Coffee – is it good or bad for the skin?

There is always marketing hype about how good or bad coffee is for your skin….with some claiming exceptionally high antioxidant qualities are a reason to consume large quantities of coffee. Well, like all plants, the phyto chemicals in coffee are complex, with some good and some bad effects.

The 2 major components of coffee beans are Chlorogenic Acids and Caffeine. Chlorogenic Acid has high antioxidant activity when tested, but in the body the antioxidants in these acids are extensively metabolized so are much lower in concentration when absorbed in the body. Once again the media hyped theory that coffee is good for your antioxidant intake is not really true…

Caffeine is a well known stimulant and can increase blood pressure especially in people suffering from hypertension. High blood pressure will have a negative effect upon people with redness in their skin (whether it be rosacea, dermatitis, sensitivities, acne or allergies).

Applying coffee based ingredients topically has little evidence by way of published studies  that prove the antioxidants are absorbed into the skin (though there are some secret/private studies that claim coffee extracts are the fountain of youth for your skin), but being that they are extracted from green coffee fruit (aka the bean) in an liquid fat (oil) form, means they can be formulated to be lipid soluble and thus potentially absorb through the natural lipid barrier of the skin. Whether they are effective when in the skin or whether they just break down and do nothing is unknown.

Green and White tea have very high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities in published studies, but CoffeeBerry claims to be even greater than these…in unpublished studies.

There are also products containing coffeeberry extracts – these extracts are NOT from coffee plants and has nothing to do with coffee. Coffeeberry is called Rhamnus californica whereas coffee is called Coffea. To complicate matters the name CoffeeBerry was trademarked and refers to extracts from the fruit (aka beans) of coffee.

Just out of interest, 2 other natural elements of coffee are Cafestol and Kakweol, both of which are bad for you if you have cholesterol problems because they increase LDL and serum totals. Brewing coffee does reduce it slightly, but using filter paper will reduce it even more. Espresso’s, Scandinavian boiled coffee, Turkish and Greek coffee, as well as French Press coffee will not reduce these elements in the final solution of coffee that you drink.

The references used are “An Evidence Based Approach to Dietary Phytochemicals” by Jane Higdon, Ph.D, as well as and other online websites.

The information provided here is not meant to diagnose or cure any medical conditions. Please see your doctor or a trained medical professional should you have any concerns.

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