Does caffeine in skincare products work?

There is much talk about using caffeine in facial skin care products now. Some users are even claiming they are unable to sleep due to the absorption of the caffeine.

The truth is that very few studies have actually scientifically been done. In fact, to date, the caffeine products that have been researched never claimed to be the main responsible ingredient for the product results.

So what is all this hype about? Is it really possible that your skin care product can keep you awake at night? Is it really possible that topical caffeine can make you look younger and prevent skin cancers?

Many of us would like to see some legitimate scientific studies in the future. I personally will be following this subject matter.

Here’s some research that’s been done:

Cosmetics with caffeine: real benefits versus marketing claims

BOAVENTURA, Gustavo1; KRAUSE, Leandro1; QUEIROZ, Natália1; GRANADOS, Carlos1

.1. Cosmética em Foco, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil.


Thus, we realized that although caffeine has multiple benefits, caffeine products are usually most known for their systemic activities such as CNS stimulation and increasing blood circulation. But those activities are related to oral intake of this composite when cosmetic products are meant to show only topical activity. Most of the products analyzed in this research, even those that claim in the front label the presence of caffeine, explore the intuitive effects of caffeine but it is never claimed to be the main responsible ingredient for the product results. We suggest that more research is needed in order to evaluate topical activities of caffeine and it’s actual benefits on skin and hair. So far, what we have the most of are marketing claims based upon common sense and social representations of this well known worldwide xanthine called caffeine.


Barel, AO 2009, ‘Anticellulite Products and Treatments’ In: Barel, AO, Paye, M, Maibach HI

Handbook of Cosmetic Science and Technology