The 10 Best Skincare Products with Caffeine That Will Wake Up Your Complexion

Kopari Niacinamide & Caffeine Eye Bright Cream instantly brightens dark circles and reduces puffiness.

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Best Skincare Products with Caffeine tout

If there’s one skincare ingredient that has created a buzz in the beauty world, it’s caffeine. Although caffeine has been used in skincare products for years, it has recently jumped in popularity — and while many people know and love the effects of caffeine in their morning cup of coffee, many wonder what it actually does for the skin. 

“Caffeine in skincare is primarily used to brighten, tighten and wake up the skin,” says Corey L. Hartman, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology in Birmingham. “Caffeine constricts blood vessels, which increases circulation and acts as an anti-inflammatory. It is also an antioxidant that helps protect skin from free radical damage caused by environmental factors like pollution and UV exposure.” Plus, thanks to its antioxidant benefits, caffeine has the ability to decrease puffiness and improve skin's overall appearance and elasticity.

To find the crème de la crème of caffeine-infused beauty products, we sought out advice from dermatologists and cosmetic chemists for their recommendations that are effective and safe for all skin types. Through our research, we narrowed down 10 products that are much more than just buzzy. Overall, Kopari Niacinamide & Caffeine Eye Bright Cream secured the best overall spot due to its lightweight formula that quickly brightens, hydrates, and depuffs the under-eye area.

Complete with affordable finds, dermatologist picks, and top-rated options, these caffeinated skincare products provide both short-term and long-lasting benefits for skin. Keep reading for the 10 best skincare products with caffeine.

Best Overall

Kopari Niacinamide & Caffeine Eye Bright Cream

NIACINAMIDE & CAFFEINE EYE BRIGHT CREAM

Kopari Beauty

What We Love: A little goes a long way, which means this tube can last you months on end.

What We Don’t Love: This eye cream is very lightweight, so it’s not recommended for extremely dry skin.

“This eye cream is like a cup of coffee for my delicate eye area,” says InStyle Commerce Editor Mary Honkus. “As I tap it in, I get an instant refresh — it feels cool as it absorbs and it quickly depuffs so I can go about my day looking bright-eyed and awake.” This depuffing sensation is thanks in part to the product’s strategic blend of powerhouse ingredients, including caffeine and java berry extract, which both help to reduce under-eye puffiness. Aside from just soothing inflammation, this eye cream also helps to fade the appearance of dark circles over time since it’s formulated with niacinamide. As for the cherry on top: It helps skin retain moisture and visibly tightens and smooths out fine lines.

In addition to its long-lasting benefits, it preps skin for the day. “It also layers beautifully under makeup,” adds Honkus. “I've noticed that my concealer blends more seamlessly under my eyes since incorporating it into my routine." It’s worth noting that this eye cream is very lightweight, so if you suffer from extremely dry skin (especially in the winter), we suggest adding a layer of thick moisturizer on top.

Price at time of publish: $36

Key ingredients: Niacinamide, Caffeine, and Java berry extract | Size: 0.5 fl. oz | Best for: Dark circles and puffiness

Best Budget

The Ordinary Caffeine 5% + ECGC Depuffing Eye Serum

The Ordinary Caffeine 5% and EGCG

The Ordinary

What We Love: This affordable serum targets both puffiness and hollow, dark circles under the eyes.

What We Don’t Love: The consistency of this serum is on the thicker side.

“The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG is a great option for an inexpensive, but effective eye serum,” says Dr. Hartman. At just under $10 a bottle, this water-based serum packs a punch, targeting eye bags, dark circles, and hollowness in one fell swoop. What’s notable about this product is its effective formula, which is made with a high concentration of caffeine and a mix of Epigallocatechin Gallatyl Glucoside (an ingredient that’s derived from green tea leaves). Ultimately, the caffeine helps reduce water retention under the eyes, which can lead to dark circles and bags.

“Caffeine paired with green tea extract helps to wake up the face and helps skin appear more plump and youthful,” explains Dr. Hartman. These two ingredients work together to lighten under-eye circles as well as reduce inflammation and boost moisture retention. They also assist in lightening the skin under the eyes, and soothing puffiness. For best results, use this serum twice a day on clean, damp skin, then follow with moisturizer. It’s worth noting that though most eye serums have a thin, gel-like consistency this one is a bit thicker (like honey). This isn’t a big deal, but it can feel heavy if you have oily skin. 

Price at time of publish: $8

Key ingredients: Caffeine and Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) | Size: 1 fl. oz | Best for: Dark circles and puffiness

Best Splurge

Neocutis Lumière Firm Riche Extra Moisturizing Illuminating Tightening Eye Cream

Neocutis Lumière Illuminating Eye Cream

Dermstore

What We Love: This cream utilizes proprietary peptides to help boost the production of collagen and elastin in skin.

What We Don’t Love: Because this cream is heavy, it can pill under makeup.

If you want to elevate your skincare routine, you can never go wrong with a product from Neocutis. This medical-grade line carries a handful of highly effective products, with the Lumière Firm Riche Extra Moisturizing Illuminating Tightening Eye Cream being one of the best. This rich cream deeply hydrates delicate skin under the eyes, while smoothing fine lines and evening out texture. 

In addition to giving under-eyes much needed moisture, this dermatologist-developed cream also reduces puffiness and bags, thanks to the inclusion of caffeine in the formula. Though there are many caffeine-infused eye creams, this one stands out from the rest because it also incorporates vitamin C into the mix, which works with the caffeine to brighten dark circles. On top of that, a blend of proprietary peptides aid in the production of collagen and elastin, meaning this product provides long-lasting results — so you can kiss dark circles and eye bags goodbye for good. If you plan on applying this before doing your makeup, make sure to give it enough time to fully sink into your skin, otherwise it can pill and make for a less-than-perfect makeup application.

Price at time of publish: $118

Key ingredients: Caffeine, Vitamin C, and Peptides | Size: 0.5 fl. oz | Best for: Aging, puffiness, dark circles, and dry skin

Best Drugstore

Vichy Mineral 89 Eyes Serum

Vichy Mineral 89 Eyes Serum

Target

What We Love: This hypoallergenic, oil-free gel is safe for sensitive skin.

What We Don’t Love: The gel can feel a bit sticky.

If you want to stop fine lines in their tracks, pick up this Vichy bestseller. Not only is the lightweight gel packed with pure caffeine (which helps skin appear brighter and more radiant), it also contains hyaluronic acid which hydrates skin from the inside out. The hydration magnet also helps build up and protect the moisture barrier, locking in nourishing ingredients to provide long-lasting moisture. With continued use, this product can visibly plump skin under the eyes, ultimately smoothing out fine lines. Though the gel can feel a little sticky when first applied, it quickly soaks into the delicate skin around the eyes making them feel instantly softer. Pro tip: Pair this gel with a hyaluronic acid face serum if you really want to boost your skin’s hydration.

Price at time of publish: $25

Key ingredients: Hyaluronic acid and Caffeine | Size: 0.51 fl. oz | Best for: Dry skin and fine lines

Best Serum

Youth to the People 15% Vitamin C + Clean Caffeine Energy Serum

Youth To The People 15% Vitamin C + Clean Caffeine Energy Serum

Youth To The People

What We Love: This multi-tasking serum visibly brightens dull skin, evens out tone, and depuffs.

What We Don’t Love: This serum can pill if too many products are applied on top of it.

Bright, glowing skin is guaranteed when you have this Youth to the People favorite. Made with an innovative and invigorating blend of a 15% vitamin C complex, this serum addresses hyperpigmentation at the source. Plus, this potent ingredient also works to firm your complexion and smooth out fine lines, meaning your face will look more supple with continued use. Additionally, this serum is formulated with yerba mate and guayusa, both of which contain high amounts of caffeine and antioxidants. These two ingredients work together to depuff skin and reduce inflammation.

As an added bonus, it also contains squalane to keep skin deeply hydrated. If you’re looking for a one and done skin savior to address a plethora of concerns, look no further than this serum. Just keep in mind that because it addresses a variety of concerns, you may want to keep the rest of your routine simple — which is also a good idea because it tends to pill if you apply more than a moisturizer on top of it. 

Price at time of publish: $68

Key ingredients: 15% vitamin C complex, Yerba mate, and Guayusa | Size: 1 fl. oz | Best for: Uneven texture and discoloration

Best Moisturizer

Origins GINZING Energy Boosting Gel Moisturizer

Energy Boosting Gel Moisturizer

Origins

What We Love: This oil-free moisturizer locks hydration into the skin for up to 72 hours.

What We Don’t Love: This product is not recommended for sensitive skin.

Give your skin the pick-me-up it needs with this refreshing Origins moisturizer. Made with a creative blend of good-for-your-complexion ingredients, this skincare essential brightens, hydrates, and replenishes skin with every use. It contains a potent mix of niacinamide, caffeine, Panax ginseng, hyaluronic acid, and plant glycerin which together strengthen the skin barrier, energize dull skin, and enhance radiance and hydration. “I love the inclusion of ginseng,” says Dr. Michele Koo, a board-certified plastic surgeon and founder of Dr. Koo Private Practice. “Because this product is oil-free, it’s effective for oily and blemish-prone skin.” You may want to steer clear if your skin leans sensitive, though, because this cream isn't fragrance-free

Price at time of publish: $36

Key ingredients: Caffeine, Ginseng, Niacinamide, and Hyaluronic acid | Size: 1.7 fl. oz | Best for: Dry skin, dull skin, uneven texture

Best Face Mask

100 Percent Pure Caffeine Mask

Caffeine Mask

100% Pure

What We Love: This mask makes skin feel soft, supple, and plump.

What We Don’t Love: The mask has a tendency to slip off the face.

If you’re looking for the ultimate skin boost, look no further than 100% Pure’s top-rated face mask. This single-use sheet mask is ultra-hydrating because it’s made with aloe leaf extract, which delivers moisture deep into the skin in seconds. It instantly plumps skin, smoothing out fine lines and treating dry areas, and, on top of that, it also soothes, thanks to a powerful blend of coffee that is enriched with antioxidants. The coffee in the mask (which is rich in caffeine) works overtime, calming redness caused by inflammation and sun damage. Additionally, it also contains yerba mate, which improves elasticity and skin firmness, as well as seaweed collagen, to boost collagen production. For an extra caffeine boost, it’s also infused with green tea extract, which tones and protects skin thanks to powerful antioxidants. “This mask is a great refresher for tired, dehydrated skin,” says Dr. Koo.

Price at time of publish: $8

Key ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, Coffee, and Green tea extract | Size: 2 fl. oz | Best for: Dry skin, inflammation, sun damage

Best Face Pads

Dr. Koo Private Practice Level 1: Pigment Refiner Face Pads

LEVEL 1: PIGMENT REFINER - SUSTAINING

Dr.Koo

What We Love: These face pads stop hyperpigmentation before it happens, thanks to an effective combination of peptides, niacinamide, and caffeine.

What We Don’t Love: These pads can dry out skin.

What if you could prevent skin issues before they happened? With the Dr. Koo Private Practice Pigment Refiner pads, you can do just that. These game-changing pads help address skin problems before they occur, including hyperpigmentation and age spots. Each pad is doused with a potent concentration of ingredients including peptides, green coffee extract, bearberry plant extract, niacinamide, and arbutin, just to name a few — these ingredients work together to stop the production of melanin before it happens, which means you’ll experience fewer age spots and acne scars. Simply swipe one of the single-use pads across your face after cleansing, then follow up with the rest of your skin routine.

Price at time of publish: $100 for 30 pads

Key ingredients: Caffeine, Niacinamide, and Bearberry extract | Amount: 30 pads | Best for: Hyperpigmentation, aging, and dull skin

Best Body Lotion

Biossance Squalane + Caffeine Toning Body Cream

Biossance Squalane + Caffeine Toning Body Cream

Sephora

What We Love: This lightweight moisturizer visibly tones skin.

What We Don’t Love: The citrus scent can be strong.

For skin that’s soft, smooth, and firm, you can’t go wrong with Biossance Toning Body Cream. This lightweight moisturizer intensely hydrates skin, leaving it feeling nourished and silky. Thanks to caffeine from green coffee beans, the lotion helps to tone and firm skin all over the body, including on the legs and stomach. Plus, niacinamide and sugarcane-derived squalane work together to improve overall texture and support the moisture barrier, locking in hydration for hours.

“This cream is so decadent it really feels like a spa vacation when applying it,” says celebrity esthetician Ian Michael Crumm. “The ingredient combination of green coffee beans, squalane, and niacinamide blend beautifully to give the body a calm awakening.” As a bonus, it comes in both a scented and unscented version, so if fragrance tends to irritate your skin you can still reap the benefits of this lotion. 

Price at time of publish: $30

Key ingredients: Caffeine, Niacinamide, and Sugarcane-derived squalane | Size: 6 fl. oz | Best for: Dry skin and loss of elasticity

Best Scalp Treatment

The INKEY List Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Scalp Scrub

Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Scalp Scrub

Sephora

What We Love: This scalp treatment stimulates the scalp and hair follicles to promote healthy hair growth.

What We Don’t Love: It requires three months of consistent nightly use to see significant results.

Let caffeine reinvigorate your hair like never before with this revitalizing scalp treatment from The INKEY List. Made to stimulate the scalp as well as hair follicles, this overnight treatment addresses hair loss and works to support healthy hair growth. The serum is made with a mix of caffeine powder and Redensyl (a hair-growth treatment that targets stem cells) to deter strands from falling out. The formula also incorporates a small percentage of betaine, which is a deeply conditioning ingredient that leaves hair soft, silky, and manageable. Apply the serum directly to the scalp and massage it in. Then, leave it on overnight and wash hair as normal in the morning. It’s worth noting that the brand recommends using this treatment every night for three months to see the best results — and because it needs to be washed out every morning, it can prolong your hair routine.

Price at time of publish: $15

Key ingredients: Caffeine powder and Betaine | Size: 5 fl. oz | Best for: Thinning hair

What to Keep in Mind

Product Type

Skincare products that are made with caffeine can target a handful of different skin-related issues on the body. For starters, there are a wide range of eye creams formulated with caffeine (including our best overall pick, Kopari Niacinamide & Caffeine Eye Bright Cream) because the potent ingredient helps to depuff eye bags and lighten dark circles. “Caffeine acts as a vasoconstrictor (tightening blood vessels),” explains Dr. Koo. “As part of its vasoconstriction, it decreases puffiness and is wonderful for puffy, baggy eyelids.” Face creams and serums that are infused with caffeine tend to have the similar effects, too.

Additionally, body lotions that are made with caffeine (like Biossance Squalane + Caffeine Toning Body Cream) can help to minimize the look of cellulite by tightening and firming skin. “Caffeine stimulates the enzyme that helps to break down fat, and is now included in some creams to decrease cellulite,” says Dr. Koo. It’s worth noting that you won’t actually lose weight if you use a caffeine-infused body cream (since you’re just topically applying a product), but it can help to lessen the look of fat right below the skin.

Lastly, hair products that are made with caffeine can help to stimulate the scalp to promote future hair growth. This is because caffeine increases blood circulation to the scalp, which ultimately aids in creating healthy hair follicles. Plus, if you massage hair products directly onto your scalp (like The INKEY List Caffeine Stimulating Scalp Treatment), this helps to further stimulate the roots, thus making the follicles grow faster.

Skin Sensitivity

As with any new beauty product, it’s important to make sure your skin can handle it before incorporating it into your routine. “I recommend a patch test if you’re trying a new product or ingredient for the first time,” says Dr. Hartman. “Apply a small amount on the underside of your wrist; the skin there is similar to the thickness and sensitivity of your face. If you don’t have a reaction after a day, you should be good to go.” 

In terms of using a caffeine-infused beauty product, you might notice that your skin gets a bit red at first. This is because of the increase in circulation it brings to skin. Fear not, because this redness should subside in a few minutes.

Your Questions, Answered

What does caffeine do in skincare?

“Caffeine is a powerful antioxidant when used on the skin and is a skin-conditioning agent,” explains cosmetic chemist Marisa Plescia. “Caffeine acts as a mild vasoconstrictor, meaning it narrows blood vessels — this can help reduce the appearance of dark circles or puffy eyes as there is less dark blood in the vessels, leading to less visible hyperpigmentation.” Due to this, the skin underneath the eyes can appear brighter or more awake.

In terms of body care, caffeine is a helpful ingredient for toning skin. “Caffeine also has anti-cellulite and body-firming effects,” adds Plescia. This means that if you use a caffeine-infused body lotion, (like Biossance Squalane + Caffeine Toning Body Cream), you might notice that your skin is tighter after continual use.

Additionally, caffeine can help prevent free radical damage caused by pollution and UV rays. “The antioxidant is a great ingredient to prevent oxidative stress in the skin caused by UV radiation,” says Crumm. By using products with caffeine, you can ultimately help your skin fight future fine lines and wrinkles.

Can you use both caffeine and vitamin C in your skincare routine?

“Caffeine and vitamin C are actually an excellent combination for revitalizing the appearance of the skin,” says Plescia. Many of the products on our list utilize the power of these two hero ingredients, including Neocutis Lumière Firm Riche Extra Moisturizing Illuminating Tightening Eye Cream, Youth To The People 15% Vitamin C + Clean Caffeine Energy Serum, and 100% Pure Caffeine Mask.

“Vitamin C as an antioxidant can help neutralize free radical formation and can help the skin respond to oxidative damage from environmental aggressors, such as the sun, as well as inhibit free radical formation," explains Plescia. "Vitamin C is also highly involved in regulating collagen synthesis. Collagen is the main structural protein in the skin and is essential for  a youthful-looking complexion.” The takeaway: This combination of ingredients will provide skin with long-lasting (and gorgeous!) benefits.

Can caffeine in skincare keep you awake? 

If you’re prone to feeling jittery after too many cups of coffee, it’s safe to wonder if caffeinated skincare products will keep you awake. Luckily, this is not the case. “The concentration of caffeine is not enough to create a systemic (whole-body) effect,” explains Dr. Koo. “The amount of caffeine is to decrease the blood flow, inflammation, and puffiness specifically in the area applied.”

Additionally, Dr. Hartman agrees, adding, “The amount of caffeine in most skincare products is large enough to be effective on the skin, but isn’t anywhere near the amount that would keep you awake, even if you use a skincare product with caffeine daily.”

Does caffeine in skincare make your face tingle?

Although caffeine can make your head buzz, it is not common for it to make your face tingle. “Most people won’t feel their face tingle after applying a skincare product with caffeine,” says Dr. Hartman. “Of course, if you apply a product with caffeine and feel any kind of discomfort, stop using the product.”

Why Shop With Us

Lauren Harano has over six years of experience in the beauty industry, previously holding editorial positions at Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, POPSUGAR, and NBCUniversal; and writing beauty pieces for InStyle since August 2022. She has a deep love for skin and body care, which is evident through her vast and ever-growing collection of beauty products. She has personally tested and reviewed hundreds of beauty products over the years to help readers discover the best of the best in terms of skincare, haircare, makeup, and body products.

For this article, Lauren interviewed four beauty experts: Dr. Corey L. Hartman, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology in Birmingham, AL; Dr. Michele Koo, a board-certified plastic surgeon and founder of Dr. Koo Private Practice; celebrity esthetician Ian Michael Crumm; and Marisa Plescia, a cosmetic chemist and NakedPoppy research scientist. Each expert lent their expertise and shared their favorite caffeine-infused products and brands as well as ways to safely use the ingredient. Additionally, Lauren researched top-rated products to find the best ones for all kinds of skin concerns.

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