Caffeine and skin – good, bad – or both?

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You may like to start your day with a cup of coffee – or three – , have a cola with lunch, then have a cup of tea before bed.  Not to mention any chocolate, pain relievers, and prescription drugs, so you may not even realize how much caffeine you are ingesting every day.  Caffeine is not necessary for your body to function but medical experts say it’s fine to ingest up to 250 milligrams of caffeine a day with no adverse health effects.  You can reach that amount with just 1-2 cups of coffee!

Caffeine does contain some anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic benefits so it isn’t bad for your body or skin.  In fact some companies have been adding caffeine to topical skin care to take advantage of its blood vessel constricting and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Caffeine can temporarily make you more alert but makes you crash abruptly unless you continue consuming it throughout the day – which leads to several problems.  Caffeine works as a diuretic, which can cause dehydration in the body which will quickly show up on your skin.  Ingesting too much caffeine can cause heightened anxiety levels leading to panic attacks, heightened PMS symptoms, and mood swings.  It also leads to some major sleep problems which causes the body not to be able to properly repair itself and fatigue and irritation show up on the skin.

Since caffeine does have some health benefits you do not need to cut it out of your diet completely.  Try not to consume it too closely to your bedtime to prevent sleep issues and it may be best to switch to tea to gain its many other health benefits.  Be sure to also drink plenty of water to counteract any dehydration.  Whatever you do – do not cut down on caffeine drastically right away.  Your body has developed an addiction to it and not gradually decreasing your intake can cause withdrawal symptoms such as headaches and nervousness.  Cut down slowly to no more than 3 cups a day, and be aware of other products you consume that add to your caffeine intake.


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