Should You Give Up Coffee to Prevent Acne?

Americans Love Coffee


Coffee is a complex beverage containing over a thousand chemical compounds that make it the famous stimulating beverage it is today. According to a study authorized by the National Coffee Association, around 64 percent of Americans drink a cup of coffee at least once a day [R].

This is why it is such a well-known fact that caffeine is the ingredient in coffee that helps us boost our energy [R], but there are other elements in it that affect our bodies as well, such as chlorogenic acid, antioxidants, diterpenes, and more.

Does Coffee Cause Acne? Unfortunately, yes. Here’s why:

1. Coffee can trigger a medical condition called hyperadrenalism. This is when your adrenal gland produces excessive hormones to fight stress. What coffee does is it doubles your body’s reaction to stress, so the production of stress hormones are also doubled.

In fact, a study was conducted that showed a 211 percent cortisol level and a 233 percent epinephrine level for people who drank coffee after a stressful situation was presented [R].

This type of reaction is bad for your skin because an increased cortisol level can trigger acne [R].

2. These excessive stress hormones can trigger insulin production, which is a hormone that can cause acne [R]. It makes your skin oily because it triggers oil or sebum production. It also causes your skin to excessively produce skin cells, ultimately clogging your pores. Lastly, it increases inflammation, making your acne look more bulging and red than usual.

3. Cortisol also suppresses your body’s immune response to fight acne-causing bacteria that multiply in your pores, consuming your sebum and causing even more inflammation.

4. Coffee makes your body resistant to insulin, which causes increased insulin and blood sugar. This, in turn, wreaks havoc on your skin by producing excess oil and skin cells and increasing inflammation. Additionally, because of insulin resistance, your body will find it hard to metabolize carbohydrates [R].

A study showed healthy men who drank coffee and ate a highly glycemic meal after an hour had 40 percent less insulin sensitivity [R]. This leads to high blood sugar and can cause type 2 diabetes if left untreated. This insulin resistance usually lasts a week after you drink coffee.


5. Coffee has a negative impact on your body’s nutrient absorption. Drinking coffee during or after a meal impairs your body’s ability to absorb minerals [R]. This can be problematic for people with acne since minerals like selenium, zinc, and iron are necessary to curb acne.

In fact, a study concluded that drinking coffee during or after a meal impairs your body’s absorption of iron by 72 percent [R].

6. Last but not least, coffee can impair the balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut [R]. Its acidity can kill off good bacteria and leave more opportunity for the bad bacteria to grow. This condition is called dysbiosis.

Aside from the bacteria imbalance in your gut, dysbiosis also affects your body’s nutrient absorption, such as B vitamins, and trigger inflammation [R]. This inflammation can occur in the gut or even cause swelling and redness of acne.

Nutrient deficiency can cause all kinds of problems in your health aside from acne. So, the next time you plan on drinking coffee, ask yourself first if the pros outweigh the cons.

You May Also Want to Check Out:

5 Natural Remedies for Acne Supported by Scientific Research

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