For years, there's been a heated debate on whether coffee offers more harm than good, and while that discussion is still on; there are several facts we should get them right. A morning cup of coffee is a ritual for millions of people and a lot can be said about this irresistible sip of caffeine.
Numerous research studies are showing how coffee boosts your immunity to even preventing certain types of cancer. Some studies, however, link coffee to dehydration and skin related issues.
To arrive at the right answer to this question, keep on reading.
The biology of coffee
Coffee isn't only one of the most popular drinks in the world but also one of the most studied and researched daily beverage. Today, there are thousands of published research and study findings on the internet each trying to solve the several accords and controversies linked to this beverage.
The two major ingredients found in coffee are caffeine and a string of antioxidants. Caffeine is a renowned stimulant that besides keeping us active improves our cognitive system and alertness.
Antioxidants, on the other hand, are the main ingredient that gives coffee a good reputation. It's the unsung hero that minimizes the harmful effects of the infamous free radicals that damage important molecules like DNA and protein cells. Of all the known common drinks that comprise a majority of the human diet, coffee was found to have impressive antioxidant content.
Some of the powerful antioxidants that coffee has to include polyphenols and hydrocinnamic acids. According to an NCBI study, polyphenols were found to play a vital role in the prevention of degenerative diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases. In another study, hydrocinnamic acids were shown that have gained a widespread reputation in the health sector due to their antioxidant properties.
Coffee and the skin
The so-called experts have succeeded in giving us a confusing and yet ambiguous view about coffee and the skin. Certain health specialists suggest that coffee can worsen your acne and dry skin conditions while others say it doesn't affect the skin at all. It doesn't stop there though, some confess with clinical trials and experiments that coffee is good for your skin since it packs several antioxidant properties. Trusting any of the three opinions is daunting and it has now become a matter of choice and personal preference.
In times of uncertainty and unwavering skepticism, science becomes the ultimate solution. Based on some eye-opening scientific studies found in this article, coffee is great for the skin; but only when it's taken within the daily limits (1 to 4 cups a day). It's therefore clear that coffee is healthy for the skin due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. However, taking more than five cups a day can be detrimental.
Coffee and acne
The truth is that coffee doesn't cause acne directly. According to a study, overconsumption of caffeine has been linked to increased stress levels which are further associated with acne breakout.
To understand this, stress hormones such as cortisol trigger acne by making the body produce high amounts of insulin. This overproduced insulin causes the skin to produce excess oil & excess new skin cells and hence increases the body's inflammation levels.
For someone struggling with acne breakouts, it's only fair to say that coffee consumption may worsen the condition. The study, therefore, confirms the link between coffee and acne but in a practical and relatable manner.
Many people take coffee with sugar and some add milk for an added taste. While all these are done for a good course, studies show that the additives could well be affecting your skin. According to the study, skim milk, inorganic milk and sugar can cause acne. Whey and casein proteins found in dairy products have been associated with increased inflammation.
Milk is also known to negatively affect the production of sebum which leads to a clocking of the skin pores by dead skin cells. Adding milk to your coffee can, therefore, cause you more harm than good. People who infrequently add milk to their coffee often report breakouts in the jawline and chin area that come and go away.
Sugar, on the other hand, has been reported to affect your hormone levels. Digested sugar attaches itself to the collagen in your skin through a process called glycation. The latter can worsen skin conditions such as acne and rosacea while increasing the effects of aging. It's, therefore, safe to take your coffee black if you have underlying skin issues.
Limiting the caffeine content
According to the Food and Drug Administration, 400 mg of caffeine per day is considered sufficient. This is equivalent to four or five cups of coffee depending on the type of coffee you take and how you brew your coffee.
For the decaffeinated coffee, the caffeine content is less and this means that the daily limit of 4 coffee cups can be exempted. It's also important to note that high levels of caffeine have been linked to more serious health issues besides the skin conditions and loss of sleep.
The FDA estimates that taking more than 1200mg of caffeine in any form; whether in coffee (28 cups) or as dry powder could cause body seizure, jitters, insomnia, and other life-threatening health conditions. This could even mean complications for someone with pre-existing health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.
Other effects of coffee on the skin
Besides the hot morning coffee, the benefits of coffee on your skin can also be realized when applied topically. Several body scrubs and face lotions have embraced the powerful skin-exfoliating properties of coffee grounds.
A 2013 study suggests that the various antioxidants found in coffee help promote healthy skin when applied topically. Caffeic acid has also been shown to boost collagen levels while reducing premature aging of skin cells.
Now that drinking coffee isn't bad for your skin, it's necessary to pay keen attention to your body's reaction to the caffeine content. Whether you're a regular coffee fanatic or an occasional drinker; always track your caffeine content to make sure that it doesn't hurt your skin.