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Dangers de la caféine en application topique.

Dangers of Using Caffeine on the Skin

Due to its biological activity and the many benefits that caffeine offers, this active ingredient is increasingly being used in the creation of many cosmetic products. Given the increasing popularity of caffeine as an active ingredient, it is worth knowing whether it poses a danger to the body or not.

Applying It to the Skin: Does Caffeine Pose a Risk?

Caffeine is a natural component of plants such as coffee beans, tea leaves (tein), guarana berries (guaranine), yerba mate leaves (matein), kola nuts or cocoa beans, and is a chemical compound that is becoming increasingly important in cosmetic formulations. It has antioxidant, stimulating, draining, lipolytic and calming effects. Therefore, caffeine is used in many cosmetics to improve the appearance of the skin and the condition of the hair.

But are there any side effects when using caffeine? For us, it is clear that what also contributes to the success is safety. To date, caffeine in skin care is considered well tolerated by all skin types, although rare cases of hives and allergic reactions have been documented. Because caffeine typically has no side effects, is non-irritating, non-allergenic and non-sensitizing, it is in the category of products that are generally considered safe. It is also not classified as a CMR substance under Regulation (EC) 1272/2008.

Are there any precautions to be followed while using it?

  • Bioavailability: In a cosmetic use, the ability of caffeine to affect various processes occurring in the skin depends on its ability to pass through the skin barrier. One study found that after 24 hours, the highest concentration of applied caffeine was found in the epidermis, and only a small amount of the alkaloid was detected in the dermis. However, the type of skin care galenics influences the diffusion profile of caffeine in the skin. A higher permeability to caffeine was observed in water-in-oil nano-emulsion-formulations than in aqueous caffeine solutions. Furthermore, for caffeine to reach the targeted tissue, it can be transported either by alcohol, which enhances the absorption. Alternatively, it can be transported by so-called permeation enhancers (e.g., niacinamide, oils, glycols, etc.), which increase the solubility of caffeine and facilitate its absorption through the skin. Alternatively, it can be encapsulated in liposomes, which are microspheres that transport the active ingredient to the target.

  • Dosage: Contrary to popular belief, caffeine is not subject to a specified maximum amount for use in the European Cosmetics Regulation. However, it is recommended that when used on the skin, it should not exceed 5% of the final mixture, and always be diluted. Beyond this dosage, caffeine can attack the skin and pose a risk for the occurrence of allergic reactions: Redness, irritation, itching.

  • Effectiveness: to achieve a noticeable lipolytic effect, make sure that the product contains between 2 and 5% caffeine. At a concentration below this, the product will hardly be effective.

  • Tolerance: Before you introduce a new care product based on ceramides into your routine, we recommend that you perform a tolerance test. To do this, apply a small amount of the product to the crook of your elbow, behind your ear or on the inside of your wrist. If you do not notice any adverse reactions within the next 24 hours, you can use the care.

Are there any precautions to be followed while using it?

  • Bioavailability: In a cosmetic use, the ability of caffeine to affect various processes occurring in the skin depends on its ability to pass through the skin barrier. One study found that after 24 hours, the highest concentration of applied caffeine was found in the epidermis, and only a small amount of the alkaloid was detected in the dermis. However, the type of skin care galenics influences the diffusion profile of caffeine in the skin. A higher permeability to caffeine was observed in water-in-oil nano-emulsion-formulations than in aqueous caffeine solutions. Furthermore, for caffeine to reach the targeted tissue, it can be transported either by alcohol, which enhances the absorption. Alternatively, it can be transported by so-called permeation enhancers (e.g., niacinamide, oils, glycols, etc.), which increase the solubility of caffeine and facilitate its absorption through the skin. Alternatively, it can be encapsulated in liposomes, which are microspheres that transport the active ingredient to the target.

  • Dosage: Contrary to popular belief, caffeine is not subject to a specified maximum amount for use in the European Cosmetics Regulation. However, it is recommended that when used on the skin, it should not exceed 5% of the final mixture, and always be diluted. Beyond this dosage, caffeine can attack the skin and pose a risk for the occurrence of allergic reactions: Redness, irritation, itching.

  • Effectiveness: to achieve a noticeable lipolytic effect, make sure that the product contains between 2 and 5% caffeine. At a concentration below this, the product will hardly be effective.


    Tolerance: Before you introduce a new care product based on ceramides into your routine, we recommend that you perform a tolerance test. To do this, apply a small amount of the product to the crook of your elbow, behind your ear or on the inside of your wrist. If you do not notice any adverse reactions within the next 24 hours, you can use the care.

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