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There are several potential connections between caffeine and acne, although their exact link is not fully understood. Studies have shown that caffeine can make acne symptoms worse. It is not fully understood how or why caffeine causes skin conditions to worsen. Researchers also do not know if symptoms are caused by caffeine itself or something else found in many caffeinated foods and drinks.
One theory of how caffeine and acne are related states that caffeine causes the liver to work more slowly, which leads to a buildup of toxins and breakouts. Caffeine is a stimulating drug and all substances are filtered by the liver to absorb toxins and other impurities. If this cannot be done effectively, these toxins may leave the body through other systems, such as through the pores on the face or through sweat glands. When the pores become bogged down with bacteria and toxins, acne can occur.
Another potential link between caffeine and acne is that many foods and drinks which contain this substance also contain ingredients which may contribute to acne. For instance, chocolate and soft drinks usually have a lot of refined sugar, which some studies have linked to breakouts. Coffee is also often consumed with sugar. Some people may also respond to the heat of hot coffee and tea by flushing, making skin conditions appear worse.
Many experts believe that caffeine may not cause acne and other skin conditions, but that it may aggravate the condition. There may also be other factors to consider. For instance, hormones may also trigger acne breakouts, especially in women during their menstrual cycles. It is also happens that at this time of the month, many women consume more caffeine and sugar than at other times.
Different individuals may have different triggers for their skin conditions, but the link between caffeine and acne should be taken into consideration. One can determine if drinking caffeinated beverages or eating foods which contain it is contributing to breakouts by cutting these things out of the diet for several weeks. If acne improves, this may indicate a connection. It is also a good idea to pay close attention to when breakouts occur, foods eaten beforehand, and whether or not they occur more during certain times of the menstrual cycle than during others.