Ingredient Month: Is Caffeine in Skincare Good for You? Find out the Answer

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Many people reach for a cup of coffee immediately after waking up. You’d notice that you would feel more awake, thanks to the caffeine in coffee! 

As part of our ongoing Ingredient Month, we explored retinol last week. This time, we get to know more about caffeine for myeppo Ingredients month. It’s more than just drinking it with cream or sugar!

What is Caffeine?

Caffeine is an alkaloid that stimulates the central nervous system (CNS) and metabolism. The compound exists in more than 60 plant species all over the world and can be found in several foods such as chocolate, coffee, soft drinks, coffee and tea. 

This ingredient is increasingly used in cosmetics due to its high biological activity and ability to penetrate the skin barrier. Commercially, the formulation of caffeine in skincare products contains typically up to 3% of caffeine, and it holds specific properties that may benefit the skin.

What Can Caffeine Do For The Skin?

1. Anti-Aging Benefits

Inside caffeine, there are Polyphenol compounds that have antioxidant properties. As an antioxidant, it protects the skin against ultraviolet radiation and neutralises free radicals.

Since UV rays also reduce the synthetic procollagen, affect collagen fibre and reduce skin elasticity, caffeine can also help with collagen production.

Therefore, you will notice caffeine is used as sunscreen in anti-wrinkle and anti-ageing cosmetics products. 

2. Reduce Puffy Eyes

An article in Skin Pharmacology and Physiology mentioned that caffeine could effectively reduce tissue swelling around the eyes. 

A study observed that caffeine gel could reduce significantly eye puffiness compared to gel base in eight out of 34 volunteers. Caffeine is believed to reduce puffy eyes due to the constriction of dilated capillaries. 

Dr Rachel Nazarian, a Schweiger Dermatology Group dermatologist, mentioned,”It’s important to know that the results are not long-lasting, so use the topical products that contain this ingredient daily for best results.”

Also, if it runs in your family, this goodie won’t help you depuff the eyes.

3. Bye bye Dark Circles! 

It may sound the same, but dark circles and eye bags are two different things. The critical difference is the characteristic. Dark circles consist of the darkening of the under-eye skin, while eye bags swell around the eyes area. 

There are few reasons why you get dark circles. One of them is where you lack sleep which can cause dehydration. 

Products with caffeine can help you combat this problem by “waking up” tired-looking eyes by constricting visible blood vessels (aka vasoconstrictor). Sheena Yaitanes, the founder of Kosas, explained: “It shrinks capillaries and constricts blood vessels, fighting skin darkening and dullness,” 

“So, [it makes] dark areas, like under eyes, look brighter.”


#duet with @madiprettyman #darkcircles are one of the hardest complaints to treat! #skintips

♬ original sound – Madi Prettyman

4. Anti Cellulite

Cellulite (gynoid lipodystrophy), commonly called the ‘orange peel effect’, is a typical women’s problem, which mainly appears on the thighs and buttocks. It sounds scary, but it’s not harmful to your health

If you’re bothered by how it looks (but we think you’re beautiful just the way you are ;)), caffeine can help. It was used as an active compound in anti-cellulite products because it prevents excessive fat accumulation in cells. Just some bonus brownie points for you out there! 

Caffeine Do’s and Don’ts

According to Your Fellow Pharmacist, if you’re a person who consumes a lot of caffeine-containing products and decides to apply topically as well, this may lead to caffeine toxicity

Also, if you’ve been using it for some time and stop, you will experience a common side effect called “rebound redness”. It happens because your skin didn’t receive the same dose that you’ve been putting on regularly. 

It’s advised that adolescents should limit themselves to no more than 100 mg of caffeine per day. Meanwhile, according to Healthline, pregnant women should limit their daily intake to less than 200 mg of caffeine per day. So, make sure to consult with your doctor first!

Other than that, retinoids should not be in the same product as caffeine

Dr Harold Lancer, celebrity dermatologist who works with Margot Robbie, Michelle Williams, Kim Kardashian West, Jennifer Lopez and many more A-listers, explained: “Exercise caution even when using two different products, one containing retinol and the other caffeine, as having them interact can aggravate the inflammatory components of retinol.”

If you accidentally use both of them together, you may feel discomfort. So, stop using any active ingredients until it calms down. Love your skin!

Myeppo recommends: Caffeine products

I love using caffeine eye creams in the morning, especially to depuff the eye area. So here are three caffeine product recommendations:

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1. BABOR Moisturizing Eye Cream

The BABOR Moisturizing Eye Cream is designed for the eye area, lacking in lipids. This cream provides intensive moisture to dehydrated skin and helps prevent the first signs of ageing, such as dryness lines. With other ingredients than caffeine like Power Peptide and Royal Jelly, your skin will appear healthier looking.

BABOR Moisturizing Eye Cream
BABOR Moisturizing Eye Cream
BUY NOW at myeppo shop

2. GUINOT Eye Fresh Cream

You will feel that cooling effect from the cool tip applicator with GUINOT Eye Fresh Cream. Veinofresh Complex (Horse chestnut extract, Caffeine, Dermochlorella) can combat puffiness and dark circles by boosting microcirculation. Other ingredients like Mango butter and Hydrocyte Complex can nourish and hydrate the skin.

GUINOT Eye Fresh Cream
GUINOT Eye Fresh Cream
BUY NOW at myeppo shop

3. BABOR Cooling Eye Gel

BABOR Cooling Eye Gel is a non-comedogenic product and it’s esthetician recommended. The active ingredient complex, which includes pomegranate, caffeine, green tea and probiotics, are helping to balance the skin tone and protect against free radicals.

Skinovage Cooling Eye Gel
Skinovage Cooling Eye Gel
BUY NOW at myeppo shop

Besides all these goodies at myeppo shop, we also want to recommend The INKEY List Caffeine Eye Cream and The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG, all thanks to TikTok!