It’s fair to say that our skin exists in a tug-of-war between forces that cause oxidative and genetic damage and those that protect against them. One need only spend a single day in a dermatologic surgeon’s office (the specialty that treats skin cancers) to see the once immortal surfers, tennis players, and outdoor swimmers whose balance of power has swung far to forces of evil. Their skin has endured so much genetic and oxidative damage from the sun, and their anti-oxidative mechanisms are so exhausted, that an essential implosion is at hand. Severe deforming skin damage, pre-cancer, and outright cancer are diffusely present. Amazingly, pull aside a bra or underpants, areas that even during youthful disregard were nevertheless protected from the sun, and you’ll see skin that looks 30-years younger. The impact of sun exposure is irrefutable.

So what does this have to do with your cappuccino?

It turns out that caffeine, the same ingredient in coffee that awakens us from our morning stupors, is a rather remarkable molecule for skincare. We've added it to our serums because it has the following properties:

1) Caffeine is one of the strongest natural anti-oxidants. It helps tip the balance in favor of anti-oxidation and suppresses free-radicals that cause cellular damage to the skin from sun-induced inflammation (Hadi, 2003).

2) Caffeine limits sun damage during UV exposure. It inhibits UVB-induced formation of thymine dimers (molecular markers of genetic injury) and sunburn lesions in the skin (Nghiem et al, 2013).

3) Caffeine suppresses skin tumor formation. Caffeine has been shown to reduce the risk of certain types of skin cancer such as basal cell carcinoma and melanoma (Yale School of Public Health, 2014; Han 2012), and may cause early tumor cells to undergo programmed death (apoptosis) rather than going on to form skin cancer (Weinong, 2011).

While you may still want to watch the amount of caffeine you drink, topical caffeine may just make you look more fresh and awake than your latte!!