BUT FIRST: Coffee. Our beloved coffee. We are massive fans of the caffeinated beverage here at Clean Beauty Co (Americano with warm oat milk from Prufrock, since you asked) and what we love most is the fact that our beloved morning drink is just so darn versatile, it also doubles up as a very effective beauty ingredient. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last few years, you’ll have noticed that the coffee scrub has secured a firm spot on the average blogger’s shelfie. Spearheaded by the likes of Frank and Optiat, the benefits of coffee on the skin are now widely accepted and people no longer think you’re bonkers for jumping into the shower with your cafetiere. And whilst they’re widely available to buy from the shop shelf, it’s actually super easy to make your own. Not only do you get to personalise to your skin type/scent preference, you can also opt to recycle your used coffee grinds which will also make you a bit of an eco-warrior in the process.
We’ve got a great recipe below but, before you head off to stick the kettle on, shall we just recap on why coffee is so great in skincare?
- Firstly, it’s an incredibly gentle abrasive exfoliator. That sounds like a paradox but what it basically means is it works to exfoliate abrasively but the grains are small and smooth, so don’t irritate or tear the skin (like salt or sugar may do, for example). It breaks down protein that holds together dead skin cells, loosening them up to make way for new, fresh skin.
- Coffee is a diuretic which means it’s able to assist in drawing out impurities and working on areas of water retention or cellulite.
- The caffeine in coffee helps to perk skin and stimulate circulation, in turn causing a temporary plumping effect that smooths over lumps, bumps, cellulite and areas of uneven skin tone. This makes it great to use ahead of the summer (i.e bikini season) on any areas that you wanna smooth out a little.
- It smells really great in the shower in the morning (but also makes A LOT of mess. Remember to rinse down the bath after use).
- Roughly 3-1 ratio of coffee to oil, depending on how much you want to make at a time. If you’re using used coffee grinds, they’ve been introduced to water which means they’ll only stay fresh for a couple of days. If you’re using dry coffee from the packet, you can store in a jar and it’ll last a couple of weeks. In this case, we’ll use 6 tablespoons of used coffee.
- A third of the amount of coffee of an oil of your choice, depending on how dry your skin is. We love coconut oil or olive oil for drier skin types or sweet almond or grape seed for oilier skin types. In this case, we’ll use 2 tablespoons of oil.
- A choice of essential oil. Lavender, grapefruit, tangerine, peppermint or geranium all work really well and add a bit of depth to the coffee smell. Use 1 drop for every measure of oil.
Combine the oil and coffee and stir well. Add essential oil and stir again. Use immediately if used ground, or store in airtight jar if dry coffee.
You can also throw in some pink himalayan sea salt for a super detoxifying scrub!