Caffeine and Acne

Why I Don’t Drink Coffee

Caffeine & Acne_3

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the taste of coffee.  I started drinking it at age 14 and couldn’t let go until I was in my mid-twenties.  However, the older I got, the more it became overwhelmingly apparent that caffeine was hugely triggering my acne.

Caffeine is a major trigger for cortisol, our stress hormone.  It’s what surges during that fight or flight response deeply built into us as humans.  Stress can be a significant acne trigger.  Most people think of stress as pressure at our jobs, a difficult relationship situation, or studying for a big exam.  However, that cup of joe can cause the body an equal amount of stress in sensitive individuals.

I do recognize that there are different degrees of caffeine sensitivity.  If I drink one cup of coffee, I feel the unpleasant jitters almost instantly!  My family is the exact same way.  Some people, on the other hand, could drink a gallon of coffee at midnight and fall peacefully asleep within minutes.  So it seems plausible that you’re more likely to have the acne-caffeine connection if you are sensitive to the stimulating drug in general!

The solution?  Try cutting it out!  You have nothing to lose if you are struggling with your skin.  Yes, you will get the withdrawal headaches for a few days, but you can try weaning off it slowly to ease these.  Even replacing your daily coffee with a beverage containing less caffeine is a great start.  I saw dramatic results from switching my coffee to black tea for a few years.  It has about half the caffeine.

Another source of caffeine, as painful as it may be, is chocolate (particularly dark chocolate).  Granted, it contains very small amounts.  100 grams of dark chocolate has 43mg of caffeine, which is even lower than the amount in most black teas.  However for some people, it’s still too much.  If you can snag some carob powder to sub into your recipes, it really helps with the craving.

So give it a try!  You can make it less difficult by stocking up on some really tasty herbal or decaffeinated teas so that you don’t have to give up any of your rituals 🙂

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