—about four cups of brewed coffee—per day. They also warn against the side effects of too much coffee: headache, insomnia, fast heartbeat, muscle tremors, and more. If you are sensitive to caffeine, you may feel jittery even from a small dose.

The ingredients you add to your coffee can also affect your skin health. For example, many coffee drinks contain large amounts of sugar and milk, both of which have been linked to acne and skin inflammation. If drinking coffee for skin health is something you're already doing or thinking of taking up, just remember—all things in moderation.


  • Lacey Muinos

    Lacey is a Southern California-based freelance writer who combines her passions—fitness, health, and a vegan lifestyle—with her work to help readers feel and be their best. Her work has been featured in Healthline, Livestrong, Verywell Fit, Eat This Not That, KinderBeauty, and more.

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