There’s always a lot of chatter on the interwebs about the benefits of using coffee on your skin, so I won’t add to that noise. I’m not presenting any scientific analysis proving that coffee scrubs will prevent pimples or smooth cellulite or pay your mortgage (DAMMIT). But anecdotally, I can tell you that when I started using this a few years ago, it made my skin feel like a dream. And it still does. But let me share a few of the other benefits with you:
- It makes your shower (and your body) smell like a cappuccino, in the most divine way. The sugary, coconutty, coffee + vanilla combo makes me drool and is really uplifting and invigorating.
- You can rub it onto your face, body and into your hair.
- Because I use natural sunscreen, I find it’s harder to wash off with normal face-wash, so a good facial scrub once a week keeps my skin fresh and prevents a product build-up.
- It makes for an EXCELLENT, inexpensive and thoughtful gift, and you can even pretty-it-up (as pictured). Here, I’ve used some recycled wrapping paper and string to decorate.
- It is a LOW-WASTE and sustainable alternative to buying more plastic-wrapped beauty products
- It is much better for the environment: using organic ingredients to get a good scrub without hurting our oceans. Think about what is going down the drain when you are using chemical-laden beauty products. Especially because most facial and body scrubs contain plastic microbeads, which NEVER BREAK DOWN and end up in our oceans, poisoning our marine life and humans, too.
- It takes about five minutes to make, and all of the ingredients can be sourced for very little (to no) cost.
HOW DO I MAKE IT?
½ cup coffee grounds*
¾ cup raw sugar
Pinch of vanilla**
¾ cup coconut or macadamia oil***
Recycled glass jar****
In a bowl, mix all the raw ingredients until they form a paste, and then pour into the glass jar. Voila!
If you don’t think the consistency is quite right, add a little more oil (if it’s too dry), or a little more sugar and/or coffee (if it seems too wet).
WHAT DO I DO WITH IT?
- Jump in the bath or shower and wash as you would normally wash.
- Rub the scrub generously into your face, body or hair, or wherever you want it. And go easy, Tiger! Gently does it. Let the coffee and sugar do the heavy lifting here.
- If rubbing onto your face, use gentle, circular motions and avoid the delicate under-eye area(!!!)
- Leave the coffee-scrub on your skin/hair for a minute or two after rubbing it on.
- If you’ve rubbed into your hair, once you rinse off the excess, do a couple of thorough shampoos and follow with conditioner, or follow your normal wash routine.
- For your body, just rinse off the product and shave anything you want to shave.
- If washing your face, try not to turn your face up into the hot shower water. Instead, gently splash water onto your face to remove the scrub, or gently absorb the excess scrub with a wash-cloth.
- NB. At this point, your skin might feel really oily. That’s ok! It may be a hard sensation to get used to, but trust me, that oil is hydrating AND nourishing AND protecting AND just locking in all that goodness. Because of this, I gently pat-down with a clean towel to dry, rather than rubbing.
- Follow with any facial serums/oils you’re using, then a good quality moisturiser, if you like – whatever works. I like to slather a huge dollop of restorative balm on my lips before I go to sleep as well.
- Wake up feeling soft and fresh!
- If you accidentally swallow some of the scrub, that’s fine! It’s practically just tiramisu anyway, right? Unless you’re #sugarfree, in which case, rinse your mouth out immediately and seek some emergency advice from Sarah Wilson.
- Despite common opinion, putting (the right kind of) oil on your skin won’t make you pimply. Trust me. Read more about that here and here and here.
- I like to use the coffee scrub at night, as that way my skin has extra time to be nourished and repaired while I get my Zzzzs. However, the morning is fine too, and if you have a big function or event, it can be great to do first thing, before putting on your face, because it makes make-up sit well on your skin and gives you that perfect little glow.
- Between uses, the oil will usually separate a little bit on top in the jar. That’s completely normal, just give it a stir with your finger to reform the paste consistency.
- I use the scrub once per week. You could probably use it twice per week (or every 3-4 days), but be careful not to overdo it. Your delicate little skin cells need some time to repair and superfluous scrubbing will be counterproductive.
- I keep mine in my shower caddy so it’s always ready to go. When the jar runs out, I just wash it and make another batch. If it’s sitting in the shower too long (i.e. many months), the jar lid may start to rust. So, make smaller batches more often, rather than big jumbo batches, unless you like to lather it on hefty handfuls at a time.
- You can D.I.Y lip-scrubs too! Just use some restorative oils, raw sugar and a couple of drops of essential oils (I like mandarin or lime) and if you happen to have spare takeaway sauce container lying around, they are the perfect size for storing these. #reuse
SOME NOTES ON THE INGREDIENTS…
* Before you buy coffee grounds, check your local café! They throw out heaps of the good brown stuff every day, and although it’s no longer useful for making hot beverages, it is ideal for your scrub. I get bags of used organic coffee grounds from a café nearby my house. It’s free and low-waste. Double whammy! Fun fact: if you grow your own veggies, it also makes an incredible addition to fertiliser, especially for mushrooms.
** Skip the ‘pinch of vanilla’ and instead, make your own vanilla sugar! Just put one whole vanilla pod inside a jar (or sealable Tupperware container), fill with raw sugar and store like that. Over time, the sugar absorbs the vanilla and it has the most beautiful taste and smell. Also amazing to use for baking. Another double whammy!
*** In my humble opinion, coconut oil is best (because it smells like YUM and is so soothing on the skin), but it is only liquid if kept above 23 degrees Celsius. This can make it a bit hard and unmanageable in the colder months. During this time, I use macadamia oil instead, which is also quite nourishing. I buy this from my local bulk grocer. If you’re feeling extra rich and fancy, other oils to mix in to your scrub could include: jojoba, avocado, sweet almond, evening primrose, rosehip, etc.
**** Best jar for this is a recycled 300g salsa jar! You know, the ones that look like this. They are wide enough to get your hand in, yet hold a decent amount of scrub and slot nicely into most shower caddies. If you see them next to the nachos at a party, ask the host if you can take it when the salsa is done. Just wash them thoroughly, then rinse with some vinegar, then wash again to rid them of the salsa smell and any residue before using.
ONE LAST THING…
I need to stress – this is all based on my opinion/experience. We are all delicate little creatures made up very differently. So, if you are worried or unsure, listen to your body.