Does Coffee Cause Acne?

Many things in life cause us great pain, and acne is one of those. While most of us will experience breakouts at some point in our lives, acne is a painful condition, which, let’s face it, can be decapitating.

It can affect your confidence, your self-esteem and make you reluctant to leave the house. 

While there is no shame in acne, we are the first to the point that out; a lot of us spend our time scouring the internet for cures, miracle treatments, and the causes of acne.

There is a lot of false information on the internet, from people claiming to know what is best. We are here today to cut through the myths and lies and provide direct answers. 

Coffee is often attributed to causing acne and is the reason for your painful breakouts. So let’s find out, can coffee cause acne? 

In a rush? The short answer is: no, drinking coffee should not directly cause any acne. However, some factors such as hydration, diet, and sleep can impact acne, so stick around and let’s look at those in a bit more detail. 

Hydration is key

Our bodies are mostly water; bio 101 will have told you that.

We all need to drink more water, from professionals to presenters; all tell us that. When your body is dehydrated, everything is impacted, from your sleep to your skin. 

If you are dehydrated, your skin is going to show. Even if it does not feel drier than usual, we acne sufferers are used to an oilier complexion; dehydration will play havoc on your skin.

Drinking the recommended amount of water a day will help your skin stay hydrated and promote clearer skin. 

Coffee is not always the best to hydrate your skin.

The caffeine added to your water is not going to perform the same way good old H2O will. We would recommend adding a glass of water to your morning routine.

Enjoy your coffee by all means, but why not wash it down with a cup of water? This can also provide you with a refreshing wake up! 

If you are at school or work, consider taking a bottle of water and refilling it where possible to help maintain your hydration levels throughout the day.

After all, you can always reward yourself with an afternoon coffee when you come home! 

What’s in the coffee?

While the coffee may not be the direct cause of your acne, what you are adding to it, be that milk or sugar, can impact your skin.

For years we have heard that chocolate and sugar are the cause of teenage acne; these myths are disproved regularly, but is there any truth in them?

Adding sugar or sugary syrups to your coffee may improve the taste, but this can impact your skin.

If you are concerned, switching to a sweetener may help you see a difference. Poor diet is linked to poor skin, so cutting down on your sugar intake can only help! 

Diets that are high in sugar increases the amount of insulin in your body.

With this insulin comes an increase in the insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), a hormone that plays a role in the development of acne.

This can be worsened by adding a carbohydrate with a high glycemic index, such as a scone or croissant. While it is absolutely fine to have this as a treat, it is essential to include it as part of a balanced diet. 

Milk can also be an issue. A common consensus is that lactose and dairy can cause acne in teenagers and adults alike.

It’s not surprising, as most of the world is naturally lactose-intolerant, we would see these issues. You can switch to non-dairy milk, oat, and coconut taste the best in coffee, to see if that improves your skin. 

If you are unsure if coffee is causing a breakout, you could try removing it from your diet for a few weeks to see if there is a difference in your skin.

Eliminating food or drink in this way is often how we can identify any intolerances or skincare reactions.

Remember that everyone’s skin is different and reacts differently; just because your skin reacts does not mean your sisters will!

What about the positives? 

Just to add some confusion, the antioxidants we find in coffee can improve your skin! Coffee is full of antioxidants.

Studies have shown that people with acne had significantly lower blood concentrations of antioxidants, vitamins A and E, compared to the control group without acne. 

There is still a significant amount of research that needs to be done before the link can be proven.

A cup of coffee in the morning will not give you acne, but ensuring a varied and balanced diet with foods that are rich in antioxidants can only be a positive change to make! 

Is sleep the answer?

It might be worth avoiding drinking coffee in the afternoon or evenings to help with your acne too.

A good night’s sleep, combined with hydration and a balanced diet, is what your body craves.

Many of us are guilty of abusing our bodies, but treating them right, and we may see a marked improvement in our skin. 

Coffee can impact our sleep; switching to decaf if you still want the taste in the evenings is also a good idea.

The caffeine-free drink should not keep you awake the same way that caffeinated coffee does

Final Words

It’s time to wrap up for the day. Drinking your morning coffee is not going to cause acne.

You won’t take a sip of caffeine and wake up with a face full of spots unless you are reacting, in which case, get medical help ASAP. 

However, there is a link between lifestyle and the condition of your skin. If you are looking after your body, your body will look after you.

Making sure you drink plenty of water and avoiding smoking can help keep your skin fresh and radiant. A varied and balanced diet will also promote healthier skin. 

Remember your coffee won’t cause acne, but be sure to maintain a balanced diet and drink plenty of water.

If you are concerned about your acne, please contact a dermatologist and remember nothing to be embarrassed about. 

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