Caffeine Prevents Skin Cancer

We all know what caffeine can do for our moods in the morning, but it's also increasingly celebrated in the dermatological community for its impact on the skin.

For years, caffeine's ability to quickly and effectively constrict blood vessels has made it a valued topical ingredient, particularly in products designed to minimize facial flushing. For that reason, caffeine can be a tremendous boon to those who suffer from rosacea, which is essentially caused by frequently dilated blood vessels that lose their ability to contract. La Roche Posay Rosaliac products, for example, are a great anti-inflammatory option for anyone who suffers from rosacea or facial redness. Topix Replenix CF Anti-Photoaging Complex SPF 45 is another excellent, well-rounded product that offers a blend of powerful antioxidants, caffeine, and sunscreen.

Caffeine's blood vessel-constricting benefits also make it a go-to ingredient in many eye creams (like MD Formulations Moisture Defense Antioxidant Eye Crème, for example), as it can quickly minimize redness and puffiness.

In addition to its anti-inflammatory benefits, though, caffeine is starting to get attention because it may prevent skin cancer as discussed in the February issue of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology. Consumption of caffeine has been shown to be associated with lower incidences of nonmelanoma skin cancers in several epidemiological studies (Jacobsen et al., 1986; Hakim et al., 2000; Abel et al., 2007; Rees et al., 2007).

One study of over 93,000 women showed that drinking coffee decreased their risk of skin cancer. Other research suggests that both oral and topical caffeine may offer powerful anticarcinogenic benefits. I personally use Replenix CF cream with caffeine twice a day.

So whether you drink it iced or hot, or apply it topically, caffeine seems to have a benefit for the skin. Just a couple words of caution, though: Caffeine is dehydrating, so be sure to follow your coffee or tea with plenty of water. And if you're prone to facial flushing, hot beverages can cause redness; consider enjoying your caffeinated beverages over ice.

Wishing you great skin!


Dr. Baumann is author of the best-selling book, " The Skin Type Solution." To learn more about her revolutionary skin typing system, visit her Web site,

All of Dr. Baumann's recommended skin care products are available online, and a portion of proceeds goes to The Dermatology Foundation.

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