DISCLAIMER: No coffee was wasted in the process of creating this blog post during the photographic stages, rest assured.
So for the past month or so, I've developed weird patches of eczema on my face, mainly around my eyes (eyelid eczema, who knew?!). I spoke about it a little more in my last The Skin Diaries post if you want to read more on it. It seems to have mainly appeared due to hay fever, however no matter what I do to protect myself from pesky pollen, my eczema persisted. Eye creams and prescription creams have helped to an extent but there's something else that I've now realised is having a huge effect on my skin.
So, feeling a little beyond fed up and low in self esteem, I did some research about diet and eczema, foods to avoid etc. From reading my blog, I'm sure you know by now I'm an avid believer in inside-out beauty - what you eat will show in your skin, or at least it does for me.
What results did I find? I stumbled across lots of information about how alcohol and coffee are the absolute worst if you have eczema. Now, alcohol I can pretty much deal without no having - I'm not really a huge drinker (all the gin and wine I had at the weekend says hi though). However coffee? Since the arrival of my Nespresso machine in my life since last Christmas, I've pretty much been drinking at least one coffee a day since then. There's been the odd day where I've found myself jumping off the walls as somehow (God knows how) I've thrown back five almond milk latte's that day, but otherwise, I've been pretty reasonable.
It makes sense though, that when you have a skin condition like eczema where your skin struggles to hold onto any moisture therefore leaving it very dry, scaly and tight, if you introduce something like coffee to the equation, of course it's not going to help. Coffee DEHYDRATES your skin. Since the beginning of the year, I just blamed unpredictable, changing temperatures for my oily skin becoming a little more dehydrated.
I started investing a little more in hydrating skincare products and yes, while they're fab, they don't stop that tight feeling your skin gets when you get out the shower - something I've only ever experienced really until this year.
I cut all ties with coffee and even after just ONE DAY, I could see a real difference. After two days, my skin was back to being its super oily self (oh how I weirdly missed it!) and my eczema was pretty much gone. I'll admit, the week I gave up coffee was when the UK experienced a freak mini heatwave so oily skin was expected, but even since, come lunchtime it's shine central on my face.
So, is coffee ruining your skin? If you don't have particularly sensitive skin, or don't find your diet really shows in your skin, you're probably lucky in that you can sort of get away with drinking lots of coffee and see no difference (but it may come and bite you on the bum later on in life!).
However, if you do 'see' your diet reflected in your skin and you're an avid coffee drinker, I'd recommend trying a week without coffee to see if there are any differences.
Even by just cutting down your coffee intake to only certain days a week, maybe just at the weekend so you can actually enjoy your coffee! I'd also recommend drinking something like green tea or matcha tea to get a caffeine boost instead. I'm really keen on buying some matcha tea powder and having a go at making almond milk matcha latte's - does that make me a proper health blogger?
Start your day with an energy boosting green smoothie, and a really nutritious breakfast like porridge or eggs and avocado. When you wake up, have a really tall glass of water and sip that whilst you make your breakfast to ensure you get a big boost of hydration first thing.
It's been just over two weeks since I've had a coffee (ok, so I may have had to drink the cup in the above image because wasting a coffee is a genuine crime), and my skin hasn't looked so good in such a long time. There are fewer blemishes, it's more hydrated, it feels and appears much smoother and refined too.
I've learnt a big lesson from all of this, and think once my eczema has completely cleared up I'll think about reintroducing it to my day, but gradually, and only when I can actually enjoy it - or when I've genuinely had no sleep the night before and need something to wake me up!
I really recommend reducing your coffee intake if you're finding your skin isn't looking so bright and happy, and especially if you get dehydrated skin. Skincare helps temporarily, but what you put into your body will have a much longer-lasting effect - promise!
Are you a big coffee drinker? Do you find coffee affects your skin? What are your favourite energy boosting foods in the morning?