Searches for caffeine skincare is up by 1854% – here’s why

4 October 2019
By Fashion Quarterly

Your daily caffeine hit could be your new turbo-charged beauty booster.

Be it a hardcore double espresso, a plain old Americano, or half-shot, extra-hot, oat-milk latte – as a nation, we’re addicted to caffeine.

Something you might not have realised though, is that adding a shot of caffeine to your beauty regime can perk you up just as much as your cup of coffee. This seems to be a growing trend, as UK beauty site Cult Beauty can attest to; the website has seen a growth of 1854% in searches for caffeine since September 2018.

“Customers are looking for targeted information and they’re looking for it fast,” explains Cult Beauty senior buyer, Louisa Harris.


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“We’re seeing more transparent messaging outlining what’s inside products, making it easier for customers to do their pre-purchase research. With straightforward information, beauty junkies can elevate their routines, customising it with ‘single’ ingredient formulas. Caffeine in particular, while not new, is being used far more as a hero ingredient for its powerful antioxidant benefits – and is far less intimidating than, say retinol.”

You might not think of caffeine as the most beauty-friendly ingredient. After all, there has been evidence that coffee can cause dehydration and negatively affect collagen production. But, when it comes to cosmetics, caffeine is an absolute multi-talent assures Susanne Kaufmann, founder of her eponymous alpine beauty skincare brand. “It slows down the skin’s ageing process, softens eye bags and ensures strong hair growth,” she says.

Some of our favourite caffeine beauty picks:

Shop from left to right: The Inkey List caffeine under eye serum, $17 from Sephora, Frank original body scrub, $19 from MECCA, Coffee mask, $20.50 from Lush.

Tempted to give your beauty routine a jolt of caffeine? From head to toe, this is how:

Caffeine for your hair

If you’re after luscious Rapunzel-like lengths, turn your head to caffeine, pronto.

Trichologist Dr Eva Proudman, explains “caffeine increases blood flow and stimulation to the scalp which in turn increases cell division, promoting healthy hair growth. It also inhibits the action of ‘DHT’ – a hormone derived from testosterone that causes androgenetic hair loss whereby the follicle shrinks leading to weaker, thinner strands. Caffeine helps lessen these effects and will prolong the growth phase of the hair,” states Kaufmann.

Caffeine for your under eyes and skin

Caffeine has long been used to tackle tired eyes. It’s vasoconstrictive, which means it can narrow blood vessels, and a diuretic, relieving water retention, making it the perfect under-eye treatment to diminish dark circles and reduce puffiness.

The effects, however, are only temporary and should be reserved for daytime use – too much caffeine can dehydrate the delicate skin around the eyes. The best in beauty suggest layering it with a Hyaluronic Acid (HA) to prevent dryness.

As a potent antioxidant, caffeine can mop up free radicals in the skin caused by UV exposure and pollution and research suggests that when added to sunscreen, caffeine enhances its protective effects.

Although expensive, Tom Ford’s Research Serum Concentrate, £255, combines three potent ingredients containing caffeine proven to soothe skin, protect against free radicals and help retain moisture in a luxurious, velvety texture.

The combination of caffeine’s vasoconstrictive and anti-inflammatory abilities also makes it a no-brainer for relieving redness in those with rosacea – caffeine is well tolerated by the skin, which is important for sensitive issues like rosacea and can be used as an adjunctive treatment to reduce symptoms of flushing.

A version of this article originally appeared on Grazia UK.

Words: Emma Stoddart
Photos: Instagram, Supplied


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