Does Caffeine Cause Acne? The Connection Between Coffee and Pimples

Can caffeine consumption on a regular basis lead to acne breakouts in an individual? There have been a number of studies performed to see if caffeine will cause acne breakouts.

Some people don’t drink coffee or energy drinks on a regular basis, while others live off them. For people who don’t drink coffee and therefore think this may not be relevant to their acne situation, keep reading to learn more.

A cup of coffee. Caffeine causes acne by increasing stress and androgen hormone levels.

Many food items nowadays also contain caffeine as one of their ingredients. Caffeine no matter how it’s consumed can play a role in hormonal fluctuations, which can cause people to have a higher occurrence of acne breakouts. When individuals are taking in a lot of caffeine on a daily basis, it can affect their body in negative ways that people aren’t even aware of.

Caffeine And Acne: What’s The Connection

If caffeine is keeping you awake, that could be why some individuals may be experiencing higher levels of acne. When you do not have enough sleep, your body is put under much higher levels of stress. When your stress level is increased it will stimulate your hormonal glands that are responsible for androgens(wiki).

Androgen hormones are linked with overproduction of the skin cells, leading to blocked pores. When pores become blocked, the oil and dirt trapped inside can lead to infection and irritation of the blocked pores, causing larger pimples, and a general increase in acne breakouts.

The caffeine you eat and drink may be hampering your efforts to get clear skin.

The “half-life” of caffeine in our body (the time it takes our body to get rid of half of the caffeine in our system) is between 5 and 6 hours in a healthy adult. This means that caffeine stays in our system for many hours after we eat or drink it.

So basically, you should try to only eat and drink caffeine filled foods in the early part of the day, and definitely try to avoid caffeine close to bedtime!

If you are used to having caffeine in your body all the time, then you may want to try slowly reducing your caffeine intake, in order to avoid headaches and withdrawal symptoms. At the same time try to increase the amount of water you drink. This will help your body flush out the caffeine and ease some of the withdrawal symptoms.

Does Caffeine From Chocolate Cause Acne?

Another food that many people ask about is chocolate. Depending on who you ask, chocolate may or may not contain any caffeine. However, it definitely has a similar effect on people, perhaps because it contains another stimulant called theobromine.

Chocolate bars. Caffeine and the stimulant theobromine in chocolate may cause acne.

Chocolate is a favorite of many people and we eat it all the time – when we are stressed, when a craving for sweets hits, or just out of habit or boredom. However, when it comes to acne it may be a good idea to avoid the chocolate.

The cow’s milk along with the iodine contained in the chocolate can cause hormonal changes, and (just like caffeine) can trigger increased production of androgen which increases production of skin cells, clogs your pores, and leads to more acne.

Some chocolate may actually be good for your acne.

Now here’s the good news! Some chocolate may actually be good for your acne. Dark chocolate, which is full of healthy antioxidants, may actually be beneficial to your acne. There have been studies conducted that found antioxidants to be great for your skin. An increase in antioxidants may help reduce your breakouts!

Another reason to avoid chocolate is because it can cause weight gain, which may be another contributing factor to acne. Some studies have claimed there is a link between weight gain and acne, so why not try giving up these fattening and potentially acne causing foods. It can’t hurt!

Other Things That May Cause Acne

There are numerous things that may play a part in causing acne. Some of these include your diet, lifestyle, stress levels, whether or not you smoke, and much more.

Let’s look at two things I’m often asked; does milk cause acne and does smoking cause acne.

Whether or not milk causes acne is very debatable. Many people are lactose intolerant, and milk tends to be full of growth hormones and antibiotics. Also, many people have trouble digesting casein (a protein found in milk). For all these reasons, removing or cutting back on milk in your diet may lead to an improvement in your acne.

The link between smoking and acne is also up for debate. Some studies have found a link between the two, while others have not. Smoking has a negative impact on your immune system, reduces the speed at which wounds heal, is associated with premature aging of the skin, and much much more.

Your diet, lifestyle, and many other factors (like smoking) can create all kinds of imbalances in your body. These imbalances create an “acne environment” in your body where acne can grow and thrive. Pills, creams, and other medicines can help manage the symptoms of acne, but the best way to get rid of acne permanently is to eliminate this “acne environment” and heal yourself from the inside out.

I recommend you check out my review of Acne No More, a step-by-step guide that teaches you how to treat acne using things like proper diet, detoxification, exercise, stress management, and other methods.

I really like this method because it teaches you how to eliminate the underlying cause of your disease, instead of just “managing” the symptoms (which usually only works so well).

So What’s The Bottom Line About Caffeine?

The caffeine you eat and drink may be hampering your efforts to get clear skin. It hurts our ability to sleep well, causes unnecessary stress, and may be contributing to your acne problems.

Personally, I would suggest that you try to reduce the caffeine in your diet and see if it helps your acne. If you just can’t live without a pick-me-up in the morning you might try drinking green tea instead. It would give you some caffeine to start your day, and you’d be getting a lot of healthy antioxidants which just may help your acne!

If you are looking for a great way to get rid of acne, I highly encourage you to read my Acne No More review. It’s a step-by-step guide to treating acne holisticaly (that means treating the whole body). It teaches you how to heal your acne from the inside out, and since acne is really just a symptom of something bigger (like hormonal imbalance), I think this inside-out, whole-body treatment plan is the best way to get rid of acne for good. That’s why it’s the only product I promote on my site. So check it out!

I’d love to hear from anyone out there with a success story of their own. If you eliminated (or just cut back) caffeine from your diet, and saw great results – please tell us about it in the comments! And lastly, good luck!!


Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 2 comments
Shanon - January 6, 2018

Study or no study… every stinking time I drink coffee, the very next day…I have acne. Every time I eat chocolate, I also get acne 24 hrs later. It’s a no brainer. I can prove it. It’s been that way from 12 to 53!!! I wish it were not so. Wounds also almost stop healing. My skin seems to get thinner so clearing the acne requires NO choc or caffeine for a week!!!

Rachel - July 16, 2018

I actually do believe coffee somehow contributes to those terrible pimples especially the next day. But, you have to consider what kind of milk is put into your cup. Cow milk is a big no-no if you have acne and going for a healthier alternative would be best.


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