Coffee Isn’t Just for Waking up Anymore

In most people's minds, coffee immediately conjures images of that dark beverage whose aroma presumably greeted them this morning. Nonetheless, coffee is much more than that for some. It's quickly become a go-to beauty hack for people looking to enhance their appearance.

In recent years, coffee scrubs have emerged as a staple in the beauty care world. Instagram users in 2015 may recall the @Frank_bod universe account. The Australian company's Instagram profile featured models covered in coffee grounds alongside slogans like “you have to get dirty before you get clean.” Seven years later, coffee scrubs are still popular. Over thirty million people have recently seen videos on TikTok that reference coffee scrubs. And other direct-to-consumer brands are growing in this market.

A case in point is the Mcaffeine scrub. Over the past five years, there has been a 99X rise in searches for this particular brand. This caffeine scrub pack generates roughly $120K monthly on Amazon. Sloughing your body off its dead skin cells is more popular than ever.

According to Dr. HariKiran Cheruki, a licensed skin specialist, cosmetic surgeon, and the medical head of ClinicSpots, the widespread use of coffee scrubs is because they can be prepared with components already present in most kitchens.

Benefits of Coffee Scrubs

Of course, the skin advantages of coffee scrubs, when used topically, also have a lot to do with their popularity. Cheruki claims that coffee's anti-inflammatory qualities make it ideal for calming skin irritation. As a bonus, it has a plethora of antioxidants and minerals that can help defend the skin against free radical damage. Caffeine's natural alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) properties make it a fantastic supplement to any skincare routine because it exfoliates the skin and lowers sebum (excess oil) production.

He adds that coffee can help to treat skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema. Because the caffeine in coffee has proven to speed up the skin's cell turnover, using it topically can lessen skin irritability and redness. This suggests that old, dead skin cells shed more quickly, and young, healthy cells can develop at the same pace.

Beth Goldstein is a Mohs Surgeon at Central Dermatology Center. She remarks that components of coffee grounds have proven to have benefits such as reducing ultraviolet radiation (UVB) induced damage, vascular issues, especially in the under-eye area, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and contain robust antioxidants. Additional properties include the ability to reduce the breakdown of elastin and collagen.

However, she notes that scrubs versus leave-on products have not been studied extensively. Therefore claims for these effects must be considered. According to Goldstein, those with oily skin and comedonal acne (blackheads) may be the best candidates for using this type of skin care regimen.

 Possible Downsides

Cheruki acknowledges that some drawbacks are inevitable with most skincare products. Caution is therefore needed when using coffee scrubs due to their high caffeine content. He recommends using a small amount of coffee and diluting the product with water for sensitive skin. “To avoid irritation, it's crucial to ensure that all coffee grounds are removed from the skin after application, he says. “Use a facial scrub brush to remove the coffee grounds from your skin. If you have hyper-sensitive skin, it might be worth using a gentler facial scrub.”

Cheruki warns that individuals new to coffee scrubs may discover that these products leave their skin somewhat dry and flaky and suggests applying a moisturizing mask following the coffee scrub to prevent this. According to him, applying coffee grounds as a face mask might help calm the skin. To remove excess oils and clean your pores, he advises combining honey and coffee grounds and applying them to your face for 10 to 15 minutes.

He also suggests using a hydrating face mask immediately after using a coffee scrub and applying a nourishing face cream right before bed to maximize the effects of coffee scrubs. This helps to lock up moisture and stop the skin from feeling dry and flaky.

Due to the potentially damaging effects of many commercial scrubs on the skin, the cosmetic surgeon advises utilizing natural ingredients when making coffee scrubs. He says that a coffee scrub made with ingredients like coffee, sugar, and oat, will be quite efficient in removing any dead skin cells.

As for storage, “keeping coffee scrub in an airtight container prevents the coffee grounds from drawing dust and bacteria,” Cheruki says.

Why So Much Love for Exfoliating Scrubs?

Coffee scrubs are an example of an exfoliating scrub. Beauty enthusiasts find ways and methods to rid dead skin from the use of salt to sugar, and even charcoal sponges. Some popular exfoliating scrubs include Dead sea salt scrubsHimalayan salt scrubs, and Tea tree oil scrubs. Similar to coffee scrubs, exfoliating scrub videos have recently received over 715 million views on TikTok.

“Personally,” Vitalijs Osipenko, a lifestyle blogger and full-time beauty content creator, says about his preference for scrubs: “I enjoy beauty scrubs because they usually offer an amazing sensorial experience and offer me a chance to show my body and my skin some extra love.”

Besides sloughing away the dead skin cells, he notes that scrubs prep his skin for his post-shower body care routine, which includes using body serums, body oils, and body butter in his case. “In all honesty, not everyone enjoys the idea of mechanical or physical exfoliation on their face. As a blogger and beauty enthusiast, I am not one of them,” he says.

Because of the harshness of face scrubs on the face and the tendency for them to create micro-tears compromising the skin barrier, Osipenko says he prefers to use chemical exfoliants on his face as they are a gentler option for him.

Scrubs generally have the advantage of allowing you to customize the components they include. Even though you can experiment with different mixtures, it never hurts to consult a dermatologist before committing to any one combination, especially if you are unclear about how specific components will affect your skin.

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This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.


Amaka Chukwuma is a freelance content writer with a BA in linguistics. As a result of her insatiable curiosity, she writes in various B2C and B2B niches. Her favorite subject matter, however, is in the financial, health, and technological niches. She has contributed to publications like ButtonwoodTree and FinanceBuzz in the past. In addition to ghostwriting for brands like Welovenocode, Noah and Zoey, and Ohcleo, amongst others.  You can connect with her on Linkedin and Twitter.