We all know coffee as that necessary elixir that gets us up and running each day—unless you’re part of that group that prefers green tea or nothing at all. Which is fine, though don’t be surprised if the rest of us don’t get you—at all! But aside from getting us up and going, coffee also has some surprising benefits for the skin.
As we know, one of the key ingredients in coffee is caffeine, which in turn is excellent at penetrating the skin barrier. That’s crucial, because often skincare ingredients get stuck at the tough outer layers of the skin and never get deep enough to reach the dermis, where they are really needed. That’s why dermatologists often use injections to deliver moisturizers and other products to the deeper skin levels.
According to an academic article published in 2013 in Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, caffeine is often used as a “hydrophilic model substance in skin penetration experiments.” Moreover, there is research that indicates that a 5% concentration in a caffeine gel delivered significant moisturizing effects.
While cellulite development is genetic and there is no cure of yet. What seems to drives the formation of cellulite are a complex series of chemical reactions that involve lipolysis, a process by which triglycerides are degraded. Some research suggests that caffeine can activate an enzyme that can speed up lipolysis, which can in turn help reduce cellulite. It also shows promise in stimulating the draining lymph systems in fatty tissue, which may also may be helpful with cellulite.
Caffeine also seems to have vasoconstrictor effects, meaning it narrows blood vessels. This suggests that applied topically, a caffeine-based solution may be helpful with puffy eyes.
Coffee is chock-full of them. Now, you may see DIY scrubs recommending you scrub coffee grounds on your face—NOT a good idea, the grounds are just too harsh. Instead, you may want to look at products formulated with coffee that deliver its antioxidants to your skin.