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6 Reasons You Should Exfoliate Your Skin With Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds on your skin? It sounds a little unconventional, but it’s a skincare trick worth trying. As a rich source of antioxidants and nutrients, coffee grounds can be used to exfoliate the skin, stimulate blood flow and balance pH levels, all while increasing the absorption of your entire skincare routine. And that leaves you with velvety, glowing skin. Next, we take a closer look at six reasons to exfoliate your skin with coffee grounds.

Benefits of coffee grounds scrub

High source of antioxidants

Coffee is a powerhouse of antioxidants, which are our skin’s personal bodyguards that protect us from free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that can damage the skin’s cells and are often responsible for premature aging signs. Coffee contains antioxidants like chlorogenic acid and polyphenols, which provide the skin with a layer of defense against the damaging effects of those unstable molecules.

Better still, studies show caffeine can penetrate the skin and deliver all those nutrients and antioxidants where they’re needed. However, it’s not clear how much of these nutrients can our skin actually absorb when we exfoliate with coffee grounds. Of course, spent coffee grounds have skincare benefits and leave freshly exfoliated skin more open to absorbing nutrients. However, coffee extract is much more potent than what’s left behind in your filter, and it’ll give you the best results.

Gently removes dead cells

The texture of coffee grounds makes them a worthy exfoliant. They gently eliminate dead skin cells without causing abrasion or irritation. While coffee ground scrubs don’t work as intensely as chemical exfoliants to refine the skin, they do a pretty good job of encouraging the regeneration of new cells and promoting clear and smoother skin.

Just one thing, though. Don’t use them on your facial skin. While coffee grounds are more gentle compared to other scrubs, all scrubs can be a bit too much for the delicate facial skin. They might cause micro tears in the facial skin, which is, as it sounds, pretty bad. So just leave them for your body, where the skin is thicker and can handle scrubs better.

Promotes blood circulation

The stimulant properties of caffeine in coffee are proven to increase blood flow to the skin. Improved blood circulation means more oxygen and nutrients are delivered to the skin, which aids in cell regeneration and healing, giving the skin a healthy, natural glow.

Reduces inflammation 

In addition to being a good source of antioxidants, coffee beans contain polyphenols and hydrocinnamic acid, two compounds that can soothe redness, reduce puffiness, and relieve skin inflammation. 

Balances pH levels

The acidic nature of coffee works great for maintaining the skin’s pH balance. Balanced pH levels mean the skin’s protective barrier, the acid mantle, is intact and can effectively fight bacteria and viruses.

Reduces cellulite

The caffeine in coffee is diuretic, meaning it reduces fluids in the body and dehydrates fatty cells, which is what reduces cellulite. While it does reduce the appearance of cellulite to some extent, it doesn’t eliminate it completely, as the American Academy of Dermatology states.

How to use coffee ground scrubs

  • You can either directly rub the coffee grounds on the skin before rinsing it off in the shower or mix them with a small amount of water or oil to create a paste.
  • Gently massage it onto your body skin in a circular motion.
  • Pay special attention to areas of your skin that are prone to dryness or roughness.
  • Rinse the paste off your skin with warm water.
  • Apply a body cream to your skin after exfoliating.
  • Don’t use coffee grounds on your facial skin as it can be too abrasive and cause micro tears. One time won’t harm you, but it’s best to avoid it altogether.

Expert insight

If you have sensitive or acne-prone skin, it’s better to mix the coffee grounds with honey, as it makes the scrub feel softer. Also, make sure to use a hydrating cream afterward. And my favorite trick involves ice cubes. Whenever I need a skincare boost, I rub a coffee ice cube on my face. It instantly makes my skin look fresh, rested, and firm.

The takeaway

How about this? Next time you’re done with your coffee, instead of tossing those grounds, why not use them as a scrub? But here’s the key—easy does it. Going to town with coffee ground scrubs can mess with your skin’s natural barrier. Sticking to once a week is your golden ticket!

Who wrote this?
Picture of Ana Vasilescu
Ana Vasilescu
Ana Vasilescu is the founder of Women's Concepts and a certified skincare consultant. She has over five years of experience working in the beauty editorial industry and over a decade as an acne sufferer. With a background in dermatological research, Ana brings a wealth of expertise to a diverse range of topics, from buzzy ingredients to anti-aging and acne advice. She holds a BA in Sociology and Political Sciences. Find her on LinkedIn or Instagram.
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