These days, caffeine seems to be permeating people's morning routines in more ways than one. As we continue see it pop up in more and more skincare products, we decided to do a deep dive into the different ways caffeine is being used by the beauty industry. Here we break down what the experts say is worth the investment, and what should be kept out of your morning routine.
Body or Facial Scrub
We at BALM are always preaching about our preference for the use of chemical exfoliants rather than physical (or “mechanical”) exfoliants on our face. Why? Because physical exfoliants that require rubbing can cause microtears. And since the skin on our face is much more fragile than on our body, we do not recommend the use of coffee grounds as a facial scrub. In fact, if it’s the effects of caffeine you’re after, there are far more effective ways to accomplish this than by rubbing coffee grounds on your face.
As for using coffee grounds as an exfoliating body scrub, this is a better idea because the skin on your body is thicker and less delicate than on your face.
Cellulite control cream
The purported benefits of caffeine are that it reduces inflammation, constricts blood vessels and dehydrates fat cells. For those who have cellulite — and we might add that this is the case for 85-90% of women — and are not happy with how it looks, there are caffeine creams on the market that claim to help tackle those pesky dimples.
While studies have shown that coffee scrubs do not actually penetrate fat cells due to their low concentration of caffeine and short exposure time, there is some science pointing to caffeine creams as a possible solve. That said, the results aren’t entirely conclusive and these creams don’t work for everyone, so take this one with a grain of salt.
Under-eye creams and serums
More often than not, dark circles under the eye are a result of vascular congestion. Dr. Schaffran’s #1 recommendation for improving under-eye puffiness or discoloration is more sleep. But, if there were to be a #2 on the list, it would be to use a cream that contains caffeine or green tea. Caffeine helps to close the blood vessels under the eye which can help with any darkness.
Ultimately, nothing — including lasers or eye surgery — can eliminate dark circles entirely. An eye cream or serum can certainly help improve the look of the under-eye area, but at the end of the day, a good concealer is truly a woman’s best friend.
Overall, just because a product contains caffeine does not automatically mean it will produce the results you’re looking for. The magic is in the formulation — it won’t be effective unless applied in the proper dosage. And because caffeine only has temporary effects (like a cup of coffee), aim for products that also contain other active ingredients that will help your skin long-term.