Retrospectacle: A Neuroscience Blog


Yes, someone tested out the caffeine soap and blogged the results!

Seems like he felt a bit of a buzz, however whether its caffeine or a bit of the placebo effect, well who can say.

I jumped into the shower and lathered up with the Shower Shock. Now, in addition to containing roughly 2400mg of caffeine, each bar is also heavily loaded with peppermint oil. Not long after lathering up, I got the feeling that not only had I just gone for a brisk stroll in the peppermint rain through the peppermint forest of the children’s board game “Candyland,” but while walking through the forest I had tripped over a peppermint tree root, fell into a peppermint mud puddle, slid down the slopes of peppermint hill through the peppermint grass, and landed in the peppermint pond.

Wanting to give my skin the maximum possible exposure to the beneficial effects of the soap, I soaped myself up and let the lather sit for a few minutes on a few areas of my body, including my big, bald head. I performed the rest of my daily ablutions, dried off, got dressed, and prepared to leave for work. In addition to feeling the effects of the peppermint oil in the soap, I also fancied I felt a bit more alert. Upon arriving in the office at 8:30, I felt perky enough to avoid the coffee maker for about a half-hour, a notable change from my usual habit of making a beeline to the kitchen upon arrival. I still downed most of my usual ration of coffee, but it seemed to me the soap had made a difference, giving me a small–yet significant–start on my daily fix.


  1. #1 Kate Lee
    April 24, 2007

    Minty soap is good enough for waking up without the caffeine! My roommates and I are pretty much addicted to that all-over skin-tingling minty sensation.

  2. #2 Ahcuah
    April 24, 2007

    Is there any evidence that caffeine can be absorbed through the skin in any reasonable dosage? The skin is actually pretty impermeable to most stuff (though I do realize that things like nicotine patches work, but they deliver small doses, and I imagine require a pretty good solvent to get in).

  3. #3 Shelley
    April 24, 2007

    In the other post on the caffeine soap, I posted an explanation in the comments….or more like, a link to a pdf that discusses it a bit.

    Nicotine is absorbed in the skin too without a solvent….people with parrots have the be careful to wash their hands beofre holding their bird else you’ll else up with a feathered nicotine freak!

    Nicotine patches are a different story though: they use the solvent DMSO to deliver the drug in a controlled way.

  4. #4 j.k.
    April 24, 2007

    To add another anecdotal data point: I tried a bar of caffeine soap for a month or so until it was used up, but I couldn’t notice any significant effect.

  5. #5 Ahcuah
    April 25, 2007


    Thanks for the pointer back to the pdf.

  6. #6 mollishka
    April 28, 2007

    When it comes to tights, at least, the caffeine-through-skin is supposedly for reducing fat, not for increasing perkiness. I wonder if we could convince this guy to do another product testing?

  7. #7 kalii2
    December 1, 2007

    You’re supposed to bathe with it? aaaaaaaaaagh!
    Now how in the hell am I supposed to get the soapy mess out of my coffee maker…….

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