This Popular Beverage Is Great for Your Skin, According to Dermatologists
If you spend any time scanning the beauty aisles—or engaging with influencers on Instagram or TikTok—then you know that seemingly every day, there's a new buzzy skincare ingredient. (In recent years, we've seen everything from watermelon to honey to CBD to matcha.) While some of these can improve our complexion, most of them fall short. However, certain ingredients and elixirs do work—and one of them is extremely popular. Ahead, dermatologists tell us the common beverage that's great for your skin, whether you drink it or slather it on topically. You'll want to add this to your routine, stat—if it's not there already.
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Coffee can do wonders for your skin.
Your morning cup of joe does more than energize you for your day—it can also improve your skin. Coffee contains ingredients such as antioxidants, caffeine, niacin, and more that have various skincare benefits (more on those later). Plus, the simple act of kicking back to relax with the delicious beverage can have a stress-releasing effect that can also boost your glow, according to Angela Casey, MD, a dermatologist at the Center for Surgical Dermatology and Dermatology Associates and founder of Bright Girl youth skincare line.
Coffee can protect against skin cancer.
The best skincare benefit you can attribute to your java habit is that coffee consumption is linked to a decreased risk of skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma.
"The positive impact of caffeinated coffee consumption on lower skin cancer risk may be attributed to the antiproliferative effects of coffee through a mechanism by which coffee ingestion helps 'kill off' UV-damaged skin cells so that they don't proliferate into cancer," explains Casey. The same benefit was not found with decaf coffee or other caffeinated beverages such as soda or green tea.
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Coffee can pep up the under-eye area.
Coffee also has an aesthetic effect on the skin, thanks largely to the caffeine in it. "Caffeine stimulates blood flow and widens, or dilates, the blood vessels," says Anna Chacon, MD, dermatologist and writer at MyPsoriasisTeam. "This increases blood flow, which can help the skin to naturally tighten. The result may be a reduction in the buildup of fluid under the eyes."
Other compounds in coffee, such as chlorogenic acids, can also reduce inflammation around the eyes. To achieve these results, Chacon suggests dabbing a paste of finely ground coffee and liquid from the coffee itself onto the undereye area. You'll also see some of this effect simply by drinking a cup.
Here's the scoop on coffee-based skincare products.
You may have seen some coffee-based skincare products on the market and wondered what dermatologists think of them. "Many formulations that contain 'coffee' as an ingredient actually contain coffee berry extract," says Casey. "Coffee berries contain high concentrations of polyphenols, which have strong antioxidant properties. Studies have shown that topically applied coffee berry extract can help improve fine lines, pigmentation, and texture within the skin." Because that's combined with caffeine's anti-inflammatory properties, these products are commonly used to treat puffiness in the undereye area and temporarily improve the appearance of cellulite.
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But you can also use coffee in DIY skincare.
Even if you don't invest in coffee-based skincare, you can still get in on the ingredient. According to Chacon, coffee grounds make a great exfoliant. "The grounds do not dissolve in water, which makes them good at scrubbing away dead skin cells. Caffeic acid also has antimicrobial properties, which means that it may help protect the skin against germs."
To make a scrub, combine a quarter cup of fresh coffee grounds, a quarter cup of brown sugar, and lemon juice. Scrub the mixture onto the skin after washing the body, let it sit for a few minutes, and rinse it off. Your skin will look, smell, and feel instantly refreshed.