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Coffee is good for your skin, or that’s what the person who sold me this $20 bag of coconut oil and spent coffee grounds calling it an “exfoliant scrub” told me anyway. Sure it’s expensive, scratchy, and turns my shower into an oversized French press by clogging the drain, but at least I get to smell like coffee. And if anyone calls me on my aroma I can tell them it’s just my skincare routine.

But coffee’s effects on your skin goes deeper than its ability to effectively peel off your epidermis. A new study finds that coffee helps protect against melanoma.

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Soon to be published in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention, the new meta-study is the product of cancer researchers led by Cristina Fortes, PhD at the Istituto Dermopatico dell’Immacolata in Rome. For their findings, the researchers reviewed a total of 18 cohort studies concerning the efficacy of “anti-inflammatory foods and food components” on skin cancer prevention. Containing nearly 2.5 million participants in total, the studies examined the effects of foods like fruits, vegetables, coffee, tea, as well as food components “vitamin D, vitamin A, folic acid, niacin, vitamin C, omega-3 fatty acids, and carotenoids (β-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and lycopene).”

Of the 18 total cohort studies, coffee was considered in seven of them, with six of those finding a protective effect, particularly when the coffee consumed is caffeinated. And in fact, coffee was the only food item or component studied that had such an effect.

The only anti-inflammatory food item that was consistently associated with a protective effect for cutaneous was coffee in particular caffeinated coffee.

This good news is particularly timely as the summer months begin to roll in and with them—hopefully, please dear lord hear the humble cries from my indoor confinement—come more outdoor adventures in dog day heat. Stocking up on sunscreen is always a good idea, but if you wanna add a little internal skin protection to the external, grab another cup of coffee, SPF v60.

Zac Cadwalader is the managing editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.

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