Does Coffee Cause Skin Problems?

Being a coffee lover has its perks—you can enjoy your favorite beverage in any restaurant or cafes, through different methods of preparations, with various new or just basic ingredients, and at any time of the day. It is energizing and refreshing and just seems to make days better and more manageable. However, your excessive coffee drinking habit might not be doing your skin good as you may have noticed from the breakouts you have been experiencing lately. But is coffee really the cause for your skin problems?

What do you need to know about Coffee?

Coffee may seem like a simple beverage to you, but it is actually complicated. It is made up of more than 1000 compounds, which is 400% more compounds than chocolate (only has 250 compounds) and 222% more than wine (only has 450 compounds).


Coffee is best known for its caffeine content, but there are varieties manufactured as decaffeinated. Caffeine is responsible for the stimulation and mood enhancement that you experience once you drink coffee or even just smelling its aroma. But aside from caffeine, there are other components you can find in this beverage such as antioxidants, quinines, chlorogenic acid, lignans, diterpenes, and trigonelline.

The Link Between Your Coffee Habit and Your Skin Health

With your experience being a coffee drinker, you feel that it only has good effects to your body from starting your day in a good mood to improving your focus and revitalizing your energy. However, what you may not be aware is that coffee may be triggering your skin problems. There are different ways on how coffee can do this:

1) ​Coffee can amplify the stress response of your body.

So how does this affect your skin health? Your body reacts to different levels of stress by releasing the so-called stress hormones namely, epinephrine, cortisol, and norepinephrine in order to send your body into fight or flight response. As soon as the stressor is gone, your body can start relaxing.


However, coffee doubles the body’s hormonal response to stressful events. And when the release of the stress hormones is stimulated, acne is triggered through the body pumping out insulin. The immune system also suffers when cortisol is secreted thereby making it difficult for the body to fight against bacteria that wreak havoc on your skin.

2) Coffee can make you insulin resistant.​


Drinking coffee can cause elevated insulin and sugar levels because this beverage makes it hard for your body to process the carbohydrates you consume. As a result, your body produces more oil, inflammation worsens, and skin cells replicate faster. This should not be an issue for you if you consume a low-carbohydrate diet, but if you do not, you may be provoking insulin resistance, especially if you are a heavy coffee drinker.

3) Coffee contains ingredients that can trigger or worsen acne.​


When you order your favorite coffee drink, you may not have taken some time to know more about its ingredients rather than its flavor alone. You might be consistently ordering coffee drinks with milk and sugar, which are both bad for acne. These ingredients boost inflammation and swelling, elevate blood sugar levels, and stimulate excessive oil production.

4) Coffee can lead to ineffective absorption of minerals​


One of the reasons for the worsening of acne is a mineral deficiency (iron, zinc, and selenium, for example). If you drink coffee close to a meal, it can hinder your body’s ability to effectively absorb these minerals and thus contribute to the worsening of acne.

5) Coffee upsets your gut flora.


Due to the high acidity of coffee, your but flora is disrupted, which leads to harmful bacteria overgrowing in your intestines. As a result, proper nutrient absorption is hindered thereby leading to nutrient deficiencies that raise a variety of health issues, including skin problems.

6) Coffee’s high caffeine content triggers allergies.​


For some people, drinking coffee can cause their immune system to overreact and malfunction due to its high caffeine content. Adverse reactions can be expected from a coffee allergy including an upset stomach, irritability, swelling, and skin rashes. In some cases, you may develop hives, eczema, redness, and blisters from drinking coffee depending on your hypersensitivity to the amount of caffeine you introduce to your body.

What Will Happen If You Change Your Coffee Drinking Habits

Once you acknowledge that coffee is causing you some skin problems, the next step is to change your drinking habits. It will be a great challenge, especially at the beginning. You may experience “withdrawal” symptoms if you are a heavy coffee drinker. It is common to experience headaches, irritability, increased hunger, and sleepiness.

The positive effects of changing your coffee habits may not be observed in the first week or two. But as soon as your body regains a stable serotonin level, which has been lowered due to excessive coffee consumption, you will start feeling better. You will also start noticing the improvement in your “glow.”

Changing your coffee habits does not only pertain to the amount of the beverage that you consume. You should also change when you drink it. It is not a good idea to drink coffee first thing after you wakeup since it lowers or even impedes your appetite for breakfast, which is the most important meal of the day.

Should you drink coffee in the morning, delay it until after you have already finished your breakfast. Do not drink coffee close to any meal since it will affect proper nutrient absorption. Also, do not have it close to bedtime since it will hinder a restful night’s sleep.

Can Coffee Help You Improve Your Skin Health?


Excessive coffee consumption is not beneficial for your skin and overall health. But through regulated drinking, it can promote better health and appearance. Coffee is rich in antioxidant properties that protect you from the damage caused by free radicals, one of which is skin wrinkling. It also helps strengthen your immune system. The caffeine in coffee can protect you from the harmful UV rays from the sun thereby keeping your skin healthy and good looking while lowering your risk of developing skin cancer.

Remember that coffee, when consumed in regulation can promote better skin and overall health. Coffee may not be the best beverage for your if you have allergies or hypersensitivity to caffeine.

In case you have any questions about coffee and its effect on your skin, feel free to comment below.