There has always been plenty of debate on whether or not coffee is good for you, and different studies will tell you different things. While I feel so much healthier since I stopped drinking coffee, the main reason and thing that has kept me away from caffeine these past six months is an unexpected reason: my skin.
Our middle school and early high school years are an awkward stage for us all, but luckily puberty didn't hit me that badly. I always loved my skin and myself. I would watch my friends struggle over their bodies and complexion. They would cycle through diets, dermatologist skincare recommendations, and medications. While I did have my share of self-conscious moments, I wouldn't say this was ever too much of an issue for me.
Throughout high school, I struggled with a minor monthly breakout here and there. I would be a little bothered by this, but it was nothing a tiny bit of concealer couldn't fix, and it was the type of imperfection I noticed more than anyone else. This all changed senior year.
I started to break out on my forehead and chin more than ever, and at first, I was in denial about it. Eventually, I realized that it was getting worse and although it wasn't that bad, I was still bothered by it. I'd look back at pictures from the year before and feel like I "glowed down" instead of up. I used to cover my face with concealer and using Snapchat filters was a must, but just the texture of my skin made me self conscious and feel worse about myself than I should've.
Towards the end of senior year, I thought maybe it would get better, and that it could be a seasonal thing. In the past, my skin would always be extra radiant and clear in the summer. But when the weather got warmer and I didn't see a change, I told my mom I wanted to see a dermatologist. She told me to try over the counter acne products before I get something prescribed as if I had not been carefully attempting to care for my skin for the past year. But I did a lot more reading, and everything suggested cutting various things out of your diet.
Most people said the culprit for them was milk, but as all my friends know (and make fun of me for) I've always drank a lot of milk, and with any and every meal. Others said to drink a lot of water, something I had started consciously doing recently, so I knew there had to be something more. And then one day I realized that the only thing significant in my diet that changed around the time that my skin changed was that I became an avid coffee drinker.
I was full on addicted to caffeine, and deciding to stop drinking coffee was such a hard decision but loving my skin was more important to me than my love and need for coffee, so I made up my mind that I would stop that summer. Waking up for the gym and work and having energy was really difficult at first as you can imagine, and as someone that enjoys her caffeine in any form from lattes to cappuccinos to straight black, I was often craving my coffee. The start of college proved to be even more of a challenge, but my newly clear skin is the only thing keeping me from going back to my multiple coffees a day. Not to be dramatic, but if I never had a drop of caffeine again in my life, and my skin remained this clear, I think I'd be okay with that.