Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Caffeine is used in a multitude of cosmetic products, but is it just a popular trend that will eventually pass? or is it really effective? The function of caffeine in cosmetic applications is to reduce the appearance of cellulite and puffiness under the eyes. I am rather suspicious of these claims of caffeine in a topical application considering so many women drink coffee, tea and soda pop daily yet still have the cellulite/puffy eye dilemma. Here's an example to help put this into perspective. My 4 month old son has a nasty case of eczema which led to a skin infection, while the dermatologist prescribed a topical antibiotic, the allergist said that wouldn't be enough. He is currently taking an oral antibiotic to clear the infection from his blood stream, not just on his skin. My point is ingesting caffeine on a daily basis should seemingly be more effective than applying it topically. Also consider the difference in concentration. Eye creams come in the smallest little pots imaginable, how much caffeine do you think you're getting in one application? Certainly not as much as you would ingest from a cup of coffee or a 16 oz Coke! Lets further investigate the claims.
In connection with cellulite creams, caffeine can have a tightening effect on the skin. This is actually a sign of skin irritation, but if it works... why not? right? Cellulite (which is not a medical term) is the body's natural store system for fat. What makes it so unsightly is when it begins to bulge under pressure of the connective tissue. Connective tissue in women lacks the flexibility that it has in the male body. In eye creams, caffeine can increase blood flow which probably won't reduce puffiness, but it may have a dramatic affect on redness and dark circles. Caffeine is also a proven antioxidant.
The moral of the story is, while caffeine may not actually perform according to its advertised claims, it still has the ability to enhance most cosmetic applications.