Coffee . . . what can I say, it is one of my absolute favorite things. Every morning, I look forward to my cup of joe with just a little cream. The scent, the rich taste, the caffeine . . . it’s all just so satisfying. I am also lucky because my husband is a coffee roaster, so I get really great beans freshly roasted for my morning cup.
So of course, with my obsession, I like to try to integrate one of my favorite botanicals into my skincare routine. Coffee is a botanical, you say? Yep, it is a seed from a cherry that grows on a bush, so coffee is technically an herbal tea. . . yes, I'm a plant dork, lol #plantsforpresident
Coffee is great for the skin for a few different reasons:
1. First, the obvious, its caffeine content. Caffeine helps constrict blood vessels and is a diuretic. This means it helps reduce bloating, temporarily reduces the appearance of cellulite, and helps fade dark eye circles.
2. Coffee has also shown to reduce inflammation, which is great if you are struggling with any kind of inflammatory skin issues.
3. Ground coffee also makes a great exfoliant which removes dead skin cells and can help improve circulation.
Ready to add a little coffee to your skincare routine? A coffee scrub is a great way to go. This is especially useful in the summer before going out in shorts or to the beach. A coffee scrub will leave your skin smooth and silky, but also help temporarily reduce the appearance of cellulite. The great news is a coffee scrub is super easy to make at home, and it’s kind of fun too!
You will need:
1/2 cup of ground coffee
1/2 cup of fine sugar or sea salt
½ cup olive oil (for better texture, you can do ¼ cup olive oil + ¼ cup coconut oil instead)
Optional: Add 15 drops of essential oil (don’t use phototoxic oils – I recommend this blend: 6 drops cinnamon leaf, 3 drops peppermint, 6 drops of sweet orange)
Optional: Add 3 TBSP of coconut milk powder (for added creaminess and skin hydration)
A jar to store the scrub
Step 1 - Grind Coffee
To make the coffee scrub, first grind your coffee beans. I recommend grinding the beans fine, as coffee is pretty hard so if you grind it too coarse it might not feel so great. I use my husband’s coffee which is the best! (can you tell I am a little bias?)
Step 2 - Mix coffee with other dry ingredients
Add sugar or salt to coffee grounds. (Sugar is softer and contains glycolic acid a chemical exfoliant. Salt is coarser and full of minerals that help improve skin barrier function – either or both will work).
If you are using coconut milk powder, mix it in with the coffee grounds as well.
Step 3 - Mix in the oil(s)
If you want to use coconut oil, mix the two oils together. If the coconut oil is hard, you will need to gently melt it in a saucepan on the stove. You will want to double boil, so add water to the saucepan. Put coconut oil in a Pyrex measuring cup and place in cup in the saucepan. Heat the water, carefully removing the measuring cup when the coconut oil is soft enough to blend with the olive oil. You want to avoid over heating the coconut oil as this destroys a lot of beneficial components that coconut oil offers.
Mix olive oil (or olive + coconut oip blend once it is cool, but not hard) with the essential oils.
Add oil blend to coffee grounds and mix thoroughly.
Step 4 - Store in jar and label
You can use the scrub in the shower by massaging on your legs, feet, arms and hands. I don’t recommend this scrub for the face.
I really love a coffee scrub, but sometimes it can get a little messy in the shower. If you are looking for an alternative, you can try our coffee + cream exfoliating soap, which is a coffee scrub soap bar. We make this soap with a certified organic and fair trade Sumatra which is grown and processed by a women’s coop. And of course, freshly roasted by my husband (Solidarity Roasters).
photos and writing by Dominique Caron