Caffeinated Skincare: 3 Science-Backed Skin Benefits of Caffeine

Just when you thought that caffeine was only reserved for that delicious almond milk latte you drink on the daily, we’re here to throw you a curveball: Caffeine has ah-mazing benefits for your skin. Caffeine has found it's way out of your morning cup of coffee or matcha and into your daily skincare ritual. Though this may seem like strange news, bear with us, since we’re about to embark on a journey into the holy grail that is caffeinated skincare and 3 of it's amazing, research-backed skin benefits.

But first, let’s get clear on the basics.

Caffeine, Defined.

Caffeine, while most notably tied to coffee, isn’t only procured from little beans. It’s a powerful stimulant that can come from the leaves or fruit of many different sources. To rattle off a few, it can be found in green tea, dark chocolate, and guarana fruit (more on this one later!) As a plant-based stimulant, it stimulates the nervous system, constricts small blood vessels, and can reduce inflammation. This is why when you drink or eat something with caffeine you feel supercharged, pepped up, and like a zesty ball of life.

Now that’s covered, it’s time for the fun part - how this power-packed substance will get you closer to your skin goals. Here are the top 3 science-backed benefits of caffeine-infused skincare.

1) Dark Circles, Be Gone.

Whether you were pulling an all-nighter to make deadline on a big project, or simply had a girl’s night out that lasted until dawn, dark circles and puffy eyes happen to the best of us.

Caffeine has long been studied for it's potential to reduce puffiness, firm sagging skin, minimize dark circles, and even reduce sun damage. Results were once varied - in fact, researchers doubted it's ability to even penetrate the skin, which would've rendered it totally useless in skincare. 

Lucky for us, a 2009 study evaluated caffeine's ability to penetrate skin effectively and what they found was that, applied topically, caffeine does penetrate living skin - very deeply, in fact! It's ability to constrict small blood vessels and reduce inflammation makes it hugely beneficial for formulas designed to minimize dark circles and sagging skin under the eyes.

You know what that means...Hello, bright eyes! 

2) Reduce Rosacea-Related Redness.

Puffy eyes gone? Check. Now let's talk about redness and inflammation. Rosacea is a skin condition affecting nearly 415 million people worldwide. This condition has four different sub-types, which you can read more about here, but one thing that all four types have in common is redness. This is where caffeine comes in with it's (gorgeously aromatic) superhero cape to save the day.

Caffeine has a natural ability to constrict blood flow, so when it's applied topically, it decreases redness and inflammation. In fact, one study found a 95% satisfaction rate in participants who uses a caffeine-infused product on their skin twice daily over the course of 8 weeks to reduce inflammation.

For the ultimate complexion-calming combo, we recommend the caffeine-rich Light Reveal serum layered with the skin-soothing Blemish Correct serum (it's not just for blemishes!) 

3) Slow Down Skin Aging.

Eyes bright and complexion calmed, prepare to rejoice at your years of caffeine intake. A study in 2012 highlighted how exactly caffeine functions in skin care. Turns out caffeine has amazing antioxidant properties and those potent antioxidant properties help protect cells against UV radiation and slow down the process of skin-aging.

The powerful naturally-occurring antioxidants in caffeine are called polyphenols. They’re known to work inside the body to fight off damage from UV rays. When mice in a study  were exposed to UV radiation for 22 weeks and given a topical cream infused with caffeine 5 days a week for 6 weeks, it was found that the caffeine inhibited the growth of malignant cells within the body. Caffeine was observed to prevent and reverse the damaging of effects of the sun by literally causing damaged cells to self-destruct (WHAT! Amazing, right?)

With summer on the horizon, it would be smart to incorporate a caffeine-based skincare product into your routine. Layer a pea-sized amount of a caffeine-rich moisturizer like The Giver under your SPF as a moisturizer and you’ll be good to go!

If these tidbits have you wanting to try caffeine for your skin, we've got just the thing. Or things. Our Hero and best-selling Light Reveal serum is a great starting place. Light Reveal contains naturally-occurring caffeine from Guarana fruit, a Brazilian fruit with 3x more caffeine than coffee! Talk about a powerful, all-natural way to kickstart your caffeine-loving skin regimen.

You can also experience the benefits of caffeine in The Giver Ritual Cleanser & Makeup Dissolver - a seriously indulgent oil cleanser that doubles as a moisturizer -or in our Valley of Light Illuminative Mask for a decadent, beautifying and brightening coffee-based mask treatment. 

Do you use caffeinated skincare?