6 min read

Caffeine in Skincare - Worth the Buzz?

Overhead view of an espresso shot on a surface of fig leaves

Yes, the pun is intended. Today, we're serving you an espresso shot insight about topical caffeine - the pros, the cons (are there any), and the products.  

And the Goats aka the History of Coffee

Goats are awesome. What else is new, right? No matter how well we do for ourselves in life, there is no way our ego could get the best of us when goats are around - staring us down with their rectangular pupils... chewing on whatever they've found on the ground. Munchin' on an old boot, they stare, utterly unimpressed by you. But they were very much impressed by something centuries ago, and it changed the history (and energy level) of the world - coffee beans. Or so the legend goes. 


All the coffee ever enjoyed in the far corners of the world today, in places neither of us can pronounce without a tutor, can trace its origin centuries ago. It all sprung from the same ancient forests of coffee thriving on the Ethiopian plateau. On this plateau lived a very observant goat herder, who was keeping it seriously real - due to all the goat stares he received daily. In time, he noticed that when his goats nibbled on berries from a particular tree, they had the energy of an avid raver and refused to catch any Z's at night. He took his discoveries to the local authorities, and the monks soon recognized that brewing a drink from the berries gave them the same goat-like vigor and perkiness for their long prayers. And so coffee spread to the Arabian Peninsula and into the world. 


Now that's a wake-up call. (Hopped up on our 3rd coffee of the day, typing super fast and with questionable common sense, we will insist on lame jokes throughout the article, so you better get used to it now.)  

Caffeine Benefits for Skin

As all of us sticky-eyed, java-soaked masses know, coffee - gluttonously poured into our cruely-by-alarm-clock-woken-up body - is a stimulant that allows us to be slightly less antisocial when life starts life-ing at dawn. This is its perk when ingested, but the wave of introducing caffeine in high-end skincare is rising ever so fast as we become more aware of the beneficial skincare effects of this magic molecule.  

What Does Caffeine Do in Skincare?

  1. Depuffs

Puffy is all well and dandy if you're a cupcake or a fabulously high Texas hairdo (as we've said... 3rd cup), but not so attractive taking permanent residency under our eyes. If no amount of sleep evicts the eye bags that keep making us look older and more tired than we are, it is very likely fluid accumulation. Probably one of the best-documented and well-known benefits of topical caffeine is helping improve the appearance of puffy eyes. This is why caffeine in our morning eye cream would be as good an idea for REM-resistant puffiness as coffee in our morning mug is for keeping us out of prison ( and sort of semi-sane and marginally motivated to do stuff).


How does it work? Caffeine molecules are small enough to penetrate the skin, so eye care containing caffeine can work below the skin's surface, encouraging our body to flush out the excess retained fluid naturally. Sort of like when we have to pee more often after having coffee. This mechanism makes the skin look less puffy and the eye skin smoother, while the vaso-constricting benefits of caffeine contribute to a fresher and firmer look. Caffeine is also a good sport and likes to mingle with other beneficial compounds, such as vitamin C, for enhanced depuffing and rejuvenating effects. 


This collaboration is a cornerstone of IRIS™ C-Concentrated Brightening Eye Cream efficacy. A part of FOREO's Swedish eye care routine (meaning totally simple and doable for more than a day) to eliminate dark circles, wrinkles & eye bags, the IRIS™ C-Concentrated Brightening Eye Cream is designed for the fragile skin around the eyes. The thinnest skin on our whole body (matched only by our most fun pants-confined parts), the skin around the eyes shows signs of deterioration first. The cream is ideal for tired-looking eyes, instantly color-correcting and brightening dark circles. 


Packed with moisturizing, renewing, and antioxidant Vitamin C, our hero boy Caffeine, Yerba Mate, Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin E, and Cocoa Seed Butter, it smooths, minimizing fine lines & pumping up microcirculation to reduce the appearance of eye bags and blotchy, uneven skin tone. Plus, we can use our fancy practical spatula to scoop out whatever else we want in life and mix our coffee in the morning, may the spirits of whatever demand so. If you're a skincare tool person, we suggest pairing the cream with IRIS™ 2 ophthalmologist-approved eye massager to boost absorption and effect, getting more bang for our buck.

Get IRIS™ Eye Cream

Open FOREO IRIS C-Concentrated Eye Cream on the table

  1. Decreases Fat & Cellulite

We've all had (delicious) times in our lives when holidays, emotions, hormones, or just good ol' straight-up gluttony packed a few pounds onto our frame. Caffeine penetrates the skin and travels to the subdermal fat (the fat stored right below our skin, the jiggly bits we can pinch). Once there, it converts fat to fatty acids that are picked up by circulating blood and used up as energy for the body. The breaking down of accumulations of fat pockets that give cellulite its signature dimpled look, results in a smoother, more unified surface. 


FOREO SUPERCHARGED™ Firming Body Serum is a concentrated formula with a high percentage of natural origin ingredients. Powered by premium, clean, clinically-proven plant & fruit extracts, the vegan & cruelty-free serum is a conductive must for BEAR™ 2 body microcurrent toning while also ensuring better results. It stars firming Peach Resin, toning Caffeine, elasticity-enhancing Squalane, moisturizing Allantoin, and a repairing Hyaluronic Acid Complex. Again, if you're not into gadgets, you're free to use the Serum without BEAR™ 2 body and still be as shiny as a crab from Moana.

Get SUPERCHARGED™ Firming Body Serum

SUPERCHARGED Body Serum golden bottle on a beige surface, surrounded by its ingredients in serum smears

  1. Antioxidant Function

Good news for coffee addic... ehm - lovers. Caffeine is a natural antioxidant, sipped with joy or applied to the skin. Can caffeine in skincare keep us awake? No, it can't. - Just in case you wanted to know. We're more likely to keep ourselves awake by worrying about this. Back to the antioxidant thing. 


Caffeine works by neutralizing the effect of damaging free radicals - compounds created by exposure to stressors of all sorts - from pollution, pesticides, UV damage, alcohol, smoking... A free radical is a pushy atom, molecule, or ion with at least one unpaired electron, making it ready to mingle. It is very reactive - especially with important things like lipids, proteins, and DNA, which then deteriorate and show up as lines and wrinkles on our macro scale of faces. Antioxidants have a guarding role of keeping these wild molecules in check by neutralizing the frisky unpaired electron. All is well in the world.  

  1. Circulation Boost

In addition to the aforementioned vasoconstrictor properties for smoother and firmer skin, caffeine also boosts microcirculation. Enhanced blood flow through the area gives treated skin a deep, healthy glow due to an increased influx of oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the area. This means that topical caffeine is a great way to quickly revive and brighten dull, tired skin. 


This is the guiding principle of the UFO-Activated Shimmer Freak mask. The shimmery and freaky vitamin & nutrient-rich mask brags with 93% of natural origin ingredients and is perfect for tired eyes sporting those dark circles, puffiness & fine lines. Nothing will make us less glamorous in a second than this hellish tripod - unless we're going for a bit of a party girl-chic. Then it's fine.  For us past that phase and daily screen-starers, the mask is a lifesaver combining Caffeine, Rose Water, Niacinamide, Vitamin B5, and Cranberry Extract to instantly illuminate & refresh the eye contour. As always, UFO™'s Hyper-Infusion power masking technology enhances the absorption of actives for pro-results, but you can go old school with the mask alone if you so prefer.

Get Shimmer Freak 2.0 mask

FOREO Shimmer Freak Face Mask on a pink surface and ground coffee beans

A Good/Bad News for the End

Which one would you like to hear first? It doesn’t matter. The news is the same  - Caffeine effects are temporary.  As the physical buzz in our body will wane over the day, so will the effect of caffeine-laced skincare. This is why we should use these skincare products daily for the best, sustained results and, frankly, for the refreshing ritual and some well-deserved me-time. When all is said and done, when coffee mugs lay empty, and when our face is firm, fresh & glowing, we're left with only one takeaway - Oil is not black gold. Coffee is.  



MYSA user avatar
Anette 23/02/2024

I use Iris eye cream and it's effective. I can't imagine my routine without her

MYSA user avatar
dora 26/02/2024

In reply to by Anette


Dear Anette,

thank you for sharing your skincare secret with us! :)

We are more than proud to hear this!

Keep shining and have a beautiful day. <3


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