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Can Coffee Cause Hormonal Acne? – The Ultimate Guide

Being a coffee snob, you must have wondered repeatedly, Can coffee cause hormonal acne? As an avid coffee drinker, take a deep breath; you don’t need to panic, just not yet! 

Yes, you can consume coffee without worrying about hormonal acne. Despite this, some people may believe that cutting down on coffee may make their skin clear. 

Can Coffee Cause Hormonal Acne

But, according to the experts, there is no hard evidence that coffee causes hormonal acne. Many other factors may lead to breakouts and acne. 

A cup of coffee is just what you need to function normally in the morning. Consuming coffee cup after cup has become a routine for so many people. 

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What is the link between coffee and hormonal acne?

The link between coffee and hormonal acne has always been controversial. If you consume coffee in moderation, the antioxidants in the coffee may benefit your skin. 

Adding sugar and milk along with the coffee may cause problems, especially for people with oily skin. The caffeine levels of coffee may also impact your hormonal levels.

1. Insulin

Insulin is a significant hormone created by the pancreas. It helps to control the level of glucose in the blood, especially after eating or drinking.

Excessive caffeine levels in your blood may cause insulin levels to jump up. If you already have oily skin or an acne problem, this insulin increase can worsen it. 

2. Cortisol 

Cortisol is the primary stress hormone; it defines how your body will react in a stressful situation. According to experts, consuming too much caffeine may increase the cortisol level in the bloodstream.

This increases stress levels and can worsen acne breakouts by producing more skin oils. Critical increases in cortisol levels may lead to severe problems such as depression, weight gain, anxiety, and disturbed digestion.

Another primary reason for the spike in cortisol levels may be a lack of sleep. This may cause inflammation in your body leading to excessive breakouts and hormonal acne

3. Estrogen

Estrogen plays an integral part in the mental health, physical health, cognitive development, and other essential processes in females. The estrogen levels may be different from one person to another.

However according to a study, in Caucasian women consuming high levels of caffeine may cause a drop in estrogen levels. Whereas, in Asian women, a spike in caffeine levels may increase estrogen levels.

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How to drink coffee without causing acne? 

Clear skin without cutting down on coffee is a dream for avid coffee lovers. The good news is that you enjoy the caffeine hit of the coffee without worrying about hormonal acne. 

Here are some things you can follow to drink and enjoy the benefits of coffee. 

Reduce your caffeine intake 

You can reduce your caffeine intake by limiting the number of coffee cups to 4 or to 5 daily. However, this is not an ideal number, as some people are more sensitive to caffeine than others.

You can even opt for decaf or half-caffeinated drinks to limit your overall caffeine intake. Soft drinks, energy drinks, regular tea, or green tea also contain a certain amount of caffeine. 

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Cut back on sugar 

To avoid hormonal acne, you must cut back on your sugar consumption. You can reduce the amount, or you can avoid consuming sugar altogether.

Avoid using full-fat milk

Consuming full-fat dairy milk with coffee is also a major cause of hormonal acne. You can switch to non-fat or non-dairy alternatives instead of full-fat dairy.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can coffee aggravate acne? 

Coffee can aggravate acne for some people, but not everyone is the same. Some people may be more sensitive to caffeine than others, which can cause spikes in insulin levels and cortisol levels. This, in turn, can worsen acne breakouts.

How does coffee affect hormone levels? 

Coffee can have an impact on hormone levels, depending on how much coffee is consumed. Excessive caffeine intake can lead to higher cortisol levels, which can cause inflammation and acne breakouts.

What are the side effects of too much caffeine? 

The side effects of too much caffeine include anxiety, disturbed digestion, weight gain, and depression. Caffeine can also worsen acne breakouts by increasing stress levels and producing more skin oils.

Is it bad to drink coffee every day? 

Drinking coffee every day is not necessarily bad for you. However, excessive caffeine intake can lead to side effects such as anxiety, disturbed digestion, weight gain, and depression.

How much coffee is too much? 

How much coffee is too much depends on the person. Some people may be more sensitive to caffeine than others, which can cause spikes in insulin levels and cortisol levels. This, in turn, can worsen acne breakouts. It is advisable to limit coffee intake to 3-4 cups per day.

What can I drink instead of coffee? 

If you want to avoid the side effects of caffeine, there are many alternatives to coffee such as decaf coffee, herbal tea, and green tea. These beverages will still provide you with some health benefits without the adverse effects of caffeine.

Is it better to drink coffee or tea? 

There is no definitive answer as to whether it is better to drink coffee or tea. It depends on the person and what their goals are. 

If you are trying to avoid the side effects of caffeine, then tea would be a better option. However, if you are looking for the health benefits of coffee, then coffee would be a better choice.


Coffee is known to contain antioxidants that are good for your body. But, at the same time, coffee can cause hormonal acne, especially if consumed excessively.

Having a cup of coffee with milk and sugar may also adversely affect your acne. This rings true, especially for those individuals who already suffer from an acne problem.

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