Coffee is an essential part of the morning for many people. It may even be a critical part of their entire day. But, much like everything we indulge in, there are pros and cons.

Coffee may help get you through the day or over a rough patch of fatigue, but is it bad for your skin. Caffeine is dehydrating, so does that suck the moisture from your skin? Leaving it dull and rough?

Does it make a difference if you have one cup or two? Or if you add cream and sugar?

Whether you’re breaking out, dealing with dryness, or something else, is your morning coffee to blame? Let’s find out.

Much like wine, coffee gets blamed for some unhealthy bodily effects and some good ones. But what is the consensus?

Some of the most commons effects of drinking coffee are acne, redness, inflammation, dry patches, unbalanced hormones, and oil production. Of course, your skin can change due to lots of variables like your environment, your diet, and more, but coffee isn’t free of all responsibility.

But, that doesn’t mean you need to cut out your coffee. Dermatologists recommend balancing your coffee intake with water. For every cup of coffee, you have, have a glass of water. Not only will that help to hydrate you, but it should counteract the dehydrating effects of the coffee.

But, the science behind the correlation between coffee and your skin doesn’t end there. A study recently concluded that those who drink four or more cups of coffee per day were significantly less likely to report rosacea than those who drank little or no coffee.

So, how does this make sense? When coffee increases inflammation, how would it decrease the likelihood of rosacea, a skin disease that forms through inflammation? Well, there is still more research to be done. This study only used women, most of whom were white. It also relied heavily on the observation of the participants rather than trained experts.

But there is more to this subject than coffee is good or bad for your skin. There are a lot of factors at play. For instance, how you drink coffee can impact whether it helps or hurts your skin.

If you drink black coffee without any sugar or creamer, you get the antioxidant properties, which is excellent. Antioxidants fight free radicals, which lead to signs of aging.

But, drinking your coffee with sugar, dairy, or non-dairy creamers, can lead to acne. Sugars spike insulin which causes acne, and dairy affects the hormones which lead to acne. And for those who are more prone to stress-related breakouts, the increased cortisol levels after having caffeine can also lead to acne.

That being said, if you find that coffee triggers anxiety, stress, and acne for you, try decaf. Decaf coffee still offers antioxidant benefits, but without 97% of the caffeine.

So, all in all, coffee does not directly cause acne. It can, however, lead to acne through other channels like hormones, sugars, and cortisol. If you already suffer from acne, drinking coffee could make it worse. But if you have relatively clear skin, coffee can help fight off free radicals and prevent signs of aging as well as reduce inflammation.

Now, what about coffee applied topically to the skin? You’ve undoubtedly heard of caffeine eye creams and body scrubs. Well, the reason they are so popular is for the instant results. Caffeine applied to the skin dehydrates things like cellulite or puffiness to show shocking results. But, there are mostly temporary without any long-term effects.

So is coffee good for your skin? It can be. But, it is up to you whether or not you choose to forego your morning joe. If you can’t let go, just try to keep it under four cups a day.