Though a venti latte works wonders at killing a headache and giving you the power to make it through the morning, too many cups of coffee can have a pretty adverse effect on your skin, particularly if you're concerned with anti-aging. Caffeine can cause your blood vessels to constrict, and as a result, the vessels at the surface of your skin won't deliver as many antioxidants and nutrients to promote collagen production. "The results of drinking too much coffee can cause the skin to wrinkle prematurely, and become more lax with time," says Dr. S. Manjula Jegasothy, M.D., CEO and founder of the Miami Skin Institute. "These changes definitely give the skin a more aged appearance than in people who do not consume caffeine." So, how much is too much? Dr. Jegasothy notes that one to two cups a day is fine, but anything over that limit is overkill.
On the plus side, that myth about coffee triggering more acne outbreaks has been busted. "There are no studies to show whether caffeine or coffee consumption impacts acne-prone skin, but because of the vascoconstrictive effect of caffeine and the potential antioxidant effects of the coffee berry, I would hypothesize that the effect of coffee on acne-prone skin is net neutral," Dr. Jegasothy says.
The obvious solution would be to cut it out—or at least dial back your consumption. "Healthy skin in individuals under 50 can usually see a reversal of any of coffee's bad effects on their skin within two to three months," Dr. Jegasothy explains. "Older, more mature skin types may take three to six months to reverse the aging effects of chronic coffee consumption." Once you limit your intake, Dr. Jegasothy notes that you'll notice fewer wrinkles, more hydrated, plumped skin, and a brand new glow. "This is because more open-dilated blood vessels are providing essential nutrients and collagen-building proteins to the skin," she adds.