Sometimes your skin just needs a little wake-up jolt.
Caffeine is a great way to perk up your complexion. In the same way that a cup of coffee gets you going in the morning, a topical application of caffeine can perk up your skin and stimulate circulation.
I’ve recommended it to my patients for years. But you don’t have to rub coffee grinds on your face to get the amazing results of the caffeine…
You see, caffeine constricts your blood vessels to fight the dark undereye circles that make you look tired. And at the same time, it increases blood flow to the skin. That helps your face look tight and bright.
Studies show caffeine can also:
- Reduce the appearance of fine lines around the eyes
- Improve drainage to reduce bags and puffiness1
- Limit skin damage from UVB rays2
- Reduce the depth of deep wrinkles3
But there’s a much better choice than coffee.
I’m talking about guarana.
It’s a red fleshy fruit found only in the Amazon rainforest. I was introduced to it a couple of years ago while visiting the Guaraní tribe in Brazil. The natives use the fruit to make an energizing drink that reduces both physical and mental fatigue. They also use it as a medicine to treat upset stomach.
I brought some of the berries back to my South Florida clinic to analyze. And that’s when I discovered the berry contains compounds with amazing anti-aging skin care properties — including two times the amount of caffeine as coffee.
In addition to caffeine, guarana contains two catechins called theophylline and theobromine. These powerful antioxidants protect your skin from damage caused by oxidative stress.
And free radicals generated by oxidation speeds up the aging process. They break down skin tissue and collagen.
Studies show guarana releases caffeine and catechins when it’s applied to skin.4 These antioxidants can help reverse the effects of skin aging and restore skin’s natural health.
Recently, German researchers tested a guarana combination cream on a group of 43 people.5 They applied the cream to their faces for six weeks. The results were amazing…
The cream noticeably reduced sagging cheeks in the jowl area. It also significantly reduced crow’s feet and wrinkles under the eyes while stimulating collagen synthesis to help firm and tighten the skin.
Caffeine also has a slight dehydration effect. When applied to skin it helps shrink skin and fat cells, making your skin appear more toned. A few cellulite products are starting to add guarana for just this reason.
Wake Up Younger-Looking Skin
I credit guarana for the incredibly silky-smooth skin I’ve seen on the women in Brazil. But it’s not the only way to wake up tired-looking skin.
- Banish undereye bags with this coffee oil. The oil from green, unroasted Coffea arabica beans can help shrink under-eye bags and melt puffiness away. For one thing, it can double the rate of collagen production.
Coffea arabica seed oil also contains caffeine that boosts blood circulation. Skin studies show caffeine improves drainage to reduce bags and puffiness.6
Look for an oil that’s been cold-pressed from green coffee beans. Apply just a drop to the delicate skin under your eyes to reduce bags, dark circles, lines and wrinkles.
- Try this green tea age-eraser. Powerful antioxidants in green tea (Camellia sinensis) help protect the delicate skin around the eyes from the damage caused by UV sunlight.
Green tea contains a potent flavonoid called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). Studies show EGCG rejuvenates old skin cells and makes them act young again.7
Look for green tea in facial serums and creams. Or add some cold green tea to your moisturizer or toner.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
1. Herman A and Herman AP. “Caffeine’s mechanisms of action and its cosmetic use.” Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2013;26(1):8-14.
2. Koo SW, et al. “Protection from photodamage by topical application of caffeine after ultraviolet irradiation.” Br J Dermatol. 2007;156(5):957-964.
3. Kaczvinsky JR, et al. “Efficacy of anti-aging products for perioribtal wrinkles as measured by 3-D imaging.” J Cosmet Dermatol. 2009;8(3):228-233.
4. Heard CM, et al. “In vitro transdermal delivery of caffeine, theobromine, theophylline and catechin from extract of Guarana, Paullinia cupana.” Int J Pharm. 2006;317(1):26-31.
5. Peirano RI, et al. “Dermal penetration of creatine from a face-care formulation containing creatine, guarana and glycerol is linked to effective anti-wrinkle and anti-sagging efficacy in male subjects.” J Cosmet Dermatol. 2011;10(4):273-281.
6. Herman A and Herman AP. “Caffeine’s mechanisms of action and its cosmetic use.” Skin Pharmacol Physiol 2013;26(1):8-14.
7. Hsu S, et al. “Green tea polyphenols induce differentiation and proliferation in epidermal keratinocytes.” J Pharm Exp Ther. 2003;306(1):29-34.