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A Cup o’ Joe: DIY Facial Scrub

The following article was written by PETA intern Sofia Hueter.

Many of us are accustomed to the daily ritual of guzzling cup after cup of coffee to stay awake because it is so ingrained in our society that habitually drinking something with caffeine in it every few hours is the best way to fight fatigue. Caffeine does, in fact, help to ward off our lingering morning drowsiness, but drinking coffee, though often delicious and enjoyable, is not the only way to get the caffeine fix that your body craves.

Did you know that your body can absorb caffeine through the skin? Although the exact concentrations of caffeine that can permeate the layers of your skin is still being researched, scientists do agree that, even if soaking your body with coffee doesn’t deliver the same kick that several cups of coffee do, it can provide you with a nice energy boost.

In addition to giving you a pick-me-up, coffee has other benefits. For example, it can be used as a wonderful skin exfoliant. If you have ever used products such as apricot scrubs, sea salt scrubs, or oatmeal scrubs, you probably have a good idea about what an exfoliating scrub should do for your skin. Exfoliating scrubs incorporate a coarse ingredient, generally something gritty or grainy, that is intended to slough off dead surface skin and reveal a new layer of youthful, healthy skin underneath. However, many store-bought skin products don’t always work as well as we’d like them to, and they often include unnecessary ingredients such as animal-derived products. But with this easy, cruelty-free, and natural vegan coffee scrub, you can make your own!

Cup O’ Joe Facial Scrub
4 Tbsp. olive oil
6 Tbsp. coffee grounds*
Container for finished product

  • Mix the coffee grounds and olive oil. (If you’d like to make more or less, the ratio is 3 tablespoons of coffee for every 2 tablespoons of olive oil.) The scrub should look like a coarse mud when finished.

*Note: The coffee grounds should be very fine because you will be rubbing them onto your skin. Put the grounds through a coffee grinder two times if you need to.

The coffee will exfoliate your skin while the olive oil provides a good source of moisture to keep your skin soft and hydrated. You can store your coffee scrub in the refrigerator if you prefer, but it will stay fresh for several weeks at room temperature.

To use, simply take a small dollop of the coffee and olive oil mixture and gently scrub it onto your skin. Then rinse completely with water.

Do you have any cruelty-free beauty secrets or at-home skin remedies? Tell me about them in the comments below!

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  • Donna Jo says:

    Try instant coffee! It’s made to dissolve so it turns into a gritty paste. Be careful in she shower, it gets slippery!

  • Vanessa-C says:

    @Brenna: I’ve only used fresh grinds, but I suppose you could try the used ones. If you try, let us know how it goes! 🙂

  • Brenna says:

    Can you re-use used coffee grinds, or is fresh best?

  • chander kumar soni says:

    so delicious way to get beauty.

  • Giovanna says:

    I use cucumber for my face two times a week, I blend the cucumber and then use it as a moisturizer, leave it on my face for a few minutes and then rinse, the skin looks and feels fresh and clean!!!

  • Mimi says:

    When I have a blemish on my face I mix lemon juice and salt together makes a paste and apply it for 15 minutes. Sometimes I add in some guacamole-I do this once a day for a couple days and the redness fades. My skin type is Olive and I rarely ever get sun burned…If your skin is very sensitive may want to try a very tiny amount first. It has always worked for me…

  • Terri says:

    why not use coconut oil instead of olive oil?

  • Day spa in Brisbane says:

    Wow! This is a great tip. Coffee gives freshness to our skin and also make our brain activity. Thanks for great tip of safe and natural product.

  • Drita says:

    This works wonderful for the skin
    Im getting so many compliments on my complexion

    I use twice a week. Moisturize daily, ,it also helps
    Redness and irritation.

  • paula says:

    How often could you use the scrub? I have sensitive skin and redness in my cheeks is this going to irritate my skin??

  • Heather says:

    Coffee beans has more caffeine than any other consumed natural plants. The beans are ground and treated with hot water to release the caffeine, and as a cellulite treatment coffee grounds are a great cheap and effective solution.

    For a great cellulite treatment obtain warm grounds, make sure that they were not in water for too long or burned, if those conditions exist there will be very little caffeine in the coffee grounds to use. You need ¼ to ½ of a cup of the grounds and a little olive oil, a loofah mitt (optional) and some plastic wrap. Mix the coffee grounds into the olive oil until the grounds are throughly saturated.

    Using your hands or the loofah mitt (if you choose a loofah buy an extra one because it will get gritty), massage the coffee grounds olive oil mixture directly to the cellulite-affected area, moving hands in a circular motion. After applied thoroughly, use the plastic wrap and wrap it around area of application, firmly but not tightly. After ten to fifteen minutes remove wrap and coffee grounds then wash treated areas with warm water to remove olive oil residue.

  • indulgeincoffee says:

    It is always great to hear more ways to use coffee. I have sensitive skin and so the grounds can sometimes irritate my skin or can even cause tiny cuts in the skin. What I do is use a pack of instant coffee infused with ganoderma and I make a paste with honey and olive oil. After I wash my face with ganoderma soap I apply this paste and then wipe of with a warm towel after about 5 to ten minutes. I then rinse with warm then cold water.

  • Plants Are People Too says:

    Plants are living as well as the animals you don’t want to kill. They just don’t have mouths to scream. Learn your biology.

  • MedeCure says:

    This is great invention i think the research will get some positive results. Coffee aroma gives freshness and make our brain active. I hope the face pack of Coffee will be launch soon LOL

  • Coach Crystal says:

    Adding coarse sugar and a fragrance make the scrub nice, too. Perhaps a drop of real vanilla extract. 🙂

  • Natural Handcrafted Soap says:

    I agree Coffee is good for wash fish and bad smells
    I also make coffee natural soaps.

  • Samantha says:

    This is a great tip! I actually do this with my leftover coffee grounds. Keep in mind you should try to find fair trade coffee for this– cruelty to humans is just as bad as cruelty to animals!

  • Terina Harrington says:

    I am tired of all the chemicals in our Air, Make-up, Face cream & Lotions – thanx for great tip on safe & natural product that we all have in the kitchen cupboard Awesome – I will be giving this one a try.

  • Katina says:

    This is very interesting. I am always looking for alternative, natural beauty treatments that really work. I will be giving this one a try. I love to drink coffee and now I have another use for my favorite morning drink.

  • Rena says:

    You can also use another method by mixing 2 teaspoons of almond oil and 4 teaspoons of nourishing cream, then voila! A facial scrub that is ready and easy to use.

  • Aesthetic Clinic Singapore says:

    If i may add, aside from having this natural DYI facial scrub, you could also try others including almond, oatmeals and others. Hahaha. I don’t know if this is readily available.

  • Xhelsee says:

    I just did this and my skin feels marvelous! I am deffinalty spreading the word on this wonderful vegan scrub!!

  • AnthroChef says:

    Add 2-4 drops of tea tree oil to perk your skin right up! I just used this for the first time and I already love it. It made my skin feel so soft and refreshed and I look all glow-y, just in time for Valentines Day tomorrow 🙂

  • kristo says:

    Really good post! Morgan very good advice!

  • Laura says:

    Marn, the oil will not make your skin oily or break out because the particles of oil are too big to fit into our pores.

  • deliabieber says:

    i’ve tried this and my face feels AMAZINGLY soft. it works really well and it wakes you up!

  • Marn says:

    I was wondering if the olive oil would make your skin more oily and so then break out more?

  • morgan says:

    1 teaspoon baking soda, quarter size honey and olive oil!! Best ever! And brightens your complexion, after a few uses (at most twice a week) a horrid sun spot on my forehead disappeared!

  • Victoria says:

    I bet the coffee scrub smells divine! I love the smell of coffee, but prefer to drink tea. Exfoliating my skin with it would be wonderful 🙂

  • KaitlinAshley says:

    I just used the brown sugar and olive oil mixture that was suggested by samantha_baxter88. I absolutely love how my face feels!

  • SamSam says:

    I am making this for my mom for Christmas. She is in LOVE with coffee!

  • Courtney says:

    I like the idea of DIY scrubs and just learned about the benefits of coffee. I get a lot of good ideas from: too.

  • JMFortune says:

    As an eye make-up remover, I use sweet almond oil.

  • Donne Milano says:

    Great idea for a post.Thank you!