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Medically Reviewed by Dr. Eva Simmons-O’Brien

Dr. Eva Simmons O’Brien received her MD from Yale University and is a board-certified dermatologist. With over 30 years of experience, she has worked for hospitals, established her own private practice, and consulted for organizations such as the FDA. Today, Dr. Eva runs her own practice in addition to serving as our Chief Science Officer.

caffeine and skin benefits

Caffeine and Skin: Why You Should Switch to Topical Options

Caffeine and Skin: Why You Should Switch to Topical Options



That first cup of coffee you have in the morning might be the best thing for switching your brain to “go” mode, but did you know it can also give you amazing skin? Coffee is not only the life-giving elixir you rely on to get you out of bed or help you recover from a wild night -- it’s got some great skin-helping properties when used topically. 

Before you pour a scalding hot cup of joe on your face, you should know what caffeine can and can’t do in terms of skin care. 

For starters, there are definitely some highly caffeinated rumors floating around about how caffeine interacts with your skin, so let’s clear those up first:

  1. Rumor No. 1: Caffeine is a diuretic, so it naturally dries out your skin. At best, coffee is a mild diuretic, with very little effect on dehydrating your skin. You’d have to be hitting the Starbucks drive-thru a lot for your caffeine intake to dry out your skin. 

    In fact, this study showed that guys who drank coffee used the bathroom the same amount as guys who drank water. 

  2. Rumor No. 2: Caffeine causes acne. It doesn’t. Caffeine triggers a stress response in your body, which releases cortisol. Stress and cortisol from caffeine may make your acne worse, but it’s not highly likely. 

    If you add dairy or sugar to your coffee, you trigger a reaction in your skin, but again, you’d need to be using a lot of it.

    Obviously, you can definitely overdo it in terms of caffeine usage. The racing heart and that ability to smell colors after your fifth can of Bang means you need to slow down. 

When it comes to your skin, using caffeine topically is the best option. 

If you’re new to skin care, we’ve got your back. Disco was founded by a guy on a mission to find skin care products specifically formulated to work with the optimal pH balance of a man’s skin. After decades of coming up short, he decided to just do it himself, and Disco was born. 

Since day one we’ve searched for the purist, most natural, most beneficial ingredients that actually work to bring about the best skin you’ve ever had. Our search led us to caffeine, and after reviewing it with our lead medical advisor dermatologist, we got the green light.

Here’s everything you need to know about the benefits of caffeine for your skin, and how you can use it in your skin care regimen. We’ll also cover how to build a skin care routine if you don’t have one. 

Topical Benefits of Caffeine for Your Skin

Adding caffeine to a topical skin care product allows you to deliver the caffeine directly to your skin cells. 

When caffeine is applied to your skin, it has the ability to “wake up” your skin in the same way a cup of coffee wakes you up in the morning:

  1. Puff puff pass. Nope, not passing the dutchie, passing the caffeinated eye roller to eliminate those bags under your eyes. Caffeine constricts the blood vessels, which reduces the look of puffy, sagging skin around your eyes. 

    Whether you pulled an all nighter or deal with tired eyes daily, a caffeinated eye product can fool anyone into thinking you were in bed by 8:00 p.m. the night before. 

  2. Tight and bright. Too often the skin around your eyes looks tired and dull. This can be the result of too many late nights, or simply genetics. Regardless of how your tired eyes showed up, you can send the lazy look packing with caffeine. 

    Caffeine applied topically tightens the skin and causes it to appear brighter and more awake. 

  3. Smooth and supple. Because caffeine has antioxidant properties, it helps your skin cells fight off free radicals, which latch onto your skin cells and damage them. That damage appears as fine lines and wrinkles around your eyes, on your forehead, and around your mouth. 

    Caffeine applied topically to your skin not only combats the wrinkles that have already formed, but it works to prevent new wrinkles from starting, keeping you looking younger longer. 

How to Use Caffeine in Your Skin Care Routine 

Put your coffee cup down (unless you’re taking a sip). Don’t pour coffee on your face or try to rub coffee grounds on your skin -- neither of these methods is advisable (or effective) for what we’re talking about here. Instead, opt for skin care products that contain caffeine. 

If you want to grab the maximum eye opening benefit caffeine has to offer, we find it works best with other natural ingredients.

  • Pycnogenol. This plant-based ingredient is harvested from French pine trees. It’s a powerful antioxidant that helps reduce oxidative stress (the response of your cells to free radicals). 

    When combined with caffeine, pycnogenol helps brighten, tighten, and depuff, giving your product a double dose of awakening ingredients. 
  • Niacinamide. This form of vitamin B3 is found in plants like whole grains and leafy greens. With the ability to help promote overall skin wellness and diminish blemishes, Niacinamide brightens the skin and evens out your skin tone. 

    Niacinamide also helps lessen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, making it a great ingredient to be used along with caffeine.

    You can look for products that contain these ingredients and trust that if they have them, they’ll deliver the benefit you’re looking for in terms of skin rejuvenation and appearance.

    For how to “do” skin care (including using products that contain caffeine) keep scrolling. 

Skin Care Routine, Grown Man Style

If you grew up using bar soap to wash your face or borrowed your sister’s blemish cream, we feel your pain. We were frustrated when we searched for skin care products formulated for men -- there just wasn’t a lot out there specifically for dudes. 

Men needed high quality skin care that worked and included some of the same great ingredients we found in women’s products. Disco was born out of necessity, and has evolved into the greatest skincare lineup available for the specific pH balance of a man’s facial skin. 

If you’re new to skin care and are ready to go deep, using products that include caffeine to help keep your skin looking fresh and young, grab our regimen set

There’s no better way to start taking care of your skin than this super easy, complete skin care routine that will take you less than ten minutes per week:

  1. Face cleanser stick. Loaded with charcoal and eucalyptus, this cleansing stick is easy to use (just swipe it on your face and lather), and digs deep into your pores to remove dirt and oil for the ultimate clean. 

  2. Exfoliating face scrub. Follow up your face wash with our exfoliating scrub, (use once or twice a week), to keep your skin free from the buildup of dead skin cells. As an added bonus, you’ll notice smoother, closer shaves once you start exfoliating regularly. Click here if you’re an exfoliating noob for some tips to get that skin fresh

  3. Purifying face mask. Pandemic mask wearing giving you a case of maskne (blemishes under your mask)? Use this mask to help clear out your pores and banish blemishes with the power of deep cleansing charcoal. Use it once or twice a week for skin that looks visibly fresher and more radiant. 

  4. Hydrating face moisturizer. Every face needs moisture, including yours. Follow up your face wash with our hydrating, age-defying moisturizer both morning and evening. Anti-aging ingredients ensure your skin stays forever  young. 

  5. Repairing eye stick. The O.G. of eye treatments, our repairing eye stick contains all the good stuff-including caffeine-to brighten, tighten, and illuminate your entire eye area. The best thing about our eye stick is you can use it around the clock. Tuck it in your pocket in case you need a midday pick me up. 

You can grab our complete skin regimen in a handy three-month subscription that is delivered directly to your door. You get the products you need without ever having to worry about running out. 

Not ready to commit? No worries. You can definitely make a one-time purchase, too. 

Just one more thing -- we know you want products that contain ingredients like caffeine, that are effective and functional. We also know you want your products to be safe, cruelty-free, and vegan whenever possible. Sourcing, business practices, and safe and transparent product ingredients are important to use too. 

Disco’s products are all naturally derived, cruelty-free, vegan, and sustainably sourced. Even if you don’t have a clear conscience about what you did last night, you can have a clear conscience about your skin care products. 


If you want a product ingredient that is immensely effective in terms of brightening, tightening, and de-puffing, caffeine is your go to, but make it a tall topical with no foam. 

Eye treatments that contain caffeine can keep your eyes looking young and youthful, so you can look as great as you feel. 




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