Coffee can be found in a variety of beauty products including face creams, eye gels, body lotions, and scrubs, just to name a few. With the current craze of caffeine, it’s no wonder Pop Beauty’s Face Magnet Primer ($26, amazon.com) includes this hot ingredient. Claiming the energy boost from the caffeine and even skin tone from licorice root, I wanted to test this product out.
Primer is a product used to create a smooth base for your skin, allowing makeup to stay in place better. Many forms of silicones, including cyclopentasiloxane and dimethicone, are found in primers as they create an even surface for the application of foundation. The ingredients in primers provide a barrier on the skin that can help stop impurities from getting into pores.
Caffeine Makes Things Tight
Caffeine works on skin in the three primary ways: as a vasoconstrictor (may help to reduce puffiness and dark circles caused by vasodilation), an antioxidant (fighting future signs of aging), and a diuretic (making the skin temporarily appear smoother).
Caffeine constricts small vessels, which help to minimize inflammation and helps to temporarily reduce puffiness (Health Central). According to Leslie Baumann, M.D. topical caffeinated skin products can be a lifesaver for those who suffer from Rosacea – which is caused by dilated blood vessels who lose their ability to contract — as facial flushing is minimized (Dr. Leslie Baumann, M.D.).
As scientists have proved, caffeine carries antioxidant benefits. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition performed a study that found a serving of coffee held more antioxidants than a serving of several fruits, including oranges and blueberries (Health Central). Antioxidants offer protection from free radicals, which uses UV rays, pollution and other environmental factors to damage the skin, causing various signs of aging, including fine lines, wrinkles, skin discoloration and uneven texture (Lancer Dermatology).
In addition, research suggests that both oral and topical caffeine may offer mighty anticarcinogenic benefits, demonstrated by a series of studies performed on mice found that caffeinated green and black teas prevented sun damage and even repaired damage once it occurred, whereas decaffeinated teas did not (Carcinogenesis).
As a diuretic, caffeine dehydrates the skin cells, making the skin appear smoother and tighter. With dehydration comes dryness — caffeine used in skin care products may dry out your skin. In order to compensate for the dryness, you may need to use a daily moisturizer before application of the primer.
Licorice Root Evens Out Skin Tone
Licorice root is a frequently used for combatting Rosacea, a flushing and redness of the skin. The main element of licorice is glycyrrhizinate and has been proven to be anti-inflammatory as well as a moisturizer (Science of Food and Agriculture).
In addition, licorice is known for preventing further hyper-pigmentation. Studies have shown skin brightening results from licorice as it prohibits the production of tyrosinase, which is the enzyme that triggers your cells to produce melanin, preventing spots from forming (Today).
As the licorice root helps to brighten dark spots over time as those spots begin to fade. After about a month, the dark spots become closer to your normal skin tone, evening out the skin tone.
In a study of 20 women aged 18 to 40 years with bilateral, symmetrical idiopathic epidermal hyperpigmentation (a pigmentary disorder), liquiritin cream was applied on one side of the face and a vehicle cream on the other side twice daily for four weeks. The intensity of the pigmentation was reduced in the liquiritin-treated subjects — 90% of these treated subjects showed at least a 75% reduction in lesion size. In contrast, reduction in pigmentary intensity was seen in only 10% of the subjects treated with placebo vehicle (International Journal of Dermatology).
Zinc Oxide Protects from UV Rays
As it is listed as the second ingredient, Zinc Oxide makes up a large part of the formula of this primer. Zinc Oxide is a physical sunscreen, which blocks the sun from entering your skin — unlike a chemical sunscreen, which happens as a chemical process in your skin. As a physical sunscreen, it is transparent in normal light, demonstrating its frequent use in skincare products, including this primer.
Zinc oxide is a better sunscreen than a similar physical sunscreen – titanium oxide. This happens because UVA and UVB rays are separated into longer UVA (UV-aging) and shorter UVB (UV-burning), and zinc oxide blocks a significantly longer portion of UVA rays (Skin Pharmacology and Physiology. The inclusion of Zinc Oxide in this formula adds an extra layer of sunscreen protection.
Personal Use and Opinion
Pop Beauty’s Face Magnet Primer is a sheer primer that has a light baby powder scent with a touch of coffee. It is not an overwhelming or strong scent and dissipates quickly. The primer is thick, so I used more than a coin size amount (which was instructed) to spread it evenly. Because of its thickness, it provides smooth coverage and sets a great base for foundation. I applied a powder foundation over the primer, which created a silky finish, and found that it stayed in place all day!
The next day, I noticed my skin was more dry than usual. I typically apply moisturizer before primer in the morning and at night before bed. I followed this routine while using the primer. Although this cannot be attributed solely to the primer (it is winter and the cold is definitely harsh on your skin!), I definitely noticed a difference in my skin. The dryness could be attributed to eh caffeine of the primer.
The caffeine found in this primer helps to smooth the skin, reduce puffiness with antioxidant effects for fighting free radicals. In addition, the anti-inflammatory and soothing properties of the licorice root may help to brighten and even out skin tone. The Zinc Oxide found in this primer adds protection against the sun.
Pop Beauty’s Face Magnet Primer offers thick, smooth surface for the application of foundation, which will stay in place all day. For the purpose of this product, the primer does its job while adding benefits due to the caffeine, licorice root, and zinc oxide. The licorice root may contribute to the brightening of skin over time. This primer is a great choice for those who suffer from Rosacea or other skin conditions that cause redness, drying, or inflammation.