Many of us rely on a cup (or more) of coffee to feel awake, power through the morning, or get some headache relief. And while there is no problem with consuming it in moderation, drinking it in excess can spell trouble for your skin. This is particularly true if you add lots of sugar and dairy to your beverage.

Coffee Drinking How it Affects Your Skin

Coffee or caffeine, of course, still has positive benefits when consumed the right way. It can even do wonders for your skin when applied topically, which will be discussed later in this article. But first, let us find out how coffee or caffeine can negatively affect your skin.

It can be dehydrating

One important thing to know about coffee or caffeine is that it is a diuretic. This means that it pulls water from the body (including your skin) and increases urine production, which can result in dehydration. And when your skin is dehydrated, it is more likely to appear dry, dull, and less plump. 

Another sad part about coffee’s dehydrating effects is that it can make wrinkles, creases, and under-eye bags more prominent. The lack of moisture can make you look tired, sad, or older even when you’re not.  

It may disrupt your sleep

Apart from being diuretic, caffeine is also a stimulant that increases the activity in your brain and nervous system. While small doses can boost your energy and make you feel focused, several cups, particularly in the afternoon or evening can negatively affect your sleep. It can:

  • Delay sleep or make your fall asleep later
  • Reduce your sleeping hours
  • Reduce the amount of your deep sleep (which is known to support memory, replenish energy, and help with cell regeneration)

Lack of sleep or a low-quality slumber can affect the way you look in the morning. You may look exhausted with more apparent dark circles and under-eye bags. Constant sleep deprivation is also associated with accelerated aging, as it does not give your body and skin enough time to repair and regenerate itself at night. 

For further reading: 7 Ways to Get Beauty Sleep

It is linked to increased stress.

Caffeine does boost energy and alertness, but it is also sad to increase cortisol or stress hormone levels. Rising or excess levels of cortisol can increase sebum production and break down collagen and elastin. This can trigger breakouts or contribute to the appearance of premature fine lines and wrinkles. 

A 2015 study presented results suggesting that consuming coffee may be linked to stress and anxiety. The symptoms of too much caffeine and anxiety disorder can also overlap, causing you to feel a rapid heartbeat, stomach issues, headaches, and dizziness.

Too much caffeine can also cause you to feel restless, nervous, and irritable, as well as temporarily raise your blood pressure. It is not advisable to drink a cup of coffee when you’re stressed, as it can only exacerbate your symptoms and make you feel worse. It can also impair your ability to focus, making it difficult for you to work or study. 

What you put in your coffee can have negative effects

If you add lots of sugar to your coffee and drink lots of it throughout the day, it can cause a spike in your insulin, resulting in inflammation. This can negatively affect the clarity of your skin by potentially contributing to more breakouts, clogged pores, and flare-ups. Too much sugar can also lead to the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), the harmful molecules that increase the breakdown of collagen fibers.

Dairy in your coffee could also hurt your skin due to its link with acne skin conditions in some people. It is said to contribute to the formation of acne because it raises blood sugar levels, which is known to exacerbate said skin condition. Cow’s milk, furthermore, can cause you to produce more insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), which may contribute to acne development and increased sebum production.

Applying caffeine topically has positive effects.

The substances in coffee, according to some studies, can help promote healthy skin. Just do take note that the skin benefits are achieved by applying it topically on the skin, and not necessarily by drinking coffee.  

  • Helps reduce cellulite appearance – caffeine dilates the blood vessels underneath the skin and promotes blood flow. Topical products with caffeine like Dr. Sylvia’s Cellu(e)rase with Caffeine can help reduce the look of skin dimpling, as well as tighten skin and give it an even or smoother appearance. 
  • Reduces dark circles and puffiness – skincare with caffeine can provide skin tightening, which assists in reducing the buildup of fluid under the eyes and the look of dark circles. Caffeine, furthermore, has antioxidants that can soothe the eye area and reduce redness and puffiness.
  • Helps protect against UV damage – caffeine is an antioxidant that protects the skin from UV damage by reducing free radicals or the unstable molecules that can damage cells, including those that are responsible for the production of collagen and elastin. 

Reducing your caffeine intake

Here are a few things that can help you cut back on your daily fix.

  • Choose decaf (this option contains less caffeine) 
  • Limit dairy and sugar in your coffee.
  • Cut back slowly to help your body get accustomed to lower caffeine levels and reduce potential withdrawal effects.
  • Drink a cup of water for every cup of coffee you consume. 
  • Avoid drinking coffee and other caffeinated beverages later in the day.
  • Choose quality, organic beans (higher quality beans or those grown in higher altitudes have less caffeine).
  • Avoid other sources of caffeine, such as soda and energy drinks.  

Take note: Drinking coffee isn’t bad, particularly when done in moderation, and is not loaded with sugar or dairy. A cup or two in the morning can give you the boost you need as well as take advantage of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Consuming too much or adding lots of sugar or milk, however, can cancel out its positive benefits.

How Cutis can help

If you have skin concerns that make you look tired, angry, or sad when you feel otherwise, our clinic can help. We have several non-surgical procedures that can wake up your tired eyes, reduce fine lines, or even brighten and even your complexion. Here are a few procedures worth considering.

  • Dermal fillers – provide extra volume that can lift the area beneath the eyes and minimize shadowing that can result in dark under-eye circles.
  • Botulinum toxin – is for wrinkle management, particularly in the forehead, between the brows, and around the eyes. It temporarily freezes the muscles responsible for lines and wrinkles to give your face a refreshed and energized appearance. 
  • Fractional Plasma – with plasmaPRO™ uses a selective applicator that delivers Fractional Plasma® energy that creates controlled damage from the epidermis to the superficial dermis. It provides a non-invasive treatment of the eye contour and eyelid.
  • Microneedling with Exosomes –  involves professional microneedling with EXO-SKIN Exosomes used as a glide and part of ongoing homecare. They can help improve several skin conditions including sun damage, aging, rosacea, and pigmentation. They maximize the potential of skin regeneration, promoting youthful-looking skin. 
  • VI Peel – is a safe chemical peel that can be used around the eyes. It can help improve the tone, texture, and clarity of your skin, as well as address different skin concerns. It can reduce signs of aging and brighten the skin for a glowing and younger-looking complexion. 

Make us your partner in beauty and health. Contact Cutis Medical Laser Clinics today and schedule a consultation with our aesthetic doctor in Singapore to learn more about our treatments or find out how we can help you achieve your external beauty or body goals.

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