• Marsha


Caffeine, a substance primarily found in coffee, is commonly used in cosmetic preparations due to its anti-cellulite and anti-aging properties. Interestingly, recent data have actually shown that caffeine has a high potential to function as a sunscreen adjuvant.

The photoprotective effects of caffeine were first observed in animal model and in 2019, a clinical study has shown that though caffeine cannot function as a standalone SPF, it can enhance the SPF value of UV filters, including ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, avobenzone, and titanium dioxide.

The SPF enhancing effect of caffeine was mainly attributed to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. For example, studies have shown that caffeine has the ability to scavenge free radicals (i.e. hydroxyl radicals and excited states of oxygen), and to protect ourselves from free radical damage. Additionally, caffeine acts as a photostabilizer for chemical filters, which means that it can help chemical filters protect our skin even longer!

I recommend incorporating a caffeine-containing moisturizer in your AM routine for added UV protection!

Here's some of my favourite caffeine-containing products:

Courtesy of Brand


GINZING Oil-Free Energy-Boosting Gel Moisturizer

Courtesy of Brand

The Ordinary

Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG

Courtesy of Brand


Dramatically different moisturizing gel

Courtesy of Brand


Essential Energy Moisturizing Cream


Rosado et al. (2019). doi: 10.3389/fphys.2019.00519

Lu et al. (2007). doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgl112

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