Saving Your Skin: Coffee Sugar Scrubs
I love body scrubs
Now I love face and body scrubs; they have an amazing way of making your skin feel so much more clean and refreshed than when you wash it normally. Usually a nice lemony-citrus scrub is my favourite for a bit of a perk up while a sensual vanilla does great to wind me down after a stressful day. But sometimes your skin just needs something a bit stronger for a pick-me-up and that's where this delicious coffee sugar scrub comes in.
Coffee, friend or foe?
There's a bit of a debate out there as to whether coffee is good for you or not. The coffee itself is well-regarded across the board thanks to the boatload of antioxidants it contains. The caffeine on the other hand has a bit of a mixed reputation; personally it's the main reason I drink it but others may wish to avoid it wherever possible. In this case however, we're not going to drink it and the evidence out there says that it's not going to be absorbed into the bloodstream through the skin so even if you have a caffeine sensitivity of any kind, this scrub should be fine for you. If you're in any doubt, check with your doctor first.
The benefits of coffee on the skin
All in all, coffee is amazing on your skin; it's reputed that a coffee body scrubs can combat cellulite by increasing the blood flow, help to brighten the skin and even protect against skin cancer (it's thought that the caffeine inhibits the UV damage response in the skin but do your own research on that one!)
There's lots of people who claim it leaves their skin looking younger; this is because of both antioxidants from the coffee and also because it's a known diuretic meaning that it will help cells to remove water, shrinking the skin cells. From the outside this appears as your skin getting tighter! Not to mention it makes a great exfoliator, especially when combined with sugar (or salt).
What we'll need
For this coffee face and body scrub we'll be using coconut oil, olive oil, ground coffee and brown sugar but feel free to use white sugar or salt if you prefer it. You'd even get away with just using olive oil if coconut is too hard to find but I love it for it's antibacterial (think anti-acne) properties. The one thing you shouldn't sub out is the coffee, instant coffee is likely to dissolve on your skin straight away in the shower and, aside from soaked tea leaves perhaps, you'd be hard pressed to find anything else with enough caffeine to get the same effects as ground coffee will.
I'm using fresh coffee in this recipe but if you're wondering if you can recycle your used coffee grounds into this recipe then the answer is YES, just remember there will be fewer antioxidants and less caffeine in the finished scrub and you should only make a one-use batch from them to avoid mould growing on the moisture from the grounds. In this recipe there is no water, therefore no mould.
There's only four ingredients; this is for a tester pot to see what you think before making a bulk batch, just double up the ingredient amounts a few times when you come to make more of it :-)
- 1tbps Coconut Oil
- 2tbps Olive Oil
- 2tbsp Brown Sugar
- 4tbsp Ground Coffee
How to make coffee scrub
Melt your Coconut Oil first, 30-60 seconds in the microwave should do it.
Next, add in the Olive Oil and stir.
Now add your sugar and coffee and mix it all up, pour in a cute little pot or jar and you're good to go!
How to use coffee sugar scrub
I'd say this tester amount would last as a face scrub for a fair few uses and maybe two-three times as a body scrub (depending on how much your like to use). Simply apply it to your skin in the shower (shut the water off first to avoid washing it off) and massage it around to remove the old skin cells. When making larger batches you can increase the amount of sugar in relation to the coffee and if you want a more solid scrub then feel free to go half and half on the Coconut and Olive oils.
I've kept this scrub indefinitely for up to four months although it doesn't usually last that long! The Coconut oil is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal while sugar was traditionally used as a preservative so I can't see this going off anytime soon unless water gets in it, but I'd throw any excess out after six months maybe just to be on the safe side.
It's also a great idea to give your coffee scrub away as gifts! They went down a treat last Christmas, still I'm pretty sure that almost anything in a cute, tiny jar will make a good present, there's just something about them! You can use little labels to personalise them either by hand or you could make a template and print some out. The jars can be ordered from Amazon pretty cheaply or there may be a local store near you where you can get some, at this size they're not expensive.
One thing to note however is that you should avoid exfoliating every day as it can lead to skin dryness and damage, remember that you're essentially scraping the old skin layer off with scrubs and if there's no dead skin to scrape you'll just be damaging the healthy layers! For those with oily or even normal skin you can probably handle it up to three times a week whereas if you have dry skin you'd be better off sticking to once or twice. If you find this recipe too rough on your skin you can make a smoother version by leaving the sugar out or by using finer sugar types (think icing sugar).
A final word of warning, use the coffee scrub in the shower and not in the bath! Ground coffee doesn't dissolve like instant does so you'd end up sitting on a pile of grit, not the most comfortable sensation. On the other hand it would leach out into the bathwater so you'd really be taking a bath in a giant cup of coffee, at least your skin would benefit even if you wouldn't get very clean.
The results are definitely worth seeing for yourself, whip a batch up and watch your skin transform!
What do you think?
What do you think of coffee body scrubs?
How did it work for you? Perhaps you've changed the recipe to make it your own? Or is there something I've missed out here? Share it with us in the comments below!