One of the best things about Public Goods is the community that has bonded over the past two years.
We love seeing our products in your homes and recipes, and we love listening to your ideas. Recently Kim Livingston, a webmaster at a library in New Jersey, shared a great skin regimen you can use with spent or used coffee grounds, so we wanted to blast out the details to our blog readers.
How to Use
After brewing a pot of coffee, scoop the used coffee grounds into an open container or a bowl and allow them to completely dry out to prevent mold. Once they are dried, they are ready to be used in your skin regime. While you can use decaf coffee grounds, caffeinated grounds are better because they contain more antioxidants that are beneficial to skin.
You can store the grounds at room temperature or in the freezer, depending on how long you want to keep them. As long as there is no water or mold in the open air container, the spent grounds should keep.
However, I left mine in the bathroom for a week and the steam from the shower gave way to mold. For best results, you should make these treatments fresh each time and discard any leftover grounds in your compost.
To use, dampen your face and neck with warm water and gently apply the used coffee grounds, avoiding the eye area. Leave on for five minutes for a skin tightening effect.
To remove, rinse with warm water and pat your skin dry with a cloth or apply the grounds to your skin in the shower and rinse off. The grounds are safe to go down the sink and shower drains.
The coarse grounds remove dead skin cells. If you have sensitive skin, however, you should test a small patch on your skin first. Kim has sensitive skin but exfoliates with used coffee grounds at night to give her skin a chance to repair itself.
Sensitive skin or not, it is important to not rub the spent grounds too harshly on your skin. Redness and irritation indicate you are scrubbing too hard.
It is also important to note that spent coffee grounds will not clear up acne. This is because they only remove dead skin cells on the surface layer of your skin and fail to penetrate deep into the pores where acne develops.
You can use spent coffee grounds once or twice a week, depending on how fast your skin can repair itself. Avoid frequent overuse of this treatment for it can lead to damage.
Health Benefits to Your Skin
Antioxidants protect the skin, shielding it from skin-damaging free radicals. Free radicals are unbalanced atoms, meaning they have too many or not enough electrons to pair with their neutrons. The atom then works hard to balance the number of electrons, causing oxidative stress, a process that can damage cells and cause aging. Wrinkles are one characteristic of this process. External, environmental factors such as radiation, pesticides and cigarette smoke can also expose you to free radicals, making antioxidants all the more essential to your health.
Because it is rich in antioxidants, coffee has been of interest for both scientists and the cosmetic industry. Coffee seed oil, in particular, which is extracted from the coffee bean plant, can improve collagen and elastin levels, leaving skin tighter and firmer.
The Royal Academy of Chemistry in Cambridge published a study that tested a topical treatment made from spent coffee extracts on damaged skin caused by ultraviolet radiation. Results demonstrated that the treatment “significantly reduced UVB-induced wrinkle formation by over 35%” as well as protected the skin from photoaging.
Food Science and Biotechnology touted similar findings, suggesting spent coffee extracts be used as an antioxidant source for cosmetic products to improve antioxidant properties.
Though not as potent as coffee seed oil or extracts, the spent coffee grounds leftover from your morning’s brew can benefit your skin when applied topically. The caffeine from the grounds constricts blood vessels to minimize inflamed or puffy skin, giving you a rejuvenated complexion. Skin feels tighter and brighter.
But, again, these benefits are only temporary.
Even so, giving another life to your used coffee grounds is an easy way to maintain sustainability at home. By making your own scrubs, you eliminate the need to buy new products that most likely contain harsh chemicals.
Additional DIY Recipes Using Spent Coffee
Eye Area Brightener
Place a teaspoon of spent coffee grounds in a damp paper towel and place on each eye area for 20 minutes to minimize puffy bags below the eyes.
Sweet Smoothing Lip Scrub
Add honey or melted coconut oil to a half teaspoon of spent coffee grounds and gently massage over lips to slough off dry skin. Remove with a damp washcloth.
All Over Exfoliating Body Scrub
In a bowl, mix 1/2 cup of spent coffee grounds,1/2 cup of sugar (white or brown) or salt and a 1/4 cup of melted coconut oil or olive oil. In the shower, gently massage the scrub onto skin and rinse. Because this recipe calls for oil, be careful not to slip in the shower.
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