After years of drinking coffee to get yourself ready for work, to enjoy an afternoon with friends or read a good book; it's time to explore the possibility of a quiet DIY spa day with your favorite coffee scrub.
Reuse and recycle your coffee grinds to make an excellent exfoliant, mask and body scrub. The brewing process removes a substantial amount of caffeine and other healthy chlorogenic acids from the coffee, but is not a perfect extraction, leaving much behind.
These left-over coffee grinds have natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that can rejuvenate and refresh your skin. The coarse nature of coffee grinds means that it can be used as an exfoliant and can lead to a brighter skin complexion, reduction in fine wrinkles and puffy eyes.
Note: We recommend using coffee grinds that are relatively fresh - store them in your fridge in an air-tight container for up to a day. Leaving moist coffee grounds in open air will gradually lead to mould and bacteria growth on the coffee grounds.
Coffee Scrub Benefits
Coffee is full of anti-oxidants, and chlorogenic acids that help improve your skin.
The texture of ground coffee can also act as an exfoliant, removing dead skin cells that rejuvenates your skin. The exfoliating process also boosts circulation to your face, stimulating your body's repair process.
Q: do I need to use organic coffee?
No! A little known fact about coffee is that there's no difference between organic and non-organic roasted coffee from a health standpoint. The roasting process is done at such a high temperature that no pesticides, herbicides or harsh chemicals remain after roasting.
Organically grown coffees have actually been shown to develop less fully on the tree, due to receiving less nutrients than their non-organic counter-parts. This means they're typically less flavorful, and contain fewer of the chlorogenic acids that you want.
Because of this, we recommend not using organic coffee.
Q: what other ingredients go into a scrub?
While coffee has some oils on its own, it's common to build the base of the scrub with another oil to provide balance.
Common ingredients include:
- coconut oil
- himalyan salt
- vitamin e (from sunflower)
Homemade Coffee Scrub
Time needed: 20 minutes.
How to make your own DIY coffee scrub
- Choose a coffee
You'll want to use something fresh roasted, and fresh ground, to maximize the levels of non-oxidized chlorogenic acids
- Combine with coconut oil
You can also use olive oil, or avocado oil
- Leave on for 7-10 minutes
Give the mixture time to seep into your skin, delivering nutrients and absorbing toxins
- Rinse thoroughly
Remove the coffee scrub with lukewarm water, and pat dry
For best results, make sure to moisture after
Here are some variations on the coffee scrub, for more specific uses:
Coffee Hair Treatment
Using coffee as a hair treatment can bring vitality and shimmer to any brunette who is in between hair colors.
- 2 cups of cold brew coffee
Shampoo your hair, as usual, squeeze out excess water and work your cold brew coffee through the roots to the ends. You don't need to use actual cold coffee for this - simply follow a cold brew coffee recipe and let the coffee you're using warm up to room temperature. Place a shower cap over your hair and wait twenty minutes. Rinse out with warm water.
Coffee Scrub for Cellulite
This coffee versus cellulite scrub will change the way you shower every morning. Caffeine dehydrates fatty cells resulting in the smoother skin where cellulite used to be.
- 0.5 cup coffee
- One tsp coconut oil
- 1/4 cup vitamin E oil
Mix ingredients, rub thoroughly for 2-5 minutes on dry skin before showering. Skip the coconut oil if it disagrees with your skin.
Full Body Coffee Scrub
This body scrub will help eliminate unwanted oils from the body and leave your skin smooth and invigorated. The fantastic thing about coffee is that it contains its own fats and fibers, which will prevent it from pulling too much oil from your skin and causing your body to overcompensate and produce more. For everyday use and sensitive skin, use a fine grind.
- 1 cup coarse grind coffee
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup of coconut oil
Mix together until blended. Warm up the coconut oil slightly if it is too solid. Place in an air tight container. Use after washing with soap and water. Adding a little peppermint extract here will help your skin feel fresh and renewed, and probably make you thirsty for a peppermint mocha.
Coffee Face Mask
Eliminate toxins on your skin with this soothing coffee mask.
- 1 tbs of fine ground coffee
- 2 tbs of yogurt
- 1 tbs honey
An espresso grind or turkish ground coffee is best for this - the smaller grinds will spread more evenly on your face. Mix together and apply a light coat to your face and neck. Leave on for 5-10 minutes, gently remove with a warm damp towel or in the shower.
Coffee Face Exfoliant
This exfoliant will make your skin smooth, hydrated and clean. As the coffee removes dead skin cells, olive oil will hydrate your skin and honey acts as an antibacterial.
- Mix half a cup of ground coffee
- 0.5 tsp of honey
- 1 tsp of olive oil
You can use anything from a drip coffee grind or a french press grind (both coarse) to a turkish or espresso grind (finer) for this one, depending on your preference. Mix together until you have a thick paste, to change the consistency use more or less of the olive oil. Substitute the olive oil for coconut or almond oil. Rub gently onto a cleansed face and wash or shower off.
Healthiest Coffees for Scrubs
Generally speaking, the healthiest coffees will be those that are grown at high altitudes, which slows the growing process and allows more time for the tree to feed vital nutrients to the beans. The most common of these typically include Ethiopia, Kenya, Costa Rica and Peru.
When it comes to roast, a medium or light roast will be better for you than a dark or espresso roast. Roasting doesn't affect the caffeine content significantly (less than 5% variance between a light and dark roast), however it does affect the concentration of the organic compounds that make the coffee healthy.
Whether or not to use an organic coffee is a matter of marketing preference. When creating a product to sell, the Organic certification may allow you to differentiate yourself and mark up prices. But organic certified coffee is not at all healthier than non-organic coffee after it has been roasted.
Coffee roasting occurs at temperatures above 350 degrees Fahrenheit - far above the 150-200 degree temperature where pesticides and herbicides are incinerated and destroyed. What the organic certifications do allow you to do is show that you care about the way the coffee is grown by farmers in the countries they come from - paying a slight premium and making the planet a healthier place by reducing chemical use.
When making a coffee scrub at home, skip the overpriced marketing hoopla and buy regular coffee.
Cocoa Face and Body Scrubs
Much like coffee grounds, ground cocoa (cacao) can also be used, or partially substituted into the recipes above. Both beans are grown in similar tropical climates, in rich soils that absorb nutrients that can be beneficial for your skin. While coffee's primary stimulant is caffeine, cocoa actually contains a different compound known as theobromine that acts slightly different but is loved world-wide. Cocoa beans can be found as nibs, ground into a powder or as a paste (cocoa butter). We recommend finding a specialty supplier for cocoa products rather than picking it up from a grocery or bulk food stores.