Caffeine is a popular skincare ingredient. We see it in many products such as face serums and undereye creams.
It has been rising in popularity which entices a lot of brands to innovate and put it in a variety of skin products.
One such is the caffeine face mask.
Available in all kinds of shapes and sizes, you can find things like caffeine face masks for pimples, coffee face masks for skin whitening, and more.
But what can these masks bring to the table? Are they any good?
In this article, I’ll tell you all about them. Below, I’ll look at:
- The benefits of caffeine for the skin;
- Reviews of some of the best caffeine face masks;
- Answers to some of the most popular questions regarding coffee face masks and their effectiveness.
Benefits of caffeine for the skin
You may be wondering what this thing is doing in skin care products in the first place. Well, several properties make caffeine a valuable ingredient for our skin:
- It has a high biological activity and easily penetrates the skin barrier;
- It improves the microcirculation of the blood vessels, helping with oxygen and nutrient distribution;
- It’s a powerful antioxidant that protects the skin’s surface and the cells from oxidative stress in the form of UV radiation, which, as a result, prevents photoaging;
- It prevents the slowdown of collagen production and loss of elasticity;
- It slows down the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles;
- It prevents skin discoloration and the appearance of spots;
- It’s a vasoconstrictor that prevents extreme puffiness and the appearance of blood vessels on the surface of the skin.
Apart from these key benefits, on a slightly different note, caffeine can also offer valuable anti-cellulite effects as it encourages the lipolysis process or the cells’ burning of fat. It also supports the lymph system’s drainage.
Best caffeine face masks
As you can imagine, not all coffee-based face masks are created the same. Some are more effective than others, and I’m here to point you in the right direction. Below, I share with you my caffeine face mask reviews for some of the best choices out there.
Mamaearth Charcoal, Coffee and Clay Face Mask
The Mamaearth Charcoal, Coffee, and Clay Face Mask is a wonderful product to exfoliate and at the same time hydrate the skin. It comes in a package of 100 ml or 3.38 oz and costs around $15, which is a pretty affordable price for most skincare users.
Purified Water, Kokum Butter, Apricot Oil, Kaolin, Magnesium Carbonate, Titanium Dioxide, Bentonite, Magnesium, Aluminium Silicate, Niacinamide, Mulberry Extract, Cucumber Extract, Papaya Extract, Basil Oil, Peppermint Oil, Eucalyptus Oil, Chamomile Extract, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Glycolic Acid, Citric Acid, Caffeine Anhydrous, Activated Charcoal Powder, Hydroxycinnamic Acid, Propylene Glycol Dibenzoate, Cetostearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Isopropyl Myristate, Potassium Sorbate
The charcoal, coffee, and kaolin ingredients in the mix are responsible for cleaning the skin from excess oil and any build-up in the pores, along with citric acid and glycolic acid, which also exfoliate and smooth out the skin surface. By doing so, they help the skin stay protected against acne and pimples, so I would say this is a great option for oily-prone folks who also suffer from acne.
The bentonite in the formula will help with acne marks and scars’ appearance, effectively diminishing them.
Niacinamide helps improve skin tone, softens signs of aging, reduces the size of pores, and protects against acne.
Papaya extract, in addition to cucumber extract and kokum butter, helps hydrate the skin and prevent skin flaking. And they too help to fight the nasty blemishes.
What we like:
I decided to give this mask a try mostly because of its high ratings. For the price and amount of product (5,29 oz) it’s a good option. It truly made my skin look clean and glowy and at the same time didn’t strip me from my natural, healthy oils. Here are some of the things I loved:
- The mask has a black color due to the charcoal in it, it’s quite thick and pasty. It honestly feels like a quality face mask from the very beginning. However, it’s not messy at all, unlike many other charcoal masks – it washes off effortlessly and doesn’t make a black mess on your sink.
- I loved how baby soft my skin felt right after using it – it has a lot of oils in the formula that ensures that your skin won’t feel tight and dry. There’s also a slight cooling sensation that you can feel even when the product is washed from your face. It’s refreshing without stripping you off.
- There was a visible difference in my pore size and their condition – the built-up dirt was gone in a single use, and I maintained that effect throughout the lifespan of the mask by applying it once a week. I tend to get dirty buildup on my nose pores – this got it all out.
What to have in mind:
- I felt a strong peppermint scent when I used it, which can be a bit off-putting to some folks, especially if you’re sensitive.
- It’s a bit hard to find this in stock. Luckily, a jar will last you a long-long time.
mCaffeine Coffee Clay Face Mask with Bentonite Clay
If you search for a coffee face mask online, you’ll definitely see this one show up as one of the first results.
The mCaffeine Coffee Clay Face Mask with Bentonite Clay comes in a jar of 3.5 oz or 103 ml and at a price of around $16 – fairly affordable for what you’re getting. I think it’s an Amazon bestseller, but don’t quote me on that. At any rate, it boasts almost 3K reviews there, most of which are positive (rating is 4 out of 5). Anyways, that’s how I end up buying this coffee mask.
But let’s see what’s in store for us.
Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Solum Fullonum (Multani Mitti), Bentonite, Kaolin, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Powder, Oryza Sativa (Rice Bran) Oil, Coco-Glucoside, Titanium Dioxide, Coffee Powder, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Octenidine Hcl, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Butter, Fragrance, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Gluconate, Citric Acid, Tocotrienols (Vitamin E), Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Caffeine, Menthol
Just like the previous product, this caffeine face mask also contains bentonite and kaolin, which together with Multani mitti give you that deep cleansing effect and extract the dirt and excess oil from the pores.
I haven’t heard about multani mitti until now and from what I can gather, it has some skin-bleaching properties as well. So if you suffer from pigmentation, especially sun spots, this can probably do something about it.
We have coffee powder and caffeine in this. There’s also glycerin almost at the top of the list, and together with the argan oil, shea butter, and rice bran oil, it creates a nice souffle with moisturizing and antioxidant properties.
Finally, menthol has a cooling, soothing effect but is known to irritate some people with sensitive skin.
What we like:
I can easily compare this product to something used in spas. The user experience is great with this mask – from the application to the rinse. It cleans away the impurities from the skin and clears the pores well.
- I love the fact that the brand has thought about not contaminating the coffee mask with your fingers and have included a wooden spatula in the box to scoop out a desired amount of product. Many sellers save from this convenient addition.
- I absolutely love the scent of the mask! it‘s chocolaty and sweet, and I want to eat it! (don’t eat it though). It feels high-end to me.
- The fact that it’s clay-based makes it the perfect mask for soaking up any excess oil and clearing the impurities from the skin.
- My face felt extremely soft and silky when using this. The product is very gentle and doesn’t irritate my skin, it doesn’t dry it either.
What to have in mind:
- Although I personally love the smell, some users may find it a bit strong and irritating, especially in combination with menthol in the formula.
- The product is on the thicker side. I suggest applying it on slightly damp skin to ease the spreadability.
The Body Shop Nicaraguan Coffee Intense Awakening Mask
The final product on my list of best coffee face masks is from The Body Shop.
It comes in a 2.9 oz (75 ml) substantial glass jar for the price of around $30. It’s the most expensive on my list but the good news is that there are also travel sizes available, which is awesome if you want to try out the product before giving your dollars away.
Frankly speaking, I’m not much for physical scrubs, and this mask does contain particles that resemble ground coffee beans. However, it’s one of the best experiences I’ve ever had with a face mask, taking into account the previous products in this list too.
I explain everything below, let’s first check the ingredients.
Glycerin, Polysorbate 20, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Chloride, Isopropyl Palmitate, Euglena Gracilis Extract, Sucrose, Coffea Arabica Seed Powder/Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Powder, Parfum/Fragrance, Sesamum Indicum Seed Oil/Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Theobroma Cacao Seed Butter/Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter/Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Xanthan Gum, Aqua/Water/Eau, Caffeine, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Tocopherol, Biotin, Citric Acid, Caramel
Did you see that?
Glycerin is at the top of this list.
This makes this mask super hydrating and soothing to use, even with the particles in it – I avoid rubbing it into my skin and simply slap it on very quickly, and wait 10 minutes before rinsing it off.
The addition of sucrose, as well as several plant oils and butter (shea butter, cocoa butter, sesame seed oil) in the formula probably helps too. They are antioxidants rich in fatty acids and many beneficial for the skin compounds
What we like:
- I love the creamy consistency, which is a big plus for people with dry skin. When applied to the face, it feels sticky and jelly-like – not in a bad way. It’s a pleasant and subtle feeling but it’s the most spreadable product from this list due to that fact.
- I’d highly recommend it for people who appreciate a nice warming spa-effect and aroma-rich therapy for the skin. If you love physical exfoliants from time to time, you’ll love this product.
- The scent here combines coffee with caramel and is super delicious. I don’t find it too synthetic or powerful but if you’re sensitive, have it in mind.
- This product does a wonderful job of doubling as a face mask and a body scrub all at once. I use this once a week on my tights to fight cellulite.
What to have in mind:
- Although I felt extremely comfortable sitting with the mask at first, after 10 minutes my face felt a bit itchy. I strongly recommend keeping an eye on how long you’ve had it on – you shouldn’t let it dry completely. I also noticed a slight redness on my skin after washing it off, probably due to the particles rubbing against my skin. It faded away quickly but for some folks, it may be a problem.
- The scent here is medium to strong. If you don’t like the smell of coffee, you may not like this product either.
Is a coffee face mask effective for skin whitening?
Unless there are other whitening ingredients in the coffee mask, it won’t bleach the skin. Instead, coffee-infused skincare helps to fade pigmentation and even out the skin tone.
If we’re talking about a DIY coffee face mask – it’s not effective for skin whitening either. Homemade facial masks are not something I’d recommend as they’re usually not effective at anything really. They are unable to penetrate the skin barrier and enter deeply into the skin layers where ingredients can work and the actual effect comes in. You can achieve all of this only with a product that has been specifically formulated for this purpose.
Caffeine alone doesn’t offer any whitening properties so if you’re looking for this effect in your mask, you’ll need to make sure the formula of the product contains an ingredient that can whiten the skin.
Are there any side effects of coffee masks on your skin?
Yes and no. If we’re talking about a DIY mask, you can definitely expect to experience side effects like irritation, itching, redness, and in some cases – allergic reactions. Overall, homemade products haven’t gone through any safety tests and the ingredients are in raw form. You can never be sure how this will affect your skin.
Professionally made caffeine-based products that have been designed for skin application shouldn’t cause any adverse reactions. Regardless, I always recommend checking the ingredients in the formula to make sure they are not risky for your skin type.
Are coffee face masks effective against pimples?
On its own, coffee doesn’t offer any anti-acne properties, so if your coffee mask doesn’t have any acne-fighting ingredients, you won’t see any improvement in breakouts.
If the product you’ve selected contains ingredients that tackle acne and are good for acne-prone skin, then yes, a coffee face mask can be effective against pimples.
Coffee itself isn’t considered a very potent and effective ingredient in the fight against acne. It merely has a supportive role, which many folks find helpful.
Part of the masks, I’ve recommended above, have clay, which extracts the excess sebum and prevents acne breakouts. Other masks may contain other ingredients that are helpful for acne. Again, I suggest digging deeper into the formula of your selected coffee face mask and digging deeper into ingredients that are beneficial for treating pimples.
How to use a caffeine face mask?
It’s best to read the instructions of the specific product and you can also use your common knowledge based on the experience you have with your skin.
If it’s a clay mask, I don’t recommend using it more than three times a week at most. Apply it on clean skin right after cleansing. Leave it on for a few minutes and let the product work its magic. Wash away gently with lukewarm water and if you want to continue with a skincare routine, apply other products like toners, serums, creams, and others.
Do you have any experience with caffeine face masks?
I’d love to learn more about your stories and hear your feedback. Use the comments section below to share your thoughts!
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