Skin Care And Coffee

By: Robert Cooksey..


You might be surprised to know that in 2006, there were over a hundred and forty skin products on the United States market boasting caffeine as an ingredient. That's up from only twenty-one such products in 2003. Coffee may have had a hard time during the twentieth century, while the US FDA tried to decide whether it was good for you or bad, but now we're realizing how much coffee can do for us. More and more of the beneficial properties of coffee are showing up, especially in the skin care market.
Primarily, coffee and caffeine are finding their way into skin lotions and creams because of antioxidant properties and tightening and firming qualities. Caffeine applied to the skin operates in three ways - as an antioxidant, a diuretic and a vasoconstrictor. Among others, Avon, Neuturogena and L'Oreal have included caffeine in some of their products.
For years, caffeine has been used in products sold to reduce cellulite. It's clear that caffeine dehydrates fat cells by somehow energizing them which in turn causes the sodium/potassium component of the cells to vacate. Consequently, water disappears as well. Bottom line - skin on buttocks and thighs becomes smoother.
Caffeine's vaso-constricting characteristic also makes it a favorite ingredient in eye gels for reducing puffiness and dark circles as well as tightening skin around the eyes. Of course, nothing eliminates cellulite or troubled skin around the eyes completely. The best you can hope for is noticeable improvement, perhaps only for a few hours.
Now, the explosion of coffee use in skin products means that you'll find it in fragrances, face creams and body scrubs. Lots of products not only smell like coffee, but also have ground coffee in them as an exfoliant. Some manufacturers even suggest that absorbing caffeine through your skin could produce some of the same alertness effects that drinking a cup of coffee does.
Not so fast say the dermatologists. None of the products harbor concentrations sufficient to produce the jolt one might hope for from a cup of java. Moreover, absorption is through the skin slow, so it's questionable whether enough of coffee's stuff can penetrate to enhance alertness. Infusing the coffee aroma in products, is thought, on the other hand, to stimulate perkiness by association.
A few promising studies in rodents have suggested that coffee's caffeine can kill skin cancer cells. These results have appeared promising, but similar effects have not been translated to humans. There are, however, plenty of caffeinated sunscreens. That's because this substance can have some sun blocking effects.
There are even a few people out there who say there's no need to spend a lot on skin care products when you can get the benefits of coffee at home. According to them, making your own brewed coffee soaps and ground coffee body scrubs is just as good, if not better. There are recipes out there, for those who feel like giving it a try.

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Robert Cooksey is the creator of several websites providing information and sales of skin care products including Skin Care Products, and specifically providing a series of articles about Taking Care of Your Skin.

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