Have you ever wondered if coffee can cause acne? Drink coffee every day but are you secretly worried if your coffee addiction will wreck your skin with acne?
Your concern is valid! We love our coffee too and would not want to sacrifice our coffee consumption. So, does coffee cause acne, or is that just a myth?
The bitter truth is yes. Unfortunately, coffee can cause acne. These are mainly caused by caffeine, which is present in vast amounts in coffee and the ingredients usually taken together with coffee, such as sugar and milk.
Coffee can also aggravate pre-existing conditions that cause acne, especially if you have hormonal acne.
In this article, we will share why coffee can cause acne and a few simple ways to prevent that from happening. Keep on reading to know more!
How Can Coffee Cause Acne?
- Caffeine Increases Stress Response In Body
Caffeine in coffee helps boost your body’s alertness and stress response. Studies have shown that the stress hormones, called cortisol, can trigger the production of excess sebum (oil) on the skin. And as we all know, extra oil combined with bacteria on the skin can cause an acne breakout.
- Caffeine Is Dehydrating
Caffeine has a dehydrating quality and can cause your skin to dry out if taken in a large amount. If you are not consuming enough water in the first place (8 glasses a day!), drinking coffee can exacerbate this effect.
Contrary to popular belief, dry skin can cause acne. Why? When you have dry skin, your sebum glands work harder and produce more sebum to help moisturize the skin. And ….you guess it, excess sebum appearing on the skin can cause acne to appear!
Related: Getting to Know My Skin: Dry Skin 101.
- Caffeine Makes It Hard To Fall Asleep
Those who drink coffee in the afternoon to beat the post-lunch sleepiness will be familiar with this benefit of coffee, haha. Caffeine in coffee increases alertness, and thus if you drink coffee later in the day, it might be hard for you to fall asleep at night.
Having less sleep means less rest for the body, which can be acne triggering as well. As you know, overall body health is essential to get the skin to function well. If you do not get enough quality sleep, this can disrupt the body’s health and thus affect your skin.
- Caffeine Blocks Absorption of Vitamin and Minerals To The System
Some studies have shown that excessive caffeine can prevent the body from absorbing essential minerals such as iron and zinc. It’s another way how coffee can cause acne.
Our body needs enough vitamins and minerals from our food to run its functions and maintain healthy, glowy skin. As caffeine blocks the absorption of minerals to the body, you can suffer from an iron deficit which causes issues like fatigue and poor body performance.
- Adding Milk to Coffee Can Cause Acne
Besides caffeine, the presence of milk in your coffee is another way how coffee can cause acne. If you like drinking a latte, this might be important for you to know!
Many evidence-based studies have found that dairy products like milk consumption can lead to acne breakout, especially for teenagers. Milk, especially from cows, is treated with artificial hormones that can disrupt your body’s hormones. It can increase the chance to trigger acne.
- Adding Sugar to Coffee Can Cause Acne
Drinking coffee with added sugar also can cause acne. Plenty of studies shows the direct relationship between sugar consumption and acne breakouts.
Sugar has a high glycemic index and can turn into glucose quickly once it enters the body. It will increase the quantity of insulin produced in the body, causing inflammation. Then, inflammation triggers the skin to produce more oil, which can cause acne to appear.
How To Drink Coffee Without Getting Acne?
If letting go of coffee altogether feels tough to do, we understand. You don’t have to go cold turkey on coffee to prevent acne!
Below are four tips on how to drink coffee without the risk of getting acne.
- Cut Down Your Coffee Intake
If you are used to drinking a minimum of three cups of coffee every day, try to slowly reduce your coffee consumption to two cups and eventually one cup a day.
Make your coffee intake worth it and drink it in the morning! It’s better to have your coffee in the morning than later in the day to avoid the caffeine from disturbing your beauty sleep at night.
- Don’t Drink Coffee With Milk and Sugar
If you are Americano or Expresso fan, this shouldn’t be a problem for you! For latte or flat white lovers, try to switch to black coffee whenever possible.
If you feel you can’t let go of your latte, try replacing the milk in your coffee with plant-based milk such as almond milk, oat milk, and almond milk. The bitter taste of coffee can be a turnoff for some. If you can’t drink coffee without sugar, try replacing the sugar with sweeteners such as Stevia.
- Switch To Tea
Can’t give up on caffeine? You can also try to switch from drinking coffee to tea. Tea has lesser caffeine than coffee, reducing its harmful effects on the skin. Some teas contain good ingredients for the skin, which is a great added benefit!
Chamomile tea, spearmint tea, and green tea are famous for their benefits to clear and prevent acne. Try them out. Who knows if they can be your next favourite beverage!
Now that you know coffee can cause acne don’t be disappointed! As with other kinds of food, people have different reactions and levels of caffeine. Try and vary your coffee intake to see the effects on your skin and acne breakouts.
If you find that coffee trigger your acne, slow down your coffee consumption. If your skin looks so much better when you drink less coffee, then it is a sign that your skin benefits from lesser caffeine in the system!
With that said, if you are still suffering from acne after cutting down coffee, you can try products targeted to reduce acne.
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