Is Coffee Bad For Skin

If you are anything like me, coffee is a sacred morning ritual. There is no way some people can even think about starting their day without a little dose of freshly brewed coffee.

The caffeine in the coffee makes you alert and kick-starts your mornings. While there is no scientific evidence of the link between bad skin health and coffee, we are all aware that consuming large amounts of anything will cause damage. It is no rocket science that everything taken in moderation is the best way to go. Therefore, drinking large amounts of coffee can be linked to awakening skin issues.

Caffeine in moderate amounts is actually good for health. It can help increase well-being, alertness and even happiness. However, if you exceed the moderate amount, it can create nervousness, insomnia and shaking.

Not only can we consume coffee, coffee grounds are a great defoliant and can be used as a scrub on the skin. It balances the pH levels and cleans clogged pores which reduces acne.  Some compounds in coffee such as chlorogenic acids helps reduce inflammation around the eyes and reduces buildup of fluids around the eyes which causes puffiness.

Watch the Ingredients

Although coffee isn’t to culprit for acne break-outs, it can still make it worse. The foremost factor to consider is what you are putting in coffee.


We are all well aware of the high levels of caffeine coffee has. While caffeine is a great way to wake yourself up, it also increases stress response in your body. These stress hormones such as Cortisol, when released can make your existing acne worse. It leads to the release of excessive oil produced by the sebaceous glands, which in turn worsen your acne. Moreover, drinking a lot of coffee, having a lot of cups throughout the day or taking a cup later in the day can really affect your sleeping patterns. This also means more stress causing the same trouble.

Caffeine is a dehydrating agent and dehydration causes wrinkles and aging of the skin. 


This refined product, also known as ‘white poison’ is mostly the reason behind many health issues. If your coffee isn’t black, there are very good chances it contains sugar. The drawbacks of consuming too much sugar are all over the media. Your health magazines and doctors are probably hammering down the importance of brown sugar or organic sweeteners in your heads. Even then you might fail to realize that a Grande pumpkin-spiced latte has 50 grams of sugar! That is on top of all the bread, bagels and toasts you will fill up your stomach with. Diets high in sugar increase the amount of insulin in the body, which is followed by the release of insulin-like growth factor-1 hormone. This is a hormone which is known to play a vital role in triggering acne.

An access of sugar can also cause ‘Glycation’. This makes the proteins Collagen and Elastin in your skin weaker and it loses its elasticity and ‘springiness’. This causes skin sagging which can add decades to your face and give you a dull complexion.


To make things complex and even interesting, coffee is the biggest dietary reservoir of antioxidants. A study in 2006 involved 100 people with acne and a control group of 100 people without acne. The results showed people who had more antioxidants in their blood vessels, were the ones without the acne as well. More research is required for a concrete answer, but it is a fact that coffee is a huge resource of antioxidants. The effects on the development and prevention of acne and skin issues however are still under study.  


Studies have shown that the hormones in milk can act as acne triggers. If you like a latte in your breakfast, chances are it is causing your frequent flare-ups.

What Should be Done?

Coffee and skin have a complicated relationship. If not taken care, coffee can have a negative effect on your skin, preventing it from looking youthful and radiant. It is quite hard to completely ditch your favorite hot beverage and it is very understandable. What can be done however, is to watch how you consume coffee and how much you consume it.

Adding a lot of sugar coupled with a chocolate fudge cake or a croissant is obviously not a healthy option. Try avoiding sugar and replacing it with stevia or brown sugar.

Limiting your intake to mornings only and specifically avoiding it near bed-time can help improve sleep which will help make the skin healthier.

Try to not add any milk or dairy products if you think they affect your break-outs.  

Drinking enough water to keep yourself hydrated and compensate for the loss of water is key to making sure that coffee does not affect your skin badly. With that, if your diet is also healthy and contains a lot of green vegetables, fruits and protein, the negative effects of coffee can be minimized.

Last but not least, apply products that are moisturizing and natural which help take care of your skin externally.

It’s Not All Bad News

As it is pretty obvious, everything is healthy in moderation. Coffee is known to contain the antioxidants that has amazing skin care qualities. Caffeine has anti-aging properties and is known to brighten and firm the skin.

It does not take long to change the habit of consuming too much sugar or too much coffee. If you do not exceed the recommended amount of coffee, which is not more than 3 – 4 cups daily, it can actually prove good and beneficial for your health and skin.

You can still enjoy your favorite cup of coffee if you take the appropriate measures and take care of your skin on a consciously. Drinking coffee and applying it on the skin can be very beneficial and supplies all its richness and antioxidants to the body.

Coffee can also help reduce the appearance of cellulite on the skin which can make the skin look aged and dull. Moreover, coffee can also help improve the health of the scalp and hair if applied properly.

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My name is Sherry F. Solar and I am a Registered Dietitian, Certified Nutritionist, and Certified Personal Trainer with a private practice in Somerville, MA. I got my Bachelors of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics from Boston University and finished my Dietetic Internship at Oregon Health and Science University. After working as a personal trainer for almost five years and completing the dietetic internship, I took a detour on my career path to pursue a role as a blogger. There will be plenty of information shared on losing weight, building muscle, eating healthy, and living a happy, healthy life on my blog. I enjoy blogging and strive to share accurate information about nutrition and health knowledge. My blog is for those who are on the journey of healthy eating, and it is also for anyone wishing to attain total health all while aging with no worries. I believe that anyone can have a healthier body and a happier mind when armed with the right education, resources, and knowledge. I want my readers to know that they will learn a lot about becoming healthier and happier through this blog. I try to ensure all articles are informative and useful.


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