Used coffee grounds for skin, hair and more

Have you ever noticed that caffeine appears in the ingredients of many beauty products that are supposed to shrink something? Creams that are supposed to reduce cellulite or shrink bags under eyes often contain it. And in my experience, it does make a slight noticeable difference – temporarily. You have to keep using it to keep up the effect, and sadly many of these products are ludicrously expensive.

Used coffee grounds for skin, hair and more

Fortunately, there’s a much cheaper option that makes use of something you probably already have around your home: used coffee grounds. In fact, grounds have a few potential uses in your beauty routine.

Used coffee grounds as beauty treatments

Note: in all the uses that involve applying coffee to skin, you can simply apply cooled, used coffee grounds to your skin. Many people choose to add the grounds to a moisturizer or other ingredients simply because the grounds dry out eventually and will stick on better if there’s something else moist in the mix, or because those ingredients have additional healthy properties.


You can just mix a little bit of used coffee grounds in with your usual liquid facial cleanser to get some exfoliating action. You can also mix up a larger batch, but be aware coffee grounds will spoil after a few weeks and most of us probably only need to exfoliate once or twice a week. I prefer to keep my grounds from the day before and add them to the cleanser as needed. You can also add sugar or salt to your mixes, if you like.

Another option is to simply rub the damp coffee grounds over the skin you’re exfoliating. This is probably the simplest method, and it’s great for when you’re on the road, providing you’re able to get coffee grounds (say, at a motel that provides a pot so you can brew your own coffee).

This recipe works with regular or decaf coffee, since either will remove dead skin cells. Additionally, coffee can provide anti-bacterial cleansing and constrict blood vessels to minimize puffiness and sagging skin.

Face mask

In addition to the benefits of coffee mentioned in the “Exfoliating” section, coffee (again, regular or decaf) minimizes redness. This makes it a great ingredient in a face mask. Mix some coffee grounds with yogurt, honey or an egg white – or just your favorite moisturizer – and apply it to your face. Let it sit for about fifteen minutes, and then remove it with warm water.

For puffy eyes

Just apply cooled, used coffee grounds around your eyes and sit back and relax for twenty minutes before washing them off. If this is too messy for you, wrap the grounds in a paper towel, dampen it, and apply that to your eyes, gently pressing it so it’s applied to every bit of your skin.

Cellulite treatment

Like I said above, your used coffee grounds (regular only in this case) will make the same slight but noticeable difference to your cellulite that any expensive cream will. The way to apply it is simple: mix a small amount of used caffeinated grounds with your moisturizer or some Vitamin E or olive oil  and rub the mixture on your skin in the areas where you have cellulite. At first, this may seem gross because the grounds will stick to your skin. But once the oil dries, they’ll rub right off gently. I recommend that you do this right before showering, but don’t wash the grounds down the shower drain. It could cause clogging or plumbing issues over time. Just wipe the grounds off and step into the shower.

For brunettes

Coffee (regular or decaf) is acidic, so it gets rid of product buildup on your hair. Unfortunately, it also adds a little bit of color, so this trick isn’t suitable for lighter hair colors. For dark hair, not only will it clarify, it will also add shine and depth to the color. Add a couple of tablespoons of grounds to your shampoo and wash your hair like normal: this will get rid of product and alter your color about the same as shampoos and conditioners designed to enhance dark hair color do.

If you’re just interested in enhancing the color, you can pour a cup of extremely strong, cooled coffee over your dry hair. Cover your hair with a shower cap or towel (a towel will stain, though) for about twenty minutes. Rinse the mix off with warm water. Do this between shampoos, because shampooing will reduce the effect.


  1. mirian says

    Yes now with the remady for the face can I use the coffee grounds that wase already brewed or just the fresh one that hasent been brewed

      • Mary says

        I’ve used both fresh and brewed grounds. The fresh grounds last a lot longer and give an even greater scrub. I keep my brewed scrubs in the fridge..they feel great when used. I like the fact that I don’t have to trash my grounds anymore.

    • SnappyLiving says

      That’s something I’ve tried hard to research, but not had much luck on, being a decaf drinker myself. I’m going to tentatively say yes, based on Wikipedia stating that both regular and decaf coffee have diuretic/laxative qualities, and the same antioxidants. Since those would be the main benefits of regular coffee, and they seem to be in decaf, too, then I’m guessing decaf would do your skin/hair as much good as regular.

      I have used decaf grounds on puffy eyes, and it seemed to work (though often my puffy eyes improve on their own, so it’s hard to be sure). I’ve also used it as a cellulite treatment, and I saw a very small but visible difference – then again, that’s all I ever saw using an expensive cream with caffeine in it.

      I think the real answer is that no one knows for sure! But if you drink decaf, it’s worth trying. Let me know what happens.

  2. Carley says

    I just started using brewed coffee grains on my face, neck, hands, stomach, thighs and legs and it works wonders for me! Just do it every morning after you wake up to get all of the dead skin and bacteria out of your pores from when you were sleeping. Also I wash my face with my husbands face wash first then apply the brewed coffee grains all over then after I’m done in the shower I apply 10% benzoyl peroxide to my face because I have acne proned skin. Since I’ve been doing this routine every morning my skin has looked and felt so much cleaner. I had very oily skin as well and it takes the shine away to.

      • SnappyLiving says

        No, it depends on your skin type. If you’re sensitive, once or twice a week is probably plenty. If you feel like you need more exfoliation than that, then daily is okay. For some people, only once or twice a month would even be good.

  3. says

    I used coffee grounds for my face today and wow! It really helped get rid of my old, dry skin that a horrible name brand acne treatment did to me. it made my skin so soft and it’s still soft! I am going to try coffee grounds for my hair tomorrow and hope I get great results.

  4. Helene says

    Today I tried the coffee ground facial and in addition to a smooth face it gave me a nice glow that got rid of that pasty wintery look.

  5. jennifer says

    I have rough skin on the lower parts of my face and I use a facial scrub but it only softens it for a short amount of time. Would the facial treatment described above minimize the appearance of my pores and is it safe to use the mask everyday? I generally have rough and oily skin but I don’t have any acne issues.

  6. Britt says

    Now that it’s winter my skin has been flaking horribly and been driving me crazy. I have to use a harsh cream due to my acne prone skin and was trying to find ways to get the dead skin off! Last night before I went to bed I opened up a K-Cup and just used a dime size of coffee grounds mixed with a little bit of water and gently rubbed it on my skin in circular motions. I then rinsed it off and put a layer of coconut oil and let it sit on my face for a few minutes, rinsed that off and then applied my acne cream. I could believe that all the dead skin was off! Today at worked everyone kept telling me that my face looked glowing :) I’m really excited I found this remedy and will probably use the grounds to exfoliate a couple times a week.

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