Is Coffee Responsible for Causing Acne?

Is Coffee Responsible for Causing Acne?


When you look at current statistics, you’d be surprised to learn that more than half of Americans 59 percent drink coffee and over 17 million of them get acne. If you find yourself included in these statistics, it’s possible that you may have been told that there may be a connection between the habit of drinking coffee and the occurrence of acne breakouts. Let’s see if there’s any truth in this supposition.

Is there any proof of the connection?

The thing is that many of your friends and working colleagues may suddenly blurt out their thoughts and swear that their act of giving up coffee was precisely the reason why their skin is free from pimples.

That may be impressive as an anecdote, but does it have a firm footing? Is there scientific proof to back it up?

It turns out that the connection between coffee and clear skin is more complicated than that but to start the ball rolling off the right foot, let’s get one thing straight. 

The fact is that coffee doesn’t cause acne, but the second fact is it can make acne worse, so whether or not you continue drinking coffee after you get your first attack of acne is entirely up to you.

Many factors are involved for this relationship to take hold. These factors include what you include in your coffee, how much coffee you are drinking, and a host of other factors.

What does research have to say?

What does research has to say?

The relationship between diet and acne is still being hotly debated but some people who were asked during research studies said that drinking coffee can trigger the onslaught of an acne breakout. 

The trouble is there haven’t been enough research studies like the one mentioned above to actually prove that drinking coffee can actually make your acne worse.

Even so, there are still some important factors that should be borne in mind and we first consider the main ingredient that’ found in coffee.


There’s a lot of this drug substance in a cup of coffee. What caffeine does is it makes you feel awake and on the alert, but at the same time, it increases your stress as your body responds to the effect of caffeine.

If you consume a large cup of coffee, the stress response of your body to the caffeine is doubled.

What is important to know here is that stress is not the immediate cause of acne but the body’s stress response can worsen it. 

In most cases, stress hormones such as cortisol, may actually boost the amount of oil (sebum) production in you sebaceous glands.

Additionally, when you drink a lot of coffee or when you drink it late in the day, it may prevent you from having a good night’s sleep, which causes more stress that can make you acne grow worse.

The impact of caffeine on sleep is different for each person but If you are having problems sleeping at night, you should try to reduce your consumption of caffeine early in the afternoon.

Milk consumption

There’s plenty of evidence to show there’s a connection between the consumption of milk and acne. So if your coffee intake in the morning includes a latte or a fancy café con leche, you should be aware of the connection.

A major study had a look at the link between acne and milk consumption in more than 47,000 nurses all of whom were diagnosed with acne during their teen years.

The study found that the nurses who consumed more milk were more often infected with acne that the nurses who consumed the lowest amount of milk consumption.

From the study, researchers deduced that milk hormones may have been responsible for triggering acne in the nurses.

However, one downside of the study was that it depended on the ability of the adult nurses to recall what types of food they consumed in their teen years.

In another study for teenage boys and girls, the same results were found with additional information that found skim milk(non-fattening milk) to be worse in causing acne than full-fat or low-fat milk.

 Another of these studies found that girls who drank two or more glasses of nonfat milk daily were 22 percent more susceptible to getting severe acne and 44 percent more prone to have cystic or nodular acne than the girls who only had one serving of nonfat milk daily.

Even so the studies didn’t conclusively prove that milk triggers acne, but there’re enough facts to suggest that dairy milk plays a role in facilitating the connection.

How many Sugars! 

When you have coffee, how much sugar do you add? This is not an everyday question that everyone asks when enjoying an ordinary or trending drink of coffee.

The end result usually is that you are probably using more sugar in your coffee than you should. 

For instance when you have a single serving of grand pumpkin-spiced latte, 50 grams of sugar is your portion, which is double your normal recommended daily intake

Enough studies have been done on the link between sugar consumption and acne and the result is that diets high in sugar content boosts the release of insulin by your body.

In turn he insulin released boosts the insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). This is a hormone that plays a major role in acne development.

Having your sweet late with scones or chocolate croissant will only aggravate the acne and worsen it. A similar effect on your IGF-1 levels is caused by diets that are saturated in carbohydrates which again causes acne development.

Antioxidants in your coffee

This is where things get way more complicated because the antioxidants in your coffee are known to improve your skin. Coffee is in fact the largest dietary source of antioxidants there is in the world! 

A study in 2006 that compared blood levels of antioxidants (Vitamin A and E) in 100 people who had acne and 100 who didn’t. 

It was found that those with acne had lower blood concentrations of antioxidants than those in the control group.

Even so more research is required to find out what effect the antioxidants in coffee have on acne severity.

Thinking of dumping your morning coffee and milk (latte)?

Thinking of dumping your morning coffee and milk (latte)?

It’s follows that once you begin to understand the role that milk and sugar play in the link between acne and drinking coffee, it may think not drinking coffee is the best solution.

It’s not the best solution really because drinking coffee doesn’t cause acne breakouts. It’s only when, like everything else, you drink too much of it with plenty of milk and sugar added.

Nevertheless if you are still concerned about coffee causing your acne breakouts, don’t throw the towel in and quit drinking your cup of coffee but try these steps instead.

  • Avoid adding refined sugar, sugary syrups or sweeteners to your coffee.
  • Drink decaffeinated coffee instead.
  • Avoid pairing your coffee with servings of pastries and donuts.
  • Don’t drink coffee or other caffeinated drink in late afternoon as it might keep you awake at night.
  • Use coconut milk and almond instead of dairy milk with your coffee.

Bottom line

Being infected with acne is not something that you should put up with, although most of the time, that’s exactly what you have to do in order to cope with the annoyance, discomfort, and embarrassing situation it usually puts you and other people through. If you find drinking coffee is behind your acne breakouts, talk to your doctor and find out the best way to deal with your acne problem. We hope this article has helped you. We have had good experiences placing orders here, so give it a shot if you’re looking for acne treatment products.

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