We all need a boost sometimes… we’re only human after all. Caffeine is the easiest substance to turn to when we get drowsy. But, do you know how caffeine impacts beauty in both the short and long term? Would you be surprised to learn that there are both pros and cons? Read on to see the different ways that your caffeine intake is affecting your body and your overall beauty.
What is Caffeine?
Caffeine is a naturally occurring stimulant in over 60 plant species around the world. It also acts as a natural bug repellent to help protect the plant it inhabits, paralyzing and killing any enemy insect trying to devour the plant.
Common Caffeine Sources
Coffee and green tea are two of the world’s most popular caffeinated drinks. Both have their benefits and it doesn’t really matter which one you prefer as long as you don’t overdo it. Caffeine is also present in most soda and energy drinks.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a person should not consume more than 400 mg. of caffeine per day; this equates to roughly 4-5 cups of coffee. If you consume more than the recommended amount, you may start to experience negative effects including heart palpitations, trouble sleeping, and/or general anxiety (among others).
How Your Body Can Benefit From Caffeine
Several companies have used coffee and other forms of caffeine in their beauty products. Makes sense as caffeine can have immensely positive effects on the skin!
Caffeine Combats Free Radicals
If you’re experiencing premature skin aging (appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, loss of elasticity, etc), then free radicals might be the culprit. Free radicals form when your body is exposed to harmful UV waves. UV exposure can be from the sun, X-rays, and/or gamma rays from radioactive materials; you can further be exposed through cigarette smoke, car exhaust, and fumes from industrial sites.
The antioxidants present in caffeine can help attack these radicals and kill them. Eliminating free radicals will drastically improve how your skin appears overall. Because of this, caffeine is most often used in anti-aging creams.
Caffeine Helps With Inflammation
If you suffer from ailments like rosacea, consider using a skin care product that has caffeine in it. There are anti-inflammatory properties present in caffeine that can dramatically help with any issues that arise due to inflammation and redness.
Caffeine Can Diminish the Appearance of Crow’s Feet (Dark Under Eye Circles)
A variety of factors could be causing the symptoms of Crow’s Feet: Dehydration, allergies, lack of sleep, and/or genetics are typically the culprits. Caffeine won’t be as beneficial for hereditary Crow’s Feet, but its anti-inflammatory properties can significantly help reduce the puffiness that usually accompanies under eye circles. Caffeine is also responsible for reducing blood accumulation under the eye which can contribute to dark under eye shadows.
Want to know a fun life hack? You don’t need to buy expensive skin care products to treat under eye circles. You can use tea bags as eye compresses. Wet a couple tea bags and place them under your eyes for 5 minutes to reduce shadows and puffiness.
Caffeine Reduces Cellulite
Caffeine has the ability to dehydrate fatty cells. This means that water disappears from the skin’s surface which minimizes the appearance of cellulite, making the skin smoother. The University of Sao Paulo conducted a study which shows that skin cream containing caffeine diminished the appearance of cellulite by 17%.
Caffeine Promotes Hair Growth
Caffeine-infused shampoos and conditioners can help hair regenerate, helping men and women suffering from male/female pattern baldness. When applied topically, caffeine delves deep into the roots of your hair, stimulating them. This stimulation promotes stronger hair re-growth.
A study conducted by the International Journal of Dermatology shows that topical application of caffeine increased the average growth of hair follicles by 46% while lengthening their life cycle by 33%.
The Negative Effects of Caffeine
It is possible to have too much of a good thing. Too much caffeine has the potential to impact beauty negatively…
Excessive Amounts of Caffeine Can Have Adverse Effects on Your Body
If you consume more than the recommended amount (which is 400 mg of caffeine) per day, you could be prone to a myriad of health issues such as insomnia, nausea, increased anxiety, osteoporosis, gastrointestinal problems… the list goes on. Excessive amounts of caffeine also further increases the risk of stroke and cerebral vascular disease.
If you’re taking preventative measures to stave off premature aging, then moderating your caffeine intake is especially paramount. If you consume too much caffeine your skin can wrinkle prematurely and lose its elasticity.
By limiting your intake of caffeine, your skin will appear less wrinkled, re-hydrated (which makes the skin appear smoother), and have a more pronounced glow. Limiting caffeine in your diet will cause your blood vessels to dilate more, allowing them to carry essential nutrients (such as proteins that promote collagen growth) faster and more efficiently.
Possible Risk of Miscarriage
There is a lot of inconclusive speculation on this subject, but the potential risk of miscarriage in relation to caffeine consumption may be enough reason to pay attention- possibly even omitting the substance altogether during the duration of pregnancy. Then again, some medical professionals say that pregnant woman can have up to 200 mg. of caffeine per day with no adverse affects to the fetus. To be safe, you should talk with your general practitioner to devise a plan that works best for you.
Contrary to what several other sources cite, there is no conclusive evidence that places caffeine as the sole culprit of miscarriages. A study conducted by the National Institutes of Health suggests that caffeine increases the risk of miscarriage. However, the study also says that is “was not designed to conclusively prove cause and effect” and that there are several other possible reasons to explain the higher risk. These explanations include exposure to harmful substances in the environment, advanced age in egg and sperm in older couples, among other factors.
We’re going to be hard-pressed to tell anyone to give up their daily coffee. Us included! However, it is important to note that caffeine impacts beauty both positively and negatively. Hopefully this article has covered both sides enough to help you make an informed decision when it comes to your regular caffeine intake.