Some people might think that giving up coffee makes their skin clearer, because they believe that coffee cause acne. But there is no direct evidence that coffee cause acne.
Antioxidants are good for your skin and can be found in coffee. Still, drinking coffee or adding sugar or milk to it could make acne or oily skin worse for some people.
Most people with acne can still drink coffee, but they should drink it in moderation and avoid or cut back on milk and sugar.
1. Caffeine increases your stress
If you drink caffeine on a semi-regular basis, it makes your body make more androgens (also called “male hormones”) and makes your adrenals react in an unnatural way. “Androgens cause stress in our bodies, which is directly linked to the overproduction of skin cells and clogged pores, as well as the release of the stress hormone cortisol,” says the Holistic Health Herbalist.
She goes on to say, “Cortisol makes the skin produce a lot of oil.” As more and more of this oil builds up, germs and bacteria multiply in the clogged pores, which makes white blood cells rush to the infection. “Acne is the name for the inflammation that results.” One study showed that a person’s cortisol went up by 211% when they were stressed and drank coffee. That’s a crazy jump!
Along with coffee, there are many other foods and drinks we eat and drink every day that can cause acne. If you have acne, you should definitely look into an anti-acne diet and look over our list of foods that clog pores. If you do these things, you’ll be well on your way to having clearer, more beautiful skin. Please also use topical treatments like our anti-aging and acne-fighting stem cell serum.
2. Caffeine causes dehydration
You need to drink it. Most of us are already chronically dehydrated (did you know that your skin needs 3 liters of water a day? MORE if you work out!)Now add caffeine, which is a natural diuretic, and you’ll need to drink even more water.
With so many environmental toxins getting into our bodies through food, water, products, and our modern environment, we need as much water as we can get to help flush these things out (like clogged pores). Take a break from coffee and only drink it when you really, really need it. Acne and caffeine don’t go together.
4. Coffee can contain mycotoxins from mold
Mycotoxin, which comes from mold that grows on coffee plants before and after harvesting, is probably one of the scariest things about coffee. Molds usually grow on coffee plants that are grown at lower altitudes where it is hot and humid.
Mycotoxins are bad for your acne and your health as a whole. They can mess up your immune system and make it take longer to respond to bacteria and other foreign invaders. Also, they mess up your levels of sex hormones, especially estrogen. They can also cause cancer.
The good news is that not all coffees have these mycotoxins in high amounts. Most coffees grown at higher altitudes are picked and processed with more care, which makes them more expensive.
5. Coffee, milk, and acne
People often put milk or cream in their coffee. There is some evidence that drinking more dairy milk could cause acne or make acne worse if you already have it.
One study found that teens who drank more skim or low-fat milk had a lot more acne than those who drank whole milk or none at all.
In another study of 57 people with acne, those who drank more milk were more likely to have more acne.
According to a study on the link between diet and acne, drinking milk raises the amount of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1). A second study says that acne is caused by having too much IGF-1.
6. Sugar impacts acne
People with acne might also want to cut back on or get rid of the sugar in their morning coffee.
Researchers have found a link between acne and foods with a high glycemic index, or foods that cause blood sugar levels to rise quickly. These foods often have a lot of sugar, especially sugar that has been added.
In one study, people who ate more high-glycemic foods were more likely to get acne. A systematic review also found that eating less sugar could help clear acne.
Drinking coffee without worsening acne
There may be some ways to drink coffee without making acne worse, such as:
People can do this by drinking less coffee, decaffeinated or half-caffeinated coffee, or by drinking less regular coffee. But they should be aware that other drinks, like tea and energy drinks, may also have caffeine in them. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that you shouldn’t have more than 400 mg of caffeine a day, which is about 4–5 regular cups of coffee. But some people are more sensitive to the effects of caffeine and may need to drink much less than this.
Cutting back on sugar: You can do this by putting little or no sugar in your coffee or by cutting back on or giving up sugary sodas.
People can cut back on low-fat or skim milk by using a dairy-free creamer or whole milk in their coffee instead.
Acne causes and treatments
When the skin makes too much oil, a pimple of acne forms. Because of this extra oil, a bunch of skin cells get stuck in a pore. A red, swollen bump forms when bacteria from the skin mixes with oil and dead skin cells.
Acne is caused by different things for each person. According to research, acne might run in families. But it can happen to anyone at any age, whether or not it runs in the family.
If someone has acne, they can first try over-the-counter products with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.
A dermatologist should be seen if the skin doesn’t get better in a few weeks or if the acne is very bad. If you don’t treat acne, it can make you feel bad and leave scars on your body.
The skin benefits of coffee
Antioxidants are chemicals that stop or slow the oxidation of cells in the body.
Antioxidants are found in many plant foods, especially fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants can also be found in coffee.
Some evidence shows that antioxidants are good for the skin and may help get rid of acne.
A small pilot study found that people with acne who also used acne medicines like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid saw their acne get better when they used topical antioxidants.
Coffee has antioxidants that are good for the skin and the body as a whole. But adding sugar or milk to too much caffeinated coffee or drinking too much of it can make acne worse.
People who get acne often might want to cut back on caffeine, dairy, and sugar to see if it makes their skin better.
People may want to see a dermatologist if their acne keeps getting worse or doesn’t get better.