Coffee Studies Show Caffeine Awakens both Inner & Outer Body. Starbucks ® Skin Care to Follow?

Comments by Robert Hardwicke, President & Product Master, Awakening Skin Care

Outside the borders of the United States, there are more than 1,200 Starbucks® stores scattered across the nations of the world, so it’s no surprise that the words “coffee” and “Starbucks” often are equated as nearly one and the same by millions of people.  Similar to how bandages often are referred to as Band-Aids®.



Caffeine is the natural chemical stimulant in coffee (and tea) that keeps those who ingest their infusions on their toes (though occasionally ‘on edge’ as well) and coming back for more.  The US Food & Drug Administration studied long and hard on the question of whether coffee drinking was good or bad over the long run before deciding that it was a good thing.  One of the good things is the antioxidant activity — the body benefits internally.

But externally?  According to a study undertaken by the University of Pavia in Italy in 2004 in which coffee solutions were analyzed for beneficial qualities: “All the tested coffee solutions showed remarkable antiradical activity.”  In Technical Terms: The coffee solutions underwent dialysis to fraction their components for the purpose of indentifying those that were most effective. “The most active fraction was found to be that containing the 5-0-caffeoilquinic acid…“.  In Laymen’s Terms: Caffeine does the skin good!

So, we know that caffeine possesses antioxidant (antiradical) virtues.  But then came the results of a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which determined that skin lotions spiked with solutions of caffeine helped to reduce the incidence of skin cancer in laboratory tests.  While the results of the study did not go so far as to state that the caffeine of the coffee solution is a cure for skin cancers, the study did note that an anti-cancer biological effect indeed had been observed.

Of course, there are many of us in the skin care industry who firmly believe in essences with healing properties that exist in nature, caffeine in its various ‘fractions’ being one such range of essences.

With all of these findings, it doesn’t seem too farfetched that the global chain, Starbucks, would think coffee skin care a natural fit for its repertoire.  Yet the chain’s board of directors initiated a campaign in ’08 to return to the basics of its business: A brewed coffee “experience” to be enjoyed frequently.  What this says is that this mammoth coffee enterprise will not soon be thinking about a line of branded Starbucks skin care products, regardless of the good things that coffee can do for the skin.

Caffeine solutions applied properly to the skin become a free radical scavenger, a topic about which I’ve blogged in the past.  Yet the caffeine of coffee is more than simply an antioxidant or free radical scavenger.  It also acts as an exfoliant by helping the skin to slough off dead skin, as an aid against ultraviolet rays, as a diuretic (helping to reduce puffiness, such as around the eyes) and as a vasoconstrictor (to help tighten the skin).

It may be good news that coffee giants like Starbucks don’t get into the skin care market.  For several years, our own “small giant” company, Awakening Skin Care, has worked to refine a superlative therapy cream for the health of hands, called, appropriately, “Espresso Hands”.   We firmly believe that the many benefits of the caffeine of espresso, when combined with the natural minerals that serve as the hallmark of every Awakening formulation, yield a healing cream with a silky texture, the pleasantly subtle aroma of coffee, and absolutely no hint of being slimy, greasy or sticky.

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