How Caffeine Can Help Your Skin
We love our caffeine. For many of us, mornings are incomplete without a little jolt from this energizing substance, and we often count on it to get us through a mid-day slump or late night study session. You have likely heard of, or even felt firsthand, the negative side effects of too much caffeine, and have learned to have a little restraint when it comes to your favorite caffeinated beverages. While consuming too much caffeine might make you jittery, nervous and lead to other more complicated heath issues, there is a way that you can enjoy some amazing benefits of caffeine without losing a single wink of sleep due to caffeinated insomnia. It turns out that caffeine and skin care go hand in hand.
Have you noticed caffeine popping up on the ingredient list of moisturizing creams, gels and serums, especially those formulated specifically for the fragile eye area? Maybe you have considered trying one, but haven’t taken the plunge. Skin care products that contain caffeine offer many different benefits, from more youthful looking skin to possibly adding a degree of protection against skin cancer. Let’s take a look at some of the beautiful benefits of a caffeine infused skin care routine.
Caffeine Effects On Skin
- Reduces Dark Under Eye Circles
When you look at yourself in the mirror and examine the fragile, delicate skin that is underneath your eyes, chances are you will notice the dark, thin blood vessels just below the surface. Because the skin in this area is so thin and transparent, those tiny blood vessels show through more easily. There are some things that can cause these blood vessels to dilate, becoming larger and even more noticeable. When you are tired or stressed, your body produces more cortisol. The extra cortisol in your body increases the volume of blood pumping though your body and your veins will expand to accommodate the increase in supply. Rubbing your eyes will also irritate the area and cause the veins to become enlarged. Additionally, allergies and nasal congestion can dilate the blood vessels in the eye area as well. The result is the development of unsightly dark circles that make you look fatigued and can add years to your face.
Eye caffeine cream can help remedy dark under eye circles caused by dilated blood vessels and fluid retention. Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor, which means it actually shrinks blood vessels. Have you ever been told to put a couple of chilled tea bags on your eyes to reduce puffiness and dark circles? The thought behind this time honored natural remedy is that the caffeine from the tea leaves will be absorbed through the skin and constrict the tiny blood vessels that are right beneath the skin’s surface. When you choose an eye cream or serum with caffeine added you get all of the benefits of the product plus the immediately visible results from the vasoconstriction. Want to experience these effects all over your skin? A beauty and body caffeine cream is the perfect option for you!
- Reduces Puffiness
Another telltale sign that you are tired or stressed is the subtle puffiness that shows up on your face as a reminder that you need to be taking better care of yourself. You might notice it the most underneath your eyes, but even slight fluid retention in other areas can steal some of the sparkle from your naturally beautiful face. Puffiness on your face can result from a number of different factors including fatigue, stress, allergies, your menstrual cycle, inflammation, medications and diet.
Caffeine is a natural diuretic. It has the ability to draw out excess fluids from the body, which also happens to be one of the most mentioned “negative” side effects of caffeine. It is true that if you are drinking too much caffeine and neglecting to compensate by keeping your body properly hydrated, you are going to have problems that affect the health of your body and the health of your skin. The good news is that we can take this negative and turn it into a positive by making that dehydrating effect work to our advantage. Skin care products that contain caffeine will help to pull out some of the excess water from fat cells, resulting in skin that is smoother, less puffy and naturally younger looking. This is also the mechanism that is at work in the cellulite busting caffeine creams and lotions that you may have heard of.
- Reduces Redness
Inflammation and redness are not synonymous with beauty. In fact, redness and ruddiness are among the top complaints that dermatologist treat. Underneath the surface of your facial skin is a network of tiny blood vessels. The skin on our face is different from the skin that can be found elsewhere on the body. It is thinner and responds differently to stimuli. Heat, cold, friction, allergies and conditions such as rosacea can cause those tiny blood vessels to become more noticeable, leaving you with a complexion that is red, splotchy and unhealthy looking. However, balancing an uneven skin tone is possible!
We just mentioned how skin care products with caffeine help to remedy dark under eye circles by vasoconstriction. The very same process can also help to reduce facial redness. A gentle cream or lotion that contains caffeine is a perfect soothing treatment for red and inflamed skin. Remember that any time your skin is red or inflamed, it is important to take extra gentle care of it. Make sure that the skin care products that you use are as gentle and natural as possible and stay away from any product that is harsh or abrasive in any way.
- Antioxidant Protection
Everyday your body is fighting off an onslaught of toxins from the environment, the products that you use and the food that you eat. You can make the healthiest choices possible, and still your body is going to be working nonstop against toxic exposure that is just impossible to avoid. One of the biggest jobs you body has is the task of fighting off free radicals. Free radicals are simply molecules that have lost an electron and then go on a hunt to find another molecule to steal an electron from in order to be complete again. After a while, this causes damage to healthy cells and can even lead to very serious conditions such as cancer. Your body fights free radicals with the help of powerful antioxidants.
Antioxidants can be found in a number of healthy fruits and vegetables, however it can also be found in caffeinated beverages such as coffee. If you are surprised to hear that coffee is a source of antioxidants, then you might be even more surprised to know that coffee is actually the number one source of antioxidants for most Americans. The sheer volume of coffee that we consume far exceeds the antioxidant benefit that we get from any other food or beverage. The antioxidants contained in coffee have been shown to be more powerful than the polyphenols found in green tea. So, the next time you are feeling guilty about having that second cup you should give yourself a break because you are actually doing a good thing for your body as long as you keep moderation in mind.
Free radicals also damage your skin. The result of free radical damage is skin that is dry, prematurely wrinkled and lacking collagen. This is especially noticeable in skin that has been damaged by the sun’s ultraviolet rays. A skin care product that contains antioxidants, such as one that features caffeine as a healing ingredient, will fight free radical damage and in many cases begin to reverse the damage that has already been done.
- Helpful Ally in the Fight Against Skin Cancer
Of all of the research that is being conducted on the benefits of caffeine, some of the most promising and exciting is the research that looks at the ways that coffee and caffeine can be used in the prevention, and possibly even the treatment, of skin cancer. Interesting studies came out not that long ago saying that people who consumed two to three cups of coffee per day had a noticeably reduced incidence of skin cancer when compared to their peers with similar risk factors. Additionally, laboratory studies looked at how caffeine was actually able to interrupt the mechanisms of damaged skin cells and in some cases destroy them. This is very promising early research that could eventually lead to new discoveries for the treatment of melanoma and other skin cancers. You can help to repair your damaged skin and prevent further damage by applying a cream or lotion that contains caffeine as part of your daily beauty and skin care routine.
That said, there is still a lot of research that needs to be done, and we need to be responsible and work with what we know to be fact when it comes to protecting our skin. Therefore, always use an appropriate sunscreen and be mindful of your exposure to both direct and indirect sunlight. The best way to protect yourself from sun damaged skin and potentially skin cancer is through simple acts of prevention.
For most things in life, there is a positive and a negative. It is the balance that makes the world go around. Caffeine is a perfect example of how learning the delicate art of balance can have beautiful results. We all know that too much caffeine is a bad thing. However, a little bit can be a great thing, especially when you find natural beauty products that are infused with just the right amount of caffeine to help repair and beautify your skin. While a sip of caffeine might energize your body, a few dabs of serum or cream that contains caffeine will energize and renew your skin with a smoother texture and a refreshed, radiant glow.You can find beneficial caffeine in OZNaturals Super Youth Eye Gel and Ultra Ageless Eye Crème.
-- Angela Irish, Certified Aesthetician & Co-Founder OZNaturals