Our expert says:
Hi Louis, thank you for the question.
For years, caffeine's ability to quickly and effectively constrict blood vessels has made it a valued topical ingredient, particularly in products designed to minimize facial flushing. For that reason, caffeine can help those who suffer from rosacea, which is essentially caused by frequently dilated blood vessels that lose their ability to contract.
Caffeine's blood vessel-constricting benefits also make it a go-to ingredient in many eye creams as it can quickly minimize redness and puffiness.
In addition to its anti-inflammatory benefits, though, caffeine is starting to get lots of attention for its antioxidant properties when used both topically and orally.
Research suggests that both oral and topical caffeine may offer powerful anti carcinogenic benefits. A series of studies performed on mice found that caffeinated green and black teas prevented sun damage and even repaired damage once it occurred, whereas decaffeinated teas did not. One particularly promising study suggested that topical caffeine may also repair UV damage - and that it may prove to be a stronger antioxidant than certain green tea polyphenols, currently among the strongest and best-researched antioxidants around.
Just a couple words of caution, though: Caffeine is dehydrating, so be sure to follow your coffee or tea with plenty of water. And if you're prone to facial flushing, hot beverages can cause redness; consider enjoying your caffeinated beverages over ice.
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