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.
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.
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.
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.
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.