Is Drinking Coffee Actually Bad For Your Skin?

It is well studied and publicized that coffee offers a host of benefits to its drinkers, from the obvious one — waking you up — to lowering the risk of developing diseases ranging from diabetes to cancer to Alzheimers, and increasing metabolism, thereby burning fat (via Healthline). Coffee also contains several nutrients key to overall health such as vitamin B2, potassium, and niacin, not to mention it is a powerhouse of antioxidants. 

So, it runs contrary to logic that enjoying a daily cup of joe (or two, or three) could be bad for your skin. Still, some people swear there is a correlation between sipping a latte and battling chronic skin conditions like acne. Should you give up coffee if you're concerned about your complexion? Consider the evidence and decide for yourself.

Coffee's effects on your skin

Let's start with the fact that all skin is not the same. "There's wide variation in terms of how people are affected by caffeine," dermatologist Dr. Aanand Geria, M.D., told The Zoe Report. It is worth pointing out high levels of caffeine have been linked to increasing cortisol, otherwise known as the stress hormone, which can exacerbate acne, and other skin conditions like psoriasis, and eczema (via WebMD). That being said, note a 2018 study found that drinking coffee decreased one's risk for developing rosacea, a condition that causes redness, and visible blood vessels, according to The Mayo Clinic. That's likely because coffee contains antioxidants that fight inflammation.

Nonetheless, if you suspect imbibing java is causing any sort of skin flare up, consider it may not be the beans themselves, but what you are putting in your coffee (via Byrdie). Milk and sugar are common culprits of acne and eczema flare ups (via Medical News Today). Still considering banishing your beans forever? First, know that when applied topically to the skin, coffee has been linked to reducing cellulite, fighting the signs of aging, and even lessening one's chances of developing skin cancer (via Healthline). 

Pass the espresso!