Coffee is not the devil at all. In fact, it is a great thing! But if you are not completely satisfied with your skin, then you might want to „meditate” on this article a little bit.
My diet is pretty clean, I do not eat diary, refined sugar, I change my pillow case every two days, I wash my brushes every week, I pay attention to what I put on my face (I’m a maniac), I do yoga, I meditate and the list goes on, but acne does not want to disappear from my life. Okay, it is not that bad overall as I am not covered in pimples from chin to forehead (thank God!), but still, those 3-4 bastards are also bothering me, especially because they are the worst type (deep, cystic ones that you can not pop at all and it is impossible to get rid of them for at least 2 weeks). I have been suffering from them since I was a teenager (there is a huge improvement though), but I haven’t found the best definitive solution so far.
The only thing I have never tried is to quit coffee. Ok, it is not entirely true, I tried once, but I was cheating on the 4th day, and then it was over. The truth is, I am obsessed with coffee. I love the scent, the taste, and the whole little intimate ritual that comes with making and drinking it. I never drank a lot, one or max. two cups a day – that was always enough for me. But this was a must. Every. Single. Day. Many times – especially when my son was still a baby – a large mug of foamy, oat or soy milk latte was literally the highlight of my day. Ahh! Not to mention that my husband is Italian, so we are going to Italy very often where you can experience a different dimension of drinking coffee. In Italy I am able to drink an espresso by itself without any problem (no milk, no honey), while at home (in Budapest, Hungary) I find it impossible.
But let’s get back to the point: three weeks ago my skin started to act up again, I had pimples even in places where 99% of the cases I never do, so I said to myself, okay, I had enough let’s try this coffee detox seriously. Just to let you know: I haven’t drank a drop since the 6th of January. Today is the 18th day. And are there any changes in my skin? YES, absolutely! I will go into details in a sec, but first, here are the 5 reasons why it can be beneficial for your skin if you give up coffee.
1. Coffee triggers your body’s stress response – Makes the skin more oily, clogs pores
Coffee raises the level of stress hormone in the body, resulting in the production of more insulin, which causes the skin to produce more oil. In addition, it also speeds up the formation of new skin cells, which can easily lead to clogged pores. These two factors are already enough to find a couple of new „friends” on your face. Bleh.
2. Can inhibit the ABSORPTION OF VITAMINS AND MINERALS
When you drink a good strong black coffee before or after eating (or within a maximum of 1 hour) it will block the absorption of most of the vitamins and minerals contained in the food you ate (especially iron, zinc, selenium and calcium). Which is bad news, because they play a huge role in the health of your skin.
3. It is acidic AND DAMAGES gut bacteria
In my previous post I wrote about the importance of gut health and how it affects your skin – read it here if you haven’t already. It is unfortunate, but it is a fact that because coffee is highly acidic it can cause gut flora imbalances. This can also lead to decreased production of vitamin B (as it is produced in the gut), which can generate many other health problems besides acne. Not good.
4. ENHANCES INFLAMMATION (ALSO IN THE SKIN)
Coffee also enhances inflammatory processes in the body, so even an already existing acne can be much more swollen and red. Plus it can make other inflammatory skin problems (eg rosacea, eczema, dermatitis) worse.
5. DEHYDRATES SKIN AND IMPAIRS COLLAGEN PRODUCTION
These are two very good reasons to quit (I think): coffee has a diuretic/dehydrating effect – so it is not only drying, but also causes more wrinkles, and the latter is further enhanced by the fact that coffee impairs collagen and elastin production. A lot of people only notice the difference in their skin when they stop drinking it for a while and they are surpised to see how much brighter and nicer their skin is.
So, as I said, I’ve been “clean” for 18 days. Lol. And I have to say that already after a week my skin has started to clear up. The big, deep bumps began to shrink, my pores seemed smaller and my T-zone was less oily. Overall, my skin is more beautiful now than ever. YAY!!! But of course, there were difficulties as well: the first two weeks I was literally a zombie and it was very hard not give up. So sooooo hard. My mood was fluctuating like a rollercoaster (since it has begun to normalize), but it’s supposed to be normal. I only had a headache once though, on the 7th day. It is a bit strange, because I thought it would happen much sooner. That same afternoon I drank a cup of black tea to ease a bit on the pain and it actually did work. I’m looking forward to the day when I will be energetic again without coffee (supposed to happen) because it’s a huge challenge for me at the moment beside having a 3 year old around😊
And how do I try to replace my favorite latte? Mostly with green tea and matcha latte (my fave), but I also bought a coffee substitue made with roasted barley, rye, dandelion and chicory roots which kind of tastes like coffee. I am also on the mission to get a box of chai tea (hello, chai latte!) and white tea (double dose of antioxidants) to have a little bit of variability in my repertoire. By the way I LOVE all of them, so thats no problem for me!
Regardless of all I said (wrote), I still think that if you find that coffee has absolutely no effect on your skin, you can totally drink it! (I am a little jealous :P) It has countless positive benefits as well: it is packed with antioxidants, prevents Alzheimer, etc. So I’m not saying coffee is bad. Ohhh, no! BUT, if you tend to have inflammation-related skin problems (eczema, rosacea, dermatitis or acne), then I think it is worth to give it a go and take a break from it. For me, this is also a test of whether I can give up on something I thought I could never ever. And I CAN. I believe sometimes it is good to have an experiment and test our strength. As food should never have control over us! And you see, I’ve also succeeded, even though everybody who knows me, also knows that I’m a very big fan of coffee (or maybe I just was?). 😊 I am pretty curious how this will go on the long term and how my skin will behave, so I will keep you updated!
Oh, and one more thing! I do not drink decaf coffee as a substitute because it has a small amount of caffeine as well, it is acidic, dehydrating and can cause gut flora problems too. K, that’s it, bye. 😊
Have you ever tried to give up coffee? And would you do it in order to heal your skin?
Have a beautiful day & skin!
Photo: Pinterest & David Mao
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I have been reading out many of your articles and i must say clever stuff. I will surely bookmark your website.
Hi! I just found your post among many others as I am having the worst case of acne I have ever experienced. Mostly hormonal I am assuming, as it is mostly in my chin and lower cheek area. I have cut out a lot from my diet, but coffee has been the one thing I never considered to be an issue, even with me only drinking black coffee. Your post has been very informative and has given me the strength and *hope* that if I stay strong and try to be without (our) beloved coffee/caffeine I will see some results. I am desperate and literally willing to try anything! Thank you for writing a very good article.
Hi Sarah! Thank you <3 I am very sorry to hear that you are suffering from acne 🙁 Yes, chin and lower cheek is usually the area of hormonal imbalances. But in some cases can be digestive issues as well. You might have some food allergies, sensitivities? To do a test would be worth it I think. But quitting coffee could help as well! Try to have a break for a couple of weeks and see if there is any changes! Good luck beauty, and hang in there, you will find the cause! 😉
Thank you for this! I gave up coffee (and I was only drinking decaf but still had problems) three weeks ago due to diarrhea several times a day. Needless to say, life was horrible until it finally occurred to me, after many other dietary changes produced zero results, that coffee might be the culprit. With much trepidation and sadness I gave it up for a day and was definitely better, so I decided to try another. I was almost normal then and knew that I could never, nor did I want, to go back to coffee. I have my life back! An amazing plus is that my skin has cleared up! Now I’m not young lol, I’m a postmenopausal woman who STILL had acne, mainly on my cheeks and chin. I feel like I could cry for joy, looking in the mirror. As a substitute I’ve been drinking a lot of rooibos tea, which is somewhat earthy and very healthy. Cheers to all who try giving up coffee and I hope that you will notice a big difference too!
Hi Traci! It was so nice to read your story, I am happy my post was helpful and giving up coffee has helped your health and skin in so many ways! 🙂 Thank you for commenting!