Looking for a delicious, uber-healthy cup of kopi luwak? Try Pure today.
There’s a reason places like Indonesia have incorporated coffee scrubs into their spa treatments for so long: coffee grounds are extremely good for the skin. As we’ll discuss below, coffee scrubs not only make your skin look fresher and better today, but they also aid in the long-term repair and strengthening processes of your skin.
At the same time, there are a few intricacies you need to be aware of in creating your coffee scrub. The most important of these is the type of coffee you use, since every type of coffee has a different chemical makeup. Read on to learn the best type of coffee for your skin, and where you can get your hands on some.
The Top Three Coffee Scrub Benefits
Benefit #1: Coffee Scrubs Are Full Of Antioxidants
As we show in our post on the health benefits of kopi luwak, coffee is packed full of antioxidants, which help your body to eliminate toxins both when you drink the coffee and when you use the grounds as a coffee scrub. Antioxidants fight free radicals, the highly chemically reactive oxygen molecules that we don’t want floating around in our bodies. Without going into the chemistry of free radicals, there’s a simple rule you probably already know: the more antioxidants you can get, the better.
One particularly interesting antioxidant present in coffee is chlorogenic acid (CGA), which lowers blood pressure and acts as an anti-inflammatory when ingested. When antioxidants like CGA and others are applied topically instead, they also fight sun spots, premature skin aging (wrinkles), unwanted fine lines in the skin, and even reduce dark spots under and around the eyes.
That said, these disease-fighting antioxidants aren’t only good for the skin and the internal organ systems—they’re also great for the hair, too! If you have any coffee scrub left over, rub it into your hair for softer hair, stronger hair follicles, a natural shine and protection against hair loss. We recommend doing this in the shower, or it might get quite messy.
Benefit #2: Coffee Scrubs Exfoliate The Skin
Coffee grounds are a mechanical exfoliant, meaning they use friction and abrasion to exfoliate the skin (this is in contrast to a chemical exfoliant, which achieves the same effect using its unique chemistry rather than friction). When you scrub your skin with coffee, you’ll remove the dry, dead skin and reveal the smooth, healthy, glowing skin underneath. Exfoliating is effective both in the short-term and the long-term: you’ll notice its effects immediately, and your new, clean skin will work more efficiently in expelling toxins moving ahead. That’s why experts say exfoliation doesn’t only have aesthetic benefits, but it has functional benefits for the skin and body, too.
Benefit #3: Coffee Scrubs Fight Cellulite
A 2015 study published in the Annals of Dermatology examined the effects of a topical cream made of water-soluble caffeine and xanthenes, an organic compound, on the treatment of cellulite. When xanthenes alone were used (without caffeine), only 10% of subjects reported a decrease in cellulite over a 12-week period; when caffeine was introduced, though, 86% of subjects reported a decrease in cellulite in just 6 weeks. This occurs because caffeine firms and tightens the skin, giving it a smooth, even tone.
However, this effect is only temporary—if you’re looking for the cure-all for cellulite, this isn’t it. Using a coffee scrub one time will not get rid of your cellulite for life. If you do a coffee scrub once a week, though, then you’ll notice some significant differences.
Additional Benefits Of Coffee Scrubs
- Improves circulation and blood flow
- Skin appears more uniform and radiant
- Skin feels softer and smoother
- Stretch marks, including stretch marks resulting from weight loss or pregnancy, are drastically reduced
The Importance Of Natural Coffee Scrubs
Our skin absorbs a great deal of what it’s exposed to—that’s how things like antioxidants work, after all. While no one can give an exact number of how much something will be absorbed into the skin—that depends on dozens of variables like skin temperature, length of time exposed to the substance, concentration of the substance, and what part of your body is exposed, since every area of the body absorbs substances at different rates—it’s sufficient to know that some of what you put on your skin will be absorbed, and some will not. Of course, that means we all want to know what we’re putting on our skin.
Being afraid is bad. Being aware is good.
Three Bonus Kopi Luwak Coffee Scrub Benefits
Kopi luwak is a rare type of coffee that has all of the core health benefits of coffee—the antioxidants, the protection against diabetes and other diseases, the exfoliating properties, among others—and has plenty of additional health benefits of its own. What’s great about kopi luwak is that those health benefits don’t end when you finish drinking the coffee: they persist and make for a much healthier coffee scrub, too.
Bonus Benefit #1: Stronger, Healthier Skin
One example is kopi luwak’s significantly heightened level of citric acid, an organic compound found in citrus fruits that the body loves. Citric acid is added to a wide array of cosmetics because it’s an antioxidant that’s excellent at removing dead skin cells and exfoliating the skin. This study showed that citric acid lotion also made the skin thicker and stronger, two key indicators of bodily health.
Bonus Benefit #2: Great For Sensitive Skin
Coffee scrubs are an amazing way to rejuvenate your skin, but for those of us with sensitive skin, it can sometimes feel like too much. Fortunately, kopi luwak has significantly elevated levels of malic acid relative to other types of coffee, the organic compound found naturally in fruits like blackberries, blueberries and cherries. Malic acid is less irritating on the skin than other similar compounds, making a kopi luwak coffee scrub the ideal choice for sensitive skin.
Bonus Benefit #3: Double The Exfoliation
Remember how we said a coffee scrub is a mechanical exfoliant? Well, when you scrub with kopi luwak, it’s actually a chemical exfoliant, too, since citric and malic acid are both excellent chemical exfoliants. Don’t let the word “chemical” turn you off here—these are completely organic compounds only called “chemical” exfoliants because they leverage their unique, organic chemistry to do even more good for your skin.
Think of the two types of exfoliation like washing a ketchup stain out of your shirt. You can either run the shirt under the tap and scrub it with your hands (mechanical exfoliation), or you can wash it out using some soap (chemical exfoliation). There are virtues to both methods, and when you apply them together in your kopi luwak coffee scrub, they pack a seriously powerful punch.
What To Add To Your Coffee Scrub
Aside from coffee grounds, what should you add to your coffee scrub? As little as possible! People will tell you you should include a thousand different things in your coffee scrub: Himalayan salt, grapefruit, yogurt, cinnamon, mint, vanilla—the list goes on. There are plenty of people debating both sides of each of those additions, but until there’s more conclusive evidence, we prefer to use just two ingredients and keep ours as simple as possible.
Ingredient 1: Kopi Luwak Coffee Grounds
You can’t make a coffee scrub without coffee grounds! And as we explained above, kopi luwak has even more good stuff in it than regular coffee, making it an excellent choice for our coffee scrub. You can get kopi luwak here.
Ingredient 2: The Oil Of Your Choice
Oils moisturize and hydrate our skin. They fight bacteria and are rich in essential vitamins. Some oils, like olive oil and coconut oil, are antioxidants, which leave our skin smoother, healthier, and stronger than before. And oils are a perfect match for coffee scrubs, since they make it so much easier to apply the coffee grounds to our face and body.
We like using either coconut oil or olive oil in our coffee scrubs, though most natural oils will work. If you only have grapeseed oil or almond oil in the kitchen, use one of those instead. As you become more experienced with coffee scrubs, you’ll learn which oils work the best for your skin.
Kopi Luwak Coffee Grounds + The Oil Of Your Choice = A Reliably Good Coffee Scrub
How To Make A Coffee Scrub
Makes 2 face scrubs
- 4 tablespoons kopi luwak coffee grounds
2 tablespoons of the oil of your choice
- Bowl or jar
- Small spoon
Step 1: Prepare
Put your kopi luwak coffee grounds in a bowl or jar. “Fluff” them up with your spoon so that they aren’t sticky or clumped. I normally use about two tablespoons in a single face scrub, though your mileage may vary.
Step 2: Mix & Adjust
Add your oil to the grounds and mix them thoroughly, ensuring no coffee grounds are left dry. The consistency you’re aiming for is somewhere around crunchy peanut butter. In other words, the mixture should be soft enough that you could spread it on toast if you wanted to, but not so runny that it falls off right away when you apply it to your face. If you think it’s too thick or too thin, add a bit more coffee grounds or oil until you get it right.
Pro Tip: If your coconut oil is solid, slowly warm it up in the microwave on low power and then wait for it to return to room temperature before mixing it with your kopi luwak.
Pro Tip #2: If you have oily skin, you may want to use honey (or a 50/50 mix of oil and honey) instead of just oil. Just like oil, honey is packed with antioxidants, and it will keep your skin dry and fresh rather than adding more oil than you want.
Step 3: Apply
The fun begins! Dip the small spoon into your mixture and drop it into the palm of your non-dominant hand. Ru the fingers of your dominant hand under the tap and, taking small amounts at a time, rub the coffee scrub onto your face in circular motions. The key here is to be firm yet loving—if you want healthy skin, you need to be gentle with it. Rub softer around the eyes, where the skin is thinner and more delicate.
A note on quantity: if you’re using more than a large grape’s worth of coffee scrub in one go, odds are you’re using too much (or are dropping a lot into the sink). You really don’t need much to give your face a good scrub.
Step 4: Wait
Once you’ve applied the scrub to the entire face, it’s time to wait. There’s no magic number here—some people recommend 5 minutes, while others say 30—so we suggest waiting until it’s mostly dry. Small pieces of the scrub may fall off while you’re waiting, so you may want to put a towel under your face (such as on your lap) to catch those stray fragments.
Step 5: Rinse
Rinsing off your scrub gives you one last chance to soak up the wonderful benefits of kopi luwak, so take full advantage. As you rinse the scub off, either over the sink or in the shower, softly rub in the same circular pattern as when you first applied it. This infuses the skin with the antioxidants in the scrub, which your body will thank you for. Your skin should feel fresh, hydrated and smooth.
Step 6: Store
Though we only made a small batch, your coffee scrub will last months. Many people like to keep it in a jar next to the bathroom sink, though you can also keep it in the fridge if you prefer. If you’ve been saving your kopi luwak grounds for a while, feel free to make a bigger batch and use it over the next number of weeks or months.
How Often Should I Use A Coffee Scrub?
Dermatologists and other experts agree that using a facial scrub every day is overkill and can lead to sensitive skin or breakouts. Instead, the sweet spot is about 2-3 times per week, or about every 3 days. Keep in mind that coffee scrubs are not one of those things that “get worse before they get better.” If your skin reacts negatively to the coffee scrub—whether that’s via a rash, discomfort, excessive redness, sensitivity, or anything else—either change your mixture or stop. Forcing your way through a coffee scrub is the wrong way to do it.
Can I Use My Coffee Scrub On The Rest Of My Body?
Yes! If that’s your plan, we recommend doing it outside or somewhere you don’t mind getting a bit dirty, since some of the coffee grounds will fall off your skin as the mixture dries. Shower off when you’re done and relish in how silky smooth your body feels.
Pro Tip: Pay particular attention to your knees, your elbows and your heels, three places that are notoriously dry and could use some love.
Looking for a delicious, uber-healthy cup of kopi luwak? Try Pure today.