Caffeine Causes and Worsens Acne – If You Are Acne Prone, Here Is Why You Should Switch to Tea

As I ironically write this from a coffee shop (don’t worry, I ordered tea), a morning cup of coffee or tea has been a tradition in most cultures for generations. It’s become routine for most at this point. But why are we filling our empty stomachs with acid first thing in the morning when we should be alkalizing? There is endless amounts of research that backs up caffeine being linked to acne, so I’m going to break it down for you.

Caffeine Increases Your Stress (Physiologically)

If you consume caffeine on a semi-regular basis, it increases androgen production (the “male hormones”) and causes your adrenals to artificially react. “Androgens cause our bodies to experience stress, which is directly linked to the overproduction of skin cells and clogged pores, as well as the release of the stress hormone cortisol,” says the Holistic Health Herbalist. She goes on to say, “Cortisol triggers overt amounts of oil to be produced on the skin. As more and more of this oil accumulates, germs and bacteria multiply in the clogged pores which causes white blood cells to rush to the infection. The resulting inflammation is called acne.” One study showed that a person who was stressed and consumed caffeine had a cortisol increase of 211%. That is a crazy increase! 

In addition to coffee, there are a range of foods and beverages that we consume on a daily basis that cause acne. If you suffer from acne, we strongly recommend that you look into an anti acne diet and review our list of pore clogging ingredients. By following these regiments, you will be well on your way to more clear and beautiful skin. Please be sure to also combine topical treatments such as our anti aging acne serum.

image of woman drinking coffee which can cause acne

Caffeine Causes Dehydration.

You thirsty. Most of us are chronically dehydrated anyhow (did you know that 3 Liters a day is what is actually needed for optimal skin? MORE if you exercise!) Now add caffeine to the mix and you’ve got to drink more water to account for that too. With so many environmental toxins getting into our bodies from food, water, products, and our modern environment, we need as much hydration as we can get just to help our bodies flush these things out. Give your system a break and only have coffee on the days you really, really need it.

Coffee Can Seriously Impair Mineral Absorption

If you’re deficient in zinc, selenium, or iron and drink coffee on a regular basis, chances are it’s the reason you’re deficient! Try to have coffee as far between meals if you can. One study revealed that coffee consumed with a meal or within an hour before or after a meal impaired iron absorption by 72%.

Coffee Has Mycotoxins From Mold

Probably one of the most concerning facts about coffee is that it contains toxins known as mycotoxin formed from mold that grows on the coffee crops before and after harvesting. Molds most commonly grow on coffee plants grown in lower altitudes with hot, humid climates. “Mycotoxins are terrible for acne and for your overall health. They can mess your immune system up and slow it down from responding quickly to bacteria and other invaders. They also mess up your sex hormone levels, mainly estrogen. Furthermore, they are cancerous.The good news is that not all coffees contain the same high levels of these mycotoxins. Coffees grown at higher altitudes are usually harvested and processed with more care, but as a result, they are also more expensive.” -Facing Acne blog

Is Tea Instead of Coffee Better?

Yes! We LOVE organic green tea, Pu-erh, and the Mushroom blends available now- plus they actually keep you focused for longer and you’re able to stay happy & productive while avoiding the coffee crash. If you just need that bit of caffeine in the morning, tea is a great substitute. Plus there’s literally hundreds to choose from (so fun!) and you can get actual health benefits (check out the dandelion-infused brands which help with liver detox). Teas with higher caffeine levels can still impair your body’s ability to absorb minerals, but overall is far better for your skin, mind, and well being. Being non-acidic and no caffeine, herbal tea is your best bet packed with many benefits- enjoy!

Ali Acosta & Danielle Gronich, SD Acne Clinic for CLERstem Skincare