After looking in every place I could for clinical trials and studies, I found zero science on if or how caffeine affects acne. So basically, we don’t know yet. But let’s talk about it anyway. :)

30 Responses to “Caffeine and acne”

  • Adam

    Yeah, I heard topical caffeine constricts local capillaries. I only heard this from one person, an R.N. at a dermatologist’s office, said topical caffeine applied under eyes for “puffy bags” may help alleviate the puffiness, like during night. I noticed caffeine is in a lot of cosmetic products too.

    Personally, I see no results good or bad with the consumption of caffeine as I drink it like water (coffee products). That’s me though.

  • jo the girl

    LOVED THIS VIDEO, GREAT INFO AND VERY FUN TO WATCH. YOU GUYS REALLY DO HAVE FUN!

  • Kyon

    So what do you think of masks? I have been told that I should use one once a week. Any opinions on the popular aspirin masks? I have used a combination of honey, a couple drops of water, and BC powder(powdered aspirin with CAFFEINE, and salicylamide) in the past. Thanks!

  • lara

    Helllo Dan, Ive got like darker skin and im hispanic so ive got dark spots and acne scars. I was wondering will they ever go away? I dont have $400 to spend on chemical peals and things. What could I do?

  • wally

    Hey Dan, still waiting for a response to my question about your earlier post: You said you weren’t using BP in the morning, only at night, and using AHA every morning, remember? Are you still doing that?

  • Megan

    Thanks for the information, Dan. Medical research really is a moving target. I agree with you – people shouldn’t be so quick to hype something up when only one study has been done on it. Wise words from the world’s best Peet’s customers. :)

  • Sharpy

    I stopped drinking caffeine 10 years ago and there was no change in my acne (either for the better or worse).

  • Frank

    hey dan Lets hear something about scarring and Blackheads. Both in my opinion are hard to treat.

  • ohnoes

    Hey Dan, I was wondering if there was a good way to get rid of hyperpigmented/hypertrophic scars (purple colored bumps). I heard needling was a good treatment for pitted scars… will needling work for my case? Does needing help with all kinds of scars? Thanks.

  • MeandMyDog

    I know caffeine raises spikes insulin levels, which I think leads to more acne in some people. Maybe Dan & Co. can do some more research on this aspect?

  • Brittany

    I want to mention to coffee/tea drinkers – there are a lot of icky things in coffee cream. preservatives, aspartame (artificial sweetener: NEURO toxin), and high fructose corn syrup. in my recovery, i want to avoid processed groceries as diligently as i might be able to. raw garlic, malic acid (found in vinegar and wine), horseradish, sea salt, and probiotics help eliminate toxins and parasites.

  • Brittany

    I don’t think coffee spikes insulin. lol, you should know also, coffee is a natural pesticide.

  • Pink Polka

    I think caffeine does affect acne. Or maybe it’s the sugar. (I’m talking soda and chocolate make me breakout)

  • Justin

    One thing that was not addressed in this video is that both coffee and tea are major sources of antioxidants, which have been shown to improve the general condition of the skin (this is seperate from the caffiene issue, obviously). It IS important to remember to drink more water if you do enjoy caffinated beverages, as caffiene is a diuretic. It’s important to keep that skin hydrated!

  • Stefan

    As far as I’m concerned, excess caffeine definately does worsen acne. I have seen this happen with many people, including myself. This is because caffeine causes similar hormonal reactions in the body as stress. Put simply, the more stressed-out you are, the more oil your skin produces and at the same time, the more caffeine you intake, the more oil your skin produces. The solution is not to cut out caffeine completely. I tried this and it simply means that whenever you encounter caffeine, your body has no tolerance and so you are at a higher risk of breaking-out. The solution is to consume caffeine in moderation: drink mainly decaffinated tea and coffee and don’t suddenly binge on milk and dark chocolates. Caffeine is not your enemy, in moderation it can be used to give you a quick energy spike when you need it, but in excess quantities, it carries the risk of increasing oil production.

  • Rob

    Well, last month i got a little acne but my acne use to be moderate. So maybe I just came accross with this soap but now its not working anymore cause its coming back and im not usre if i am going to try BP coz im not ready to become Red..

    in relation to the video, during that time which i had lesser breakouts.. I enjoyed eating this ice cream which has coffe crumble as its flavor.. I loved it so much that I consumed 2 gallons of it in two days.. LOL.. and yeah, i had breakouts.. damn.. it made me change my soap then.. im not sure if its because of that ice cream that I ate.. maybe others could have been caused it..

  • TaneMayne

    I respect DAN for creating a place for people to come and rant on about their acne and meet like minded people that help with routines and etc.. but this thing about caffeine here is really bull.. and I mean it .. drinking caffeine can and normally will have your pre existing acne going crazy… it is a stimulant

  • Nadia

    You look younger than your age. Thanks for the web site and all the updates. It really does work!!! who knew. But as far as the video i appreciate you researching and letting us know and keeping us updated

  • Sheila

    I do know that caffeine can disrupt hormone levels, leading to excess estrogen levels. This imbalance is a MAJOR cause of acne (and pms, menopausal symptoms, weight issues etc.). Other things in diet can also cause this (estrogen dominance) – sugar and caffeine are the major ones. Avoid processed sugars, caffeine, and hydrogenated oils for better skin!

  • Jennifer

    I have colitis and I’ve noticed that my intestinal health and skin are closely related. When my gut isn’t happy I get acne. Coffee and milk and sugary drinks in large quantities give me intestinal symptoms as well as acne. Things that make my gut happy – like fish oil – also help my acne. I think it has to do with inflammation and hormonal activity (colitis and acne are both stress-related, hormone-related, inflammation-related).

    I read a book a while back about inflammation and reducing it through diet. Colitis sufferers often go for that kind of diet (though nobody really knows what causes colitis, and there’s a million theories about it), but I’d be interested to see what it does for acne, seeing as inflammation is a big part of acne.

  • Jennifer

    As an added note about colitis and acne – I often get colitis symptoms around my period, the same time that I get hormonal acne flare-ups. I feel like this is an area where there should be some study! When I was on birth control, it cleared up my acne but I think it made my colitis flare… I’m really curious about the hormonal connections here. *Note: I have never been on Accutane, though I find it interesting that some say it can cause IBDs.

  • Christy

    Hello!
    I have found that caffeine is maybe my biggest acne trigger. I know it’s not the sugar or the milk added to coffee or chocolate bars because I’ve been drinking rooibos tea with lots of milk and sugar and nothing. I also tried drinking green tea (no milk – no sugar) every day for a month and my face broke out so bad it took about a month to recover. I know it’s the caffeine and I agree with a previous post about if you cut it out entirely, it makes your life hell if you even look at any caffeinated. I have pretty much cut it out entirely but will slowly try to re-introduce it into my diet as I love coffee and black tea but at this point, even decaffeinated black teas make my face break out.
    One question I have though, is whether it has caused acne for anyone when used topically?

  • Amanda

    I have definitely noticed a correlation between caffeine and increased breakouts. It is a fact that stimulants are bad for your skin. It is difficult though, and seems unfair that some people can throw back triple lattes and still have flawless skin. Even knowing this I still slip up at times and drink coffee. Because I love coffee and I WORK AT A COFFEE SHOP! It always happens when my skin is clear and I think “Oh it’ll be fine if I just have a little coffee.”, then I have half a cup and get a couple cysts that night. And I actually notice a higher percentage of people that come in have acne than other places. (When you have acne you notice when other people do).

  • Diane

    Amanda, thanks for the post. The exact same thing happens to me, and I was wondering if I was the only one. Like you, I’ll usually have a cup of coffee when my face is clear, thinking, this time I’ll be fine. I turned 50 this year, and didn’t think the coffee would still affect me, but it does – one cup of coffee, and I have several new cysts/zits by the end of the day. Ughhh. I take 100 mg of spironolactone, and it has helped, but it also makes me way tired.

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