If you ask us, there’s isn’t much that compares to the splendor of a cozy cup of joe in the morning, except maybe the supercharge it gives you! But if coffee isn’t your thing, have no fear! You can totally get your caffeine fix from a variety of sources. We’re talking tea, chocolate, skincare... no, you’re not hallucinating; yes, we said skincare! And though you may not be able to eat your moisturizer and experience a systemic jolt, applying caffeine to your skin may just be as revivifying for your complexion as ingesting it can be for your energy level! But how exactly does caffeine-infused skincare work and how can you incorporate it into your routine? Let’s dive right in!
IN A NUTSHELL
Ingredient Category: Anti-Inflammatory, Vasoconstrictor, Antioxidant
Main Benefit: Caffeine temporarily improves skin tone and texture by reducing the appearance of discoloration and puffiness. It also helps protect against environmental stressors for long term protection and more youthful looking skin.
What is Caffeine?
Caffeine is a natural stimulant commonly found in different foods, namely coffee, various herbs and teas, and cacao (i.e. the plant from which chocolate is made). It’s most widely recognized for its ability to take your energy level from drab to fab in a pretty short amount of time. It takes about 20 minutes for your body to metabolize an average serving of caffeine, at which point it will enter the bloodstream and begin to eradicate that midday slump. Caffeine is known to enhance your focus level, brain function, and even your mood, as it increases the signaling of happy hormones! But caffeine has other applications; it has been linked to the prevention of degenerative diseases and is now even being added to personal care products for its many skin benefits.
It is important to note that most of the complexion-related upsides one may see from applying topical caffeine are temporary, just like the buzz you get from your daily dose. For example, a few hours after application, you may see the reemergence of those under-eye bags you’ve been carrying around seemingly forever. But that shouldn’t cause you to discount what could ultimately be some seriously impressive effects. Read on for more on what caffeine can do for your skin and how to apply it!
Caffeine Skin Benefits
Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor, which means it narrows blood vessels to slow blood flow. And while increased blood flow is generally considered desirable for the skin, it can cause redness and an uneven tone. The incorporation of a vasoconstrictor like caffeine can be the perfect answer to skin splotchiness. In fact, some users have been known to report a more consistent and airbrushed finish to their skin. Kick rocks, IG!
Caffeine is a super effective anti-inflammatory; so much so that for ages it has been incorporated into broader treatment plans to help manage and even fight off certain inflammatory conditions like type-1 diabetes and heart disease. So, when you’ve had one too many late nights or salty snacks, turn to topical caffeine to temporarily depuff the skin you’re in!
Protects Against Environmental Stressors
Caffeine is widely regarded as a strong antioxidant with research suggesting that it may even be powerful enough to help stave off the oxidative effects that lead to Alzheimer’s. When it is applied to the skin, caffeine behaves similarly, fighting the effects of environmental stressors and protecting against pollution and other elements that can tax and prematurely age your complexion.
Contributes to a Smoother, Tighter Appearance
It may sound too good to be true, but caffeine can help dissolve fat cells just underneath the skin’s surface, so it appears smoother and firmer.
How to Use Caffeine in Skin Care
In an Eye Cream
Some of the more popular forms of skincare to include caffeine are eye creams. Since the skin around your eyes is prone to puffiness and darkness, the de-puffing and brightening effects of caffeine make it a perfect addition to eye products. Fleur & Bee’s best-selling Eyes Eyes Baby is conveniently caffeinated to temporarily freshen up your mug’s most delicate area. This velvety smooth cream will also add soothing moisture, while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles over time and with consistent use. Apply gently in light dabs, being extra careful not to pull or stretch the skin, and instantly notice a pair of revivified peepers that only get extra swaggy with time!
In a Moisturizer
Just as a caffeinated eye cream can brighten the skin around your eyes, it can do the same for the rest of your face; so why not let your regular moisturizer get in on the action!? Many of us would love to achieve a more even tone, and a moisturizer that naturally includes caffeine in the form of green tea can (at least temporarily) help us do just that. All of our moisturizers - Crème de la Cream, H2 Oh Yeah, and our newest addition to the family, Youth Fairy - include green tea for enhanced skin tone. But let’s not forget caffeine’s antioxidant power. By moisturizing with a caffeine enriched cream, you help shield your entire face from environmental stressors, to exponentially preserve its youthfulness and the glow you work so hard to maintain!
In a Mask
Masks are often under-utilized skincare products, but the combination of their hyper-concentrated active ingredients and extended exposure time (masks tend to sit on the face for much longer than say a cleanser), render them complexion powerhouses. Accordingly, a green tea-infused mask can be an incredibly efficient way to give your skin the pep-up step-up it needs! Our Prince Charcoal is famed for its detoxifying effects, helping to draw out impurities and clarify the skin. But its addition of green tea extract will help supercharge your skin, balance tone and texture, and fortify it for greater protection against whatever it may face in the day ahead.
If you are down for some DIY action, the internet is choc-full of caffeinated skincare recipes. But a word of caution: Many of them incorporate coffee grinds, which, while often touted as an effective exfoliant, can be too abrasive for the skin, causing microtears that may lead to premature aging - not cute! So, err on the side of caution and stick with recipes that feature non-granular caffeinated infusions, like a green tea oil!
To prepare, place bagged green tea leaves in a sterilized glass bowl or bottle and cold steep them in a non-comedogenic oil (e.g., almond or argan) for at least 24 hours. You can even add a drop or two of pure therapeutic grade orange essential oil for an uplifting scent and some added vitamin C! Apply a few drops to freshly cleansed skin for a protective complexion pick-me-up and store the rest in a super clean, airtight container or apothecary jar (preferably with a dropper to keep the contents free of dipping) in a dark, cool, and dry place for up to two weeks!
So, if you have some puffiness or redness or just want to try the latest and greatest in skincare, give caffeine a go. We’re willing to bet you’ll like what you see a-latte! HA!