I just wrote my introduction a moment ago — in a nutshell i don\'t have arrhythmia but may need a pacemaker as a result of heart surgery that I\'m considering. But for my condition, caffeine is disastrous on my heart, so I can certainly vouch for the fact that caffeine can have a dramatic impact on how the heart works….for some people, at least.
I also work for a cosmetic company and I can\'t tell you everything you need to know about caffeine in skin products, but I can dispel some myths about cosmetic ingredients:
Myth #1: The manufacturers of skin care products have done research on all the ingredients and fully understand all their effects on humans. FALSE — the only research they have done, is a) is the ingredient legal, b) are people getting sued over it, and c) will it make my product more marketable. Oh, and what will it cost, but see Myth #2:
Myth #2: If it\'s on the ingredient list, then the concentration is significant. FALSE — we often put ingredients in the formula at what\'s called a \"claim amount\" — so small that it probably has no impact on the product, but it shows up in the ingredient list — i.e. just there for marketing purposes. Caffeine is definitely one of those ingredients that MAY exist only at a claim amount. Ingredients are listed in order of weight percent, down to 2% or 1% (depending on what markets they sell into). All the ingredients below that magic 2 or 1% can then be listed in any order. Most cosmetic and beauty products have several ingredients above 2%…I can\'t say for sure, but ours typically have 4-8 ingredients above the threshold and then a large number of ingredients (usually more than half) at below the threshold. So caffeine could appear about 1/3 down the list and still not have a significant amount. Shocking, I know!
Myth #3: Caffeine on the skin is the same as drinking it. FALSE – your skin can absorb caffeine into the bloodstream, although the amount is debatable; what few legitimate studies have been conducted suggest that it isn\'t very much. Interestingly, caffeine may have lots of benefits that don\'t have anything to do with its stimulant effects…studies show that it may kill some cancer-causing cells and that\'s why some sunscreens include it. One researcher found that the amount one would have to use topically, in order to have the same efficacy on the skin as drinking coffee, would an enormous amount. One could argue that for someone who can\'t drink coffee and get the skin benefits would actually be the best candidate to use in a lotion because that\'s the only safe way to deliver it to the skin. And that\'s an example of how complex the question of ingredients in skin products can be. (see myth #4)
Myth #4: If a lot of websites say an ingredient is good or bad, then it\'s probably true. FALSE – there is an entire industry based on people with no scientific data making science-y sounding claims — they write articles that appear in major new sources, host blog sites, speak at consumer product forums, have Youtube videos, etc.. If you want to know if a product meets certain claims (moisturizing, color improving, non-greasy, etc.) those websites might of LIMITED usefulness — look for negative reviews to balance the positive ones. But if you want to know something that only scientific research can tell you, STAY AWAY from those websites. They need to quote research studies to talk about scientific stuff. I am frequently HORRIFIED with flatly false statements these people routinely say about ingredients — both good and bad — using \"science\" to support their statements, but having no real science behind it. A funny example is one blogger who said sulfates are harmful but sulPHates (with a \"ph\" instead of an \"f\") are completely safe. The actual truth is that British typically spell it with the PH and Americans use an F — they are the same thing!
My personal opinion is that if you don\'t drink caffeine, and therefore don\'t have any tollerance built up, that any skin care product that cause you to absorb enough caffeine to affect your heart would probably cause you to stay awake at night. If you found that on nights after using the product were consistently more sleepless than nights not using the product, that might be convincing that the product could be dangerous. But I doubt that vast majority of products that use caffeine would actually cause that.
Well, sorry that was so long — I\'ve never written that out before! Hope it helps!