Wednesday, August 3, 2016

MYTH: Drinking coffee is good for your skin

Before I get started (and as youll read below) I am not saying dont ever have any coffee—and do not take my one cup a day away from me! I just want to give you a rundown of what coffee/caffeine does to the body—especially in excess.

I haven’t ever heard that coffee is “good” for your skin exactly, but we have all heard the reports that tout coffee (caffeine) as good for your body. In fact back in February of last year I read an article in The Washington Post that recommended drinking up to 5 cups a day (to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes). Since last I checked, skin is an organ and is connected to the body, therefore skin is affected positively or negatively by what affects the body. So if coffee is good for the body it must be good for our skin, right? Regardless, I stand by the implyed title of this article and say coffee is not good for your skin.

Here is a short list of what coffee—caffeine—can do to your skin:
  • Coffee causes dehydration. How? Coffee acts as a diuretic in your system, taking precious water out of your body. Less water internally equals dehydration; less water superficially on the outside skin also means dehydration. So does coffee cause dehydration? In a word—yes! 
  • Coffee dilates your capillaries. Why is this important? Capillaries are the blood network for the skin on the face. Throughout your life you want to limit the dilation and contraction of those vessels to limit redness down the line. This dilation is why caffeine can be helpful to relieve headaches, which involve constricted vessels.
  • Caffeine increases heart rate, increasing blood pressure. You dont have to go far to read research about coffees effect on our heart rate. Isnt that why we drink it—to increase our energy and give us get-up-and-go? That is due in part to your heart and blood moving harder and faster.
  • Coffee decreases appetite. Perhaps that is precisely why you drink coffee—to keep your weight down by decreasing your desire for food. For me, I know my one cup in the morning does decrease my appetite and therefore I am less likely to eat breakfast. This, for me, is not a good thing. I’m not trying to lose weight and I am a big believer in breakfast (as in break-the nights-fast). Eating first thing is important for maintaining proper metabolism and keeping my blood sugar in balance. Without breakfast and with coffee I am sure to get low blood sugar (ie: jittery and shaky). Still, please—dont ask me to forgo my one cup a day!

Im not advocating giving up caffeine completely. For me, my day just doesnt feel right without my morning cup of coffee. It is a habit and a routine that brings me pleasure. However I only have one cup a day.

I encourage you to take stock of how much coffee you are actually drinking and cut down if youre going overboard or simply drinking too much.

For more information, see:
It looks so innocuous and happy, doesn’t it?