Do Certain Ingredients Actually Pep You Up?

An expert weighs in.

Caitlin M.
ByCaitlin M.

We've all seen them—products that promise to wake you up from your morning stupor with a zingy scent. If you're anything like us, you're pretty sure nothing aside from a venti cup of Joe is going to do that. But, we got to thinking. Do those energizing beauty products really pep you up? From body washes to facial sprays, energizing beauty products are everywhere. But do they work? We decided to ask a top dermatologist.

What they claim: Most beauty products that boast energizing properties come in the form of body wash, facial sprays, and facial products such as cleansers or eye creams. The claim is pretty simple: the ingredients within these products help give an invigorating boost to the senses and sometimes even a boost of blood flow to the skin. 

Do they work: In short, kind of! According to Dr. Hadley King, dermatologist at SKINNEY Medspa in New York City, products with aromatherapy scents such as peppermint, camphor, menthol, and citrus can all be invigorating. So, it's really the ingredients' effects on the senses that can give the perk up effect.

As many beauty lovers know, peppermint and menthol have a cooling effect and often clear the sinuses, giving you that awake feeling when use or smell them. Camphor is a more woody scent that can have decongestant properties that make you feel cleared up and refreshed. Lastly, citrus is known in the essential oil world to be a mood lifter and even a stress reducer. 

Now, when it comes to products that can actually make you look more awake, caffeine is typically the ingredient on most labels. "Caffeine as a topical ingredient can decrease puffiness and increase the absorption of other ingredients," explains Dr. King. It is a vasoconstrictor and has the ability to constrict the tiny blood vessels near the surface of the skin, making you appear less red and puffy. 

So bottom line, you just might feel a bit more awake thanks to some of your beauty products. Although, adding a little coffee into the mix never hurts.

What to buy:

Derm pick: Neocutis Lumiere Bio-Restorative Eye Cream With Psp ($97)

Neocutis Lumiere Bio-Restorative Eye Cream With Psp

Dr. King loves that this eye cream contains caffeine to help decrease puffiness, giving you a more firm awake look.

Influenster pick: Origins GinZing Energy-Boosting Moisturizer ($27.50)

Origins GinZing Energy-Boosting Moisturizer

A top pick among Influensters, users love this for it's bold, radiance boosting panax ginseng and coffee bean ingredients.


Editor pick: Avène Thermal Spring Water ($8)

avene thermal spray

This facial mist is great for on-the-go pick-me-ups and for calming. With thermal water as a star ingredient, this mist reduces dullness all while soothing skin.

What is your favorite product that helps wake you up in the morning? Share with us below.

About the Author
Caitlin M.
Caitlin M.
Runner. Music lover. All things nachos. Follow me on Instagram: @caitlinsmiller