Is Drinking Coffee Bad For Your Skin?

If you’re anything like me, and loves coffee, or have had a latte, flat white, caramel macchiato, mocha or iced frappuccino recently, then you need to read this post. When I started drinking coffee, I didn’t bother to think if it was good or bad for me. It tasted oh-so good and made the perfect flatly prop. I just enjoyed it and the fact that it was my answer when I needed a perk-me-up. I never bothered to look into it till I noticed my skin was getting more regular breakouts on my face. So it made me wonder; is coffee causing my breakouts? And what about the premature wrinkles under my eyes? My dry skin? Gahhh!

I didn’t want to just blame my coffee intake though, because I didn’t want to stop drinking it, so I decided to do my own research. I have been reading up on this for a few months now. God, there’s a lot of information out there, so here’s me trying to simplify it for you in hopes that it can help you decide. 



If you google 'Does coffee cause dehydration?' you are going to get a mixture of opinions. So let me break it down for you. Caffeine doesn’t directly cause dehydration, but many studies have shown that it is diuretic, which means it stimulates us to pee more regularly. And you therefore, you end up losing lots of fluids. Therefore, if you don’t supplement drinking more water (or other liquids) to counter what are losing, you will end up being dehydrated. 

And when the insides of our body is dehydrated, it makes our liver work overtime, which causes toxic build up in the body. The toxic build up will eventually make its way to your skins surface, which can cause acne, redness and premature ageing. So, no, coffee doesn’t directly cause dehydration. But the next time you plan on having coffee, be sure to drink BEFORE and a little extra AFTER to maintain the level of hydration your body and skin needs to stay plump.



Unless you’re the kind that takes your coffee black, chances are, you’re having it with milk. Latte, flat white, cappuccino. Let me open a can of worms for you. Don’t kill me though. So let’s ask the question Does dairy really cause acne? HELL YEAH GIRLFRIEND! There is a direct link between dairy intake and acne. Regular intake of milk (or other dairy products) can trigger acne, especially on your chin and jawline area (insert close up shot of myself without concealer). I have been a victim of this for years and only knew about this now. 

Milk and dairy is filled with hormones which negatively react to the testosterone in your body. This then increases the production of sebum in your skin; the oily substance that clogs your pores. If you’re currently going through skin problems, I would highly recommend you cutting out milk and dairy (unless it’s raw milk or goats milk) for at least two to three weeks to see results. If your skin appears better, then you know the dairy is causing it. 


Sugar and Sweeteners

Do your skin a favour and say no to sugar and sweeteners. Coffee itself is not bad for your skin. It’s the additional things that is added with it that causes bad effects on our skin. 

Consider saying no to the syrup pumps at your next Starbucks or Coffee Bean visit or not adding any sugar (even brown sugar) into your coffee. Refined sugars causes insulin levels to spike, which leads to what Dr. Nicolas Perricone describes as “a burst of inflammation throughout the body.” Inflammation produces enzymes that break down collagen and elastin, resulting in sagging skin and wrinkles. 

Digested sugar permanently attaches to the collagen in your skin through a process known as glycation. Aside from increasing the effects of aging, glycation can also exacerbate skin conditions like acne and rosacea. So there you have it. 


So is drinking coffee really bad for your skin? I would say no. Based on my own readings, coffee on its own actually does have many benefits. The milk and sugar we add into our coffee is the culprit to causing redness, ageing and acne our skin.

I"m not giving up my coffee but I am saying no to sugar and I've opted for alternatives to milk. Good news is, there's so many options; almond, hazelnut, soy or oat milk. My personal favourites are hazulnut and almond milk. And that’s why I love getting my coffee from Huckleberry cafe because they have almond milk as an option. If you make coffee at home mostly, buy unsweetened almond, hazelnut, soy, coconut or oat milk from Bens or Village Grocer.

Coffee may not be packed with nutrients, but it is a much better choice compared to energy drinks, sodas and sweetened teas or juices, so long as you have it without the sugar. And how many cups is safe to have in a day? Keep it to a maximum of two a day if you're hardcore. I personally have cut mine down to three to four times a week. 


I hope you guys have found this post helpful. I would love it if you can recommend other cafes that make great coffee and offer milk alternatives other than just soy milk as I am also lactose intolerant. I love me a good cafe. Until I find another place as good as Huckleberry (with its amazing coffee fusions), you'll find me here every other day, especially Friday mornings. 

This was me last Friday wearing this uber feminine Overlap with soft sleeves top and comfortable wide leg pants from Olloum, the Oops Duck scarf and classic pumps by Nelissa Hilman

Photos by Itasha J.