Judging from the lines at Starbucks, people sure like the effects of coffee. It seems that coffee companies cannot find enough ways of incorporating the bean into new drinks. Just when you think you finally figured out the difference between a mocha chino and macchiato, a new drink appears with lines of people ready to dole out their hard-earned cash for the latest blast of caffeine infused sweetness. And while these consumers may be giving themselves an extra pat on the back for the not so recent evidence of coffee’s antioxidant properties, they may be less enamored to hear of how the brew actually affects the skin.
Tannin is a chemical present in coffee and tea. If the knowledge that tannin is used in tanneries to process leather isn’t enough to convince you that it’s not something you want in your coffee, consider its effects on your skin. Tannins prevent the pores of cells from receiving nutrients. Other things that make tannin such a great leather treatment, and a such a lousy skin treatment, are its hydration removal properties, which can make skin brittle over time.
Liver spots are a common skin problem for older people. The liver functions as a filter to purify your blood, allowing cells to receive essential nutrients and oxygen. Over the long term, coffee can block the liver with toxins, preventing it from doing its job. The impurities in the blood result in high levels of liver congestion and toxicity which can result in the appearance of the dreaded liver spot, according to Chet Day’s Health and Beyond Online.
Not only does the tannin contribute to skin dehydration, the caffeine in the coffee acts like a diuretic in high amounts, furthering the dehydrating effects. Diuretics cause increased urination which dries out your skin and your body. Although a few cups of Joe a day may not dry you out too badly, try to keep your intake to under 4 cups to avoid problems.
Ok, so the word is still out on the acne-caffeine connection, but it seems to be the opinion of most experts that, while caffeine may not cause acne, it could exacerbate an already existing condition, according to AbsoluteAcneInfo.com. The toxic effects of coffee on the liver may also contribute to acne because the caffeine can block the liver from purifying blood, which may taint skin cells.
Topical Use Of Caffeine
Why, you may be wondering, if coffee is so bad for the skin, is it a common ingredient in skin care products? Well, it turns out that the antioxidant properties in caffeine make it an effective anti-ager and its ability to constrict small blood vessels and reduce inflammation can help minimize sagging skin and dark circles under the eyes. Caffeine’s anti- inflammatory qualities often aid in reducing the appearance of cellulite and its dehydrating abilities help to draw excess fluids from fat cells.
So the upshot? When it comes to caffeine and your skin, put it on you, not in you. Let us know what you think? Is the caffeine withdrawal worth the potential skin benefits?