Can Your Coffee Habit Calm Redness From Rosacea? Derms Say It’s Legit

Photo: Getty Images/HoxtonTom Merton
Coffee-lovers will listen to any excuse to up their daily dose of the world's fave source of caffeine (guilty as charged). And apart from burning fat and the antioxidant boost, recent research suggests that refilling your mug four (yes, four!) times a day might also keep you from developing rosacea.

The analysis of past studies, which was published in the journal JAMA Dermatology, looked at data from 82,737 women who participated in a large health study between 1991 and 2005—4,945 of whom were diagnosed with rosacea during that period. They found that the one-fifth of participants who consumed four plus mugs of coffee per day were 24 percent less likely to develop rosacea than the one-fifth who drank less than one steaming cup per month. And decaffeinated coffee wasn't associated with decreased risk for rosacea.

Although further investigation on this subject still needs to be conducted, coffee already has some topical clout in the skincare world, according to two dermatologists. "Poor water balance in the body and dehydration causes tiny blood vessels to expand and push against the skin, causing the skin to look darker," explains New York City-based dermatologist Dendy Engelman, MD. By acting as a vasoconstrictor, or a blood vessel-constrictor, Dr. Engelman explains that the buzzy ingredient reduces redness, drains fluids, and tighten skin up when applied topically. "Rosacea is triggered by sun exposure, extreme temperatures, stress, alcohol, spicy foods, and others. These triggers cause blood vessels near the surface of the skin to dilate. Since caffeine constricts blood vessels, it can be a fix for those with rosacea," she says.

In addition, Joshua Zeichner, MD, another New York derm, says that the antioxidants in coffee have been found to protect your skin against the free radical damage caused by UV lights. But he does offer one caveat: "Coffee containing products can be used in patients with sensitive skin and rosacea, however I caution against using coffee scrubs in these patients because the active physical exfoliation may cause irritation," he explains. So keep that in mind before you rub the gritty grinds across the irritated area with too much force.

See some of our beauty editors' picks below to reap the skin benefits of coffee—without getting the jitters that four cups will give you.

Now that we're talking about coffee, here's how to give your cup a fall twist without adding sugar. Plus, what happened when one writer quit the beverage cold turkey

Loading More Posts...