An ongoing debate in skincare is whether caffeine is good for your skin.
We know it’s great in a drink for perking us up in the morning (or anytime for that matter) but can it actually perk up our skin in the form of caffeinated serums or creams?
Well, it’s certainly become a more popular ingredient in skin care products ranging from anti-cellulite creams, to under-eye serums, to face masks, to name a few.
So, what does it actually do?
It’s well-known that the effects of free radicals – molecules that cause the collagen in skin to deteriorate causing wrinkles and fine lines, as well as causing damage from UV light and pollution – are diminished by the application of antioxidants. And yes, as caffeine is an antioxidant, applying it in a skin care routine helps mitigate that damage.
If you’re particularly tired (and look it), as caffeine constricts small blood vessels which reduces blood flow to the skin, a caffeine product may help to reduce dark bags under the eyes and generally make the skin appear brighter, smoother, and less puffy.
Caffeine is also quite anti-inflammatory, so if you’ve caught a bit too much sun it could help sooth soreness and reduce redness.
Interestingly, caffeinated creams actually appear to become particularly popular in the summer when people are preparing to show more skin because of the warmer weather. When the creams are massaged in, the massage/caffeine combination helps to stimulate enzymes which help to dehydrate fat cells and break down fats temporarily, so they can offer a quick, temporary fix for firmer, smoother looking skin.
The thing to remember is that just as a caffeine drink perks us up for a short while, so do caffeinated creams for the skin. Fine lines, wrinkles and bags won’t be eradicated permanently, they’ll just be diminished for a little while.
So, if you fancy a little skin pick-me-up, caffeine skin products applied in the morning will brighten up the skin, just like a caffeine drink will put a spring in your step.
You just have to manage your expectations and remember that it’s a temporary effect.