I don’t have many addictions left as I get older. Outside of the fact that I can’t keep ice cream or potato chips in my house without immediate consequences (whole gallons and bags are decimated in mere hours in my presence), I have only one major vice other than marathons of "The Rachel Zoe Project": coffee.
Coffee means that deadlines will get met and that I’ll make sense when doing celebrity interviews or press events of any kind. It means that I won’t run into furniture in my apartment in the morning, it means that I’m less likely to plot the murder of rude people on the subway. It amazes me every single day how many lives are enriched -- and are allowed to continue -- because I drink at least three cups of coffee a day.
We all know about the benefits of caffeine, the stimulant without which most of us would never have graduated college or with any other advanced degrees, much less stay employed. The benefits that most people DON’T know about is what it can do in beauty products. Allow me to extoll the virtues of caffeine in your everyday beauty benefits:
Caffeine can help flush fluids from the body
You know how too much coffee makes you have to pee every so many minutes? The diuretic effect of caffeine also works in beauty products like slimming creams (Bliss Fat Girl Slim is a great one) and under eye creams. If you’re looking to drop some water weight, these creams help stimulate water loss with the stuff, helping fluid weight simply flush out of your system. If you really want these creams to work fast, I’d recommend slathering them on underneath your workout clothes right before a workout. You’re going to sweat anyway -- might as well get some added benefit from all that water loss.
Caffeine can help tighten skin
Again, the stressful teeth-grinding you get from too many cups of coffee might not be a great thing if you’re trying to navigate every day life, but when it comes to tightening skin, it can be a total gem of a product ingredient. It’s why coffee scrubs are so popular and effective: The caffeine stimulates the skin, causing it to constrict (much like your jaw after a depth charge espresso shot) and firm up.
Eye creams, face creams, body creams, serums -- you’d be amazed how many skin creams contain the stuff. If you have under eye bags, I’d recommend giving Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream a try, and applying it with the back of a cool, clean spoon for added benefit.
Coffee is an awesome color rinse for brunettes
If you have brown hair and you want to enrich your color between visits (or even instead of), leftover coffee poured over your hair helps stain your hair the same way it does your teeth. No, seriously, this works -- it's time consuming, but it works. You can pour two cups of strong coffee over your hair, then seal it (plastic wrap, shower caps, shopping bags -- any and all of those to keep it from leaking) for a couple of hours, then shampoo and condition as usual. Brunettes will get a rich tone, darker blondes will see a chestnut (or slightly darker) hue. If you’d rather go the product route, Organix Mocha Espresso Shampoo and Conditioner works just as well. Either way, your hair will be softer and a richer brown.
It can help with discoloration and excessive redness
Caffeine is a top ingredient in skin creams because it helps blood vessels constrict, which can counteract redness in products like Clinique Redness Solutions Instant Relief Mineral Pressed Powder. It can also act as a catalyst for dark spot and discoloration products like Peter Thomas Roth De-Spot Skin Brightening Corrector. Coffee and teas can cause stains, but caffeine can help remove them.
So, I would like to raise a venti soy latte/skim mocha/espresso depth charge to caffeine and the world of benefits of caffeine. Between keeping us from falling face first at our desks to clearing up the red spot that would occur if we did, it’s a marvelous, amazing thing.
Let’s hear it from you. Do you love java-based products as much as I do? Let off some steam -- and the jitters -- in the comments below.