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Why caffeine skin products deserve a spot in your beauty routine

The buzzy ingredient will help you tackle dark circles and puffiness.
Woman applying moisturizing cream after shower on her cheek
fizkes / Getty Images

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You already know how helpful your morning cup of coffee can be in keeping you energized and productive throughout the day. But it turns out that that's not the only area where a caffeine boost can work to your advantage — it can also enhance your beauty routine.

"Caffeine-containing products may help to reduce redness of the skin by causing vasoconstriction of the blood vessels, causing them to shrink and become less noticeable," said Dr. Marisa Garshick, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. Caffeine also has antioxidant properties, so it can help protect the skin from free radical damage, which can contribute to the development of fine lines and wrinkles.

While skin care products with caffeine can be applied all over, the ingredient is most commonly found in under-eye treatments, and for good reason. "It helps to constrict the blood vessels, making them less noticeable," Garshick said. "This reduces the bluish-gray color that can occur as a result of the undereye skin being thin and transparent." It also helps to reduce the puffiness and swelling that you may notice after a night spent tossing and turning.

With that in mind, we asked Garshick and board-certified dermatologist Dr. Hadley King to share the caffeine-infused beauty products they love. From eye serums to scrubs, here are eight options to add to your beauty cabinet.

Caffeine eye treatments

The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG

TikTok-loved brand The Ordinary is known for creating powerful skin care formulas that won't leave a huge dent in your wallet. And the brand's Caffeine Solution is an excellent choice. The formula, which is meant to be used on the under-eye area, contains a high five percent concentration of caffeine, which King said is enough to effectively decrease puffiness.

iNNBeauty Project Electrify Lightning Bolt Eye Mask

Tossing and turning all night? Don't let your eyes show it. These masks, recommended by King, can be used in a pinch to soothe skin and reduce the appearance of dark circles. The pack comes with four sets of the lightning-shaped under-eye masks and each one can be used up to four times. Pro tip: Store them in the fridge until you're ready to use. It will increase the cooling sensation and help wake up your tired eyes.

Skinbetter InterFuse Eye Treatment Cream

This eye cream combines a blend of powerhouse ingredients, like peptides, antioxidants and caffeine. "Together the ingredients help hydrate the skin and improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and puffiness," Garshick said. The cream also uses a patented delivery technology to help the ingredients absorb quickly and work more effectively.

La Roche-Posay Pigmentclar Eye Cream

"This eye cream combines caffeine with PhE-Resorcinol and niacinamide and helps to improve the overall appearance of dark circles and under-eye puffiness," Garshick said. It has a cooling metal applicator, which not only feels great on the skin but also helps to soothe the area.

The INKEY List Caffeine Eye Cream

"This affordable caffeine-containing eye cream helps to improve the under eyes by reducing puffiness and the appearance of fine lines," Garshick said. Along with the caffeine, it also contains the peptide Matrixyl 3000, which she added, helps to further reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Caffeine skin products

St. Ives Coconut & Coffee Energizing Scrub

Sometimes just the smell of coffee is enough to put an extra pep in your step, and this energizing scrub will awaken your senses (and your skin). The scrub combines coffee, coconut extract and walnut shell powder, to slough away dead skin cells with every wash and leave skin feeling refreshed. Garshick notes that since it's a deeper exfoliant, it shouldn't be used every day.

Romer Cleanser

"This is a great option for a gel-oil cleanser that effectively cleanses the skin without leaving it feeling dry or irritated," Garshick said. It hydrates and soothes skin, while providing a boost of antioxidants from green tea and coffee extract, to leave your skin looking brighter, she said.

Alpha-H Micro Super Scrub

King also likes this scrub, which contains a blend of beneficial ingredients. "12 percent glycolic acid gently exfoliates, while caffeine offers antioxidant and de-puffing properties," King said. It can be used on both the face and body twice a week to refresh and rejuvenate skin.

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