International Coffee Day Got Us To Investigate The Hype Around Coffee In Skincare


Are you someone who can’t start their day without that strong cup of coffee? Well, you’re not alone! The drink has become an alarm clock for many–not just for that caffeine kick, but also as a trendy skincare ingredient that wakes the skin up. But is coffee in skincare really the beauty secret you need to know? 

To figure this out and to honour the ingredient on International Coffee Day, we spoke to Dr Niketa Sonavane, Celebrity Dermatologist and founder of Ambrosia Aesthetics, Mumbai. We not only discovered the many benefits to keep in mind, but also the things we should keep in mind while trying these products. So, read on:

Is Coffee Safe For The Skin?

For starters, coffee is packed with antioxidants that can help combat the damaging effects of free radicals on the skin. These fight off environmental stressors and promote youthful-looking skin. According to Dr Niketa, “Apart from its antioxidant benefits, it also has anti-inflammatory properties that can potentially soothe irritated skin. The caffeine in coffee can constrict blood vessels, temporarily reducing redness and puffiness.” 

Before any of these skin and body care brands featuring our star ingredient of the day launched, I’m sure we’ve all made homemade face packs and body scrubs using ground coffee and honey. But, maybe this wasn’t the best thing we could’ve done for our skins.

Explaining this, Dr Niketa says, “The coarse texture of these grounds can serve as a natural exfoliant, helping remove dead skin cells and promote a smoother complexion. But this same texture may be abrasive for some individuals and thus lead to skin irritation or microtears.”

Dr Niketa advises readers to always perform a patch test when trying new coffee-based skincare to check for any adverse reactions. It is also always a good idea to consult your dermatologist before incorporating a new product into your routine.

Coffee For Under-Eye Bags

Caffeine is famously known to temporarily reduce the appearance of undereye bags and puffiness (keyword being temporarily) by constricting blood vessels and reducing swelling. So although it can make you look more awake, the effect is often short-lived and may not provide long-term results.


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Caffeine-infused skincare products often have added ingredients like oils and creams to balance out their potentially drying effects. However, if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin, these products may not be your best bet.

This got me thinking about whether there are other skincare ingredients that might perform better than caffeine for the same skin concerns.

Keeping this in mind, Dr Niketa explains that some ingredients like hyaluronic acid, and vitamin C can also provide antioxidant and anti-aging benefits for the skin. Many other ingredients such as peptides and growth factors can surpass coffee’s effects and offer long-lasting benefits.

“The choice of ingredients depends on the specific skincare goals and skin type. Combining various beneficial ingredients can often give more comprehensive results,” Dr Niketa adds.

Is Coffee Over-Hyped?

While coffee has some perks in skincare, it’s essential to manage expectations. Another caveat is that its effects can vary from person to person–what works like magic for one may not be as effective for another. So, the verdict isn’t black and white. It’s more like a rich, complex espresso shot with a dash of milk. 

But if you’re still intrigued, it’s best to start by trying products with a lower concentration to avoid their adverse effects. Dr Niketa leaves us with this advice-

“The ideal concentration of coffee in skincare products can vary depending on the specific formulation. However, products typically contain coffee extracts or oil, and concentrations may range from 1% to 5%. It’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific product you’re using.”

Beauty Writer

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