How Does Coffee Affect Your Skin?

When you have a long day ahead, there really is nothing like a fine cup of coffee to reduce tiredness and boost productivity. But what kind of effect does the beloved beverage have on your skin?

According to Dr. S. Manjula Jegasothy, excessive coffee consumption is not the best idea if you want to keep your skin looking youthful for as long as possible. 

"The results of drinking too much coffee can cause the skin to wrinkle prematurely, and become more lax with time," said Dr. Jegasothy, who is the CEO and founder of the Miami Skin Institute. "These changes definitely give the skin a more aged appearance than in people who do not consume caffeine."

Now, the definition of "excessive" can be a bit tricky. While most studies have recommended drawing the line at three cups per day — which could be beneficial for other aspects of your health — Jegasothy advises coffee drinkers to limit themselves to no more than two cups.

Another possible link many people tend to suspect is whether their coffee consumption has something to do with their breakouts. Fortunately, the drink is not proven to directly cause acne.

The only way it could is if people consume their coffee in excess or close to bedtime, which is just enough to mess with their sleep schedule. Not getting enough shut-eye can trigger extra oil production and end up clogging your pores. In acne-prone individuals, such a series of events tend to end in an aggressive breakout.

So, in other words, moderation is key to protect your skin. But if you are wondering if coffee consumption could do any extra good, some experts certainly seem to think so. After all, the beverage is an excellent source of antioxidants which can help target free radicals.

Caffeine, in topical form, is also believed to be good for skin by offering protection from the sun and increasing circulation. As a result, many brands have begun releasing a range of beauty products such as scrubs and creams which use caffeine as an ingredient.

There may also be good news for people with rosacea, a chronic skin condition which leads to redness, pus-filled bumps, and visible blood vessels in the face. In a recent study published in JAMA Dermatology, researchers found that coffee might have a protective effect for those with the skin condition, contrary to popular belief.

However, since the study was observational, it is too soon to know whether the benefit was due to coffee itself. Dr. Mary Wu Chang, a clinical professor of dermatology and pediatrics with the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, noted that the findings were a "little bit surprising," but advised caution until further research is performed.