We all know a Starbucks can be crucial for stimulating a sleepy brain (thanks to its caffeinated powers), but ever considered a coffee bean’s numerous benefits to the skin? For one, it’s abrasive nature is known for epic exfoliating qualities and the ability to reduce the appearance of bumpy cellulite patches when used in polishes and scrubs. But it turns out this little bean does a whole lot more, like rev up circulation, ward off fine lines and wrinkles – even revive a lackluster complexion.
According to Nyakio skincare founder Nyakio Grieco (who grew up on her grandmother’s coffee farm in Kenya), “coffee beans are incredibly nutritious for your skin since they’re packed with antioxidants, which help fight free radicals that can cause premature aging.” They also increase blood flow by breaking up blood vessels, which in turn “reduces the appearance of puffiness and inflammation, while diminishing redness,” she adds.
Good to know, considering we’ve got a bag o’ beans in the cabinet right now. And since you don’t have to drop tons of dough to reap the rewards of this seed, its DIY possibilities are even more intriguing to us. Read on for the rest of coffee’s awesome uses and for the deets on coffee-style beauty treatments.
Why coffee beans are awesome:
Not only are they a brilliant de-sloughing agent (for your bod and your scalp), but coffee beans are also known to have a calming effect on the senses and can improve acne and dark circles. “Coffee also helps the skin to retain moisture and stay hydrated,” says Grieco.
How coffee helps with cellulite:
Consider coffee beans your inexpensive BFF for revitalizing skin tone and texture – and smoothing out dimply skin and cellulite. Simply massage a coffee scrub three times a week on your thighs, calves, stomach, back of your arms, and décolleté and rub in circular motions. (See our DIY below, or for a ready-to-use remedy, try Nyakio Kenyan Coffee Body Scrub, $35.)
How coffee calms the brain:
If you wake up craving coffee before you can even get your eyes open, there’s technically a scientific reason for that. “Most people don’t realize the smell of coffee actually calms the brain,” says Trina Felber, CEO of Primal Life Organics and author of Beauty’s Dirty Secret: 3 Simple Steps To Super Power Your Skin. “Using Primal Life Organic Coffee Bean Face Serum, $70, in the morning not only perks up your skin, but it will keep your brain calm before you drink your caffeinated brew.”
How coffee helps with puffiness
“The caffeine in natural coffee bean oil also helps to calm the skin and tissue from overnight pillow puffiness,” explains Felber. Who knew the secret to looking fresh-faced (and crease-free) was coffee on the skin instead of down our throats? Felber is also quick to point out that coffee bean oil is packed with essential fatty acids, which help build natural collagen and elastin for more youthful-looking skin. And it re-balances the skin’s pH. Superfood with super powers, this little bean.
How coffee helps with dark circles and UV damage
“Caffeine ingested is just as powerful as caffeine applied topically,” says Sienna Creasy, spa director for Playa Hotels & Resorts “and caffeine in coffee has an anti-inflammatory effect that when added to skin care products will tighten and tone, reduce dark circles, minimize fine lines, and lessen the appearance of UV damage.” But before you run to the store and head straight for the coffee aisle, know your beans. Creasy suggests using beans with the highest caffeine component. “Light-roasted coffee beans have more caffeine, as the darker beans are roasted longer, and some caffeine is burned off,” she says.
DIY Coffee Treatments
Sienna Creasy, spa director for Playa Hotels & Resorts, gave us her top DIYs:
For oily skin:
Combine ½ cup group coffee, ¼ cup cold-pressed coconut oil, and one drop of your favorite essential oil. Oily skin desires exfoliation and hydration, by combining the granular coffee and coconut oil, this coffee scrub will remove dry skin and replenish with coconut oil. The essential oil will provide you with an aromatherapy benefit.
For aging skin:
Begin with the scrub for oily skin (mentioned above) and after the scrub has been rinsed off, apply ¼ cup coffee oil to the entire body, using strong circular motions to assist the stimulation of blood flow. Use drops of the coffee oil under the eyes and place iced cucumbers on the eyes for added benefits. If you do not have coffee oil, brew your coffee at home then chill in the fridge. Once chilled, combine with shea butter lotion.
For flaky skin:
Combine ½ cup coffee, ¼ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup sea salt for a stronger physical exfoliant, and ¼ cup of pure coconut oil to assist in cellular turnover. This scrub needs to be a bit dryer to lift more of the flaky skin. You can also use dried coffee to assist in exfoliating a flaky scalp.
Combine coffee body scrub with strong circular massage motions followed by a cold water rinse. Then massage a warm coffee oil or coffee-infused shea butter lotion followed by a heat compress. Leave on for about 20 minutes until compress is cool, then remove and soak in cold water to tighten and tone with your caffeine boost.
Let us know what other beauty ingredients you want us to decode and DIY with next, in the comments below.