7 Natural Skin Benefits of Coffee (Plus DIY Scrub + Face Masks)

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MEGAN PATIRY

Sure, most of us have experienced coffee’s ability to make groggy mornings better, but your morning brew can give your skin a natural boost, too!

Perhaps you’ve also come across the other remarkable benefits of a daily brew, such as reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease by up to 65 percent, reducing risk of heart disease, stroke, colorectal and liver cancer, and even our risk of developing type 2 diabetes (1234).

Not to mention the fact that daily coffee consumption is associated with an overall lowered risk of mortality, with a 20-30 percent lower risk of premature death (56).

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Even so, the amazing benefits of coffee don’t stop there.

It turns out that coffee is great for another part of the body: our skin. These claims stem from the fact that coffee has a high antioxidant capacity and that the caffeine content can help improve circulation. But how exactly does this translate into a glowing complexion?


Natural Skin Benefits of Coffee

Delve into the many skin benefits of coffee below (plus, age-defying and brightening recipes!)

1. Reduces Inflammation

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Coffee has been widely studied for its anti-inflammatory properties. Its caffeine content, coupled with potent antioxidant substances like polyphenols and hydrocinnamic acids, may be responsible for this effect (7).

This is great news for those suffering from breakouts, as the antioxidants in coffee can help soothe red and inflamed breakouts.

2. Packed with Antioxidants

Coffee is rich in polyphenols, a group of antioxidants also found in foods like berries, tea, chocolate, and wine. In addition to giving these foods their vibrant and deep colors, these substances work to fight free radicals and slow down the process of aging due to DNA damage. As a bonus, they have also been shown to help protect against ultraviolet radiation and slow down aging of the skin caused by heavy sun exposure (89).

Coffee can help fight free radicals and slow the aging process due to DNA damage.

Interestingly, studies ranging from America to Poland, Spain, France and Japan report that coffee is the single biggest source of dietary antioxidants in their diets (101112).

So enjoy that second cuppa without guilt (as long as it’s early in the day, so you’re not interfering with your sleep, of course), and don’t forget to slather on some of those antioxidant-packed granules as featured in our age-defying coffee mask below:

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Total time:25 MINS
Prep Time:5 mins

Age-Defying Coconut Coffee Mask

Recipe by:author Megan Patiry
These antioxidant-packed face mask will keep your skin looking young.

Ingredients

  •  1 T coffee grounds
  •  1 T raw cacao powder
  •  1 T coconut milk (from the can – preferably BPA-free)
  •  1 T raw honey

Instructions

  •  Combine all of the ingredients and apply to a clean face. Let sit for 15-20 minutes, then rinse with warm water.

3. Gently Exfoliates

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Due to its slightly coarse nature, coffee – especially finely-ground coffee – makes an excellent exfoliator. These granules help slough away dead skin cells and, although research is limited, has been said to help stimulate lymph drainage and increase blood flow (13). Both of these are beneficial when it comes to achieving glowing skin as well as for removing toxins.

Check out the coffee face scrub featured at the bottom of this post for a brightening and softening recipe.

4. Reduces Cellulite

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It turns out that caffeine may be one of the best contenders in the topical fight against cellulite.

Aside from its ability to increase circulation – which can ultimately help smooth the appearance of cellulite – the caffeine in coffee has been tied to a lipolytic effect on fat cells (meaning it essentially breaks down fat). Studies have shown the effect to be quite substantial, detailing that:

“Emulsion with caffeine caused a reduction of 17% on the diameter of the fatty cells compared with the control … and emulsion … was considered to promote the lipolytic action on fatty tissue, acting as a complement to treat cellulite (14).”

Coffee can increase circulation and help break down fat when used topically.

In other words, applying a topical caffeine solution to skin caused a decrease in fatty cell size of 17 percent.

This is also an important factor when it comes to diminishing the appearance of cellulite, as excess fat beneath the skin layer tends to protrude in an uneven manner (which is what leads to cellulite’s rumpled appearance). The less protruding fat tissue you have, the less chance for cellulite appearance (15).

One thing to keep in mind here is that caffeine can actually enter your body through the skin, so if you have a sensitivity or high blood pressure, you might want to use a coffee scrub sparingly and check with your doctor (16).

5. Brightens Skin

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The antioxidants in coffee we mentioned earlier can also revive dull, tired skin by ushering needed nutrients into the pores. Alongside its ability to increase circulation (thanks to its caffeine content), topical java can quickly brighten your complexion when used in a mask or scrub (17).

6. Reduces Puffiness

Have you ever had a day where your face seemed a bit puffier than normal, or perhaps one where you’ve woken up with slightly swollen eyes? Luckily, not only will a cup of brewed java heighten your spirits, but it can also help reduce this puffiness when applied topically.

Puffy face or swollen eyes? A topical coffee mask can fix that.

This is because caffeine and various compounds like methylxanthine in coffee have a diuretic effect, which can aid in reducing edema, or swollen tissues due to excess fluid retention (18).

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Total time:20 MINS
Prep Time:5 mins

De-Puff Coffee Mask

Recipe by:author Megan Patiry
These coffee mask is targeted towards reducing swelling.

Ingredients

  •  2 T espresso or finely ground coffee
  •  4 T coconut milk
  •  1 T honey

Instructions

  •  Combine ingredients and let mask sit on your face for roughly 15 minutes. Rinse and pat dry.

7. Minimizes Dark Circles

Caffeine steals the show once again when it comes to dark circles under the eyes. Studies have shown that topical applications of caffeine “increase the microcirculation of blood in the skin,” effectively pushing along stagnant blood from dark, tired eyes (19). However, if you’re going to apply coffee as an eye-opener, you may want to do it in the morning, as caffeine can be absorbed into circulation through the skin, possibly affecting sleep (20).

As you can see, the benefits of coffee for the skin are extensive, and are derived mainly from its natural antioxidant and caffeine content. To get you started on producing your own exfoliating scrubs using ingredients probably already in your kitchen, check out the brightening coffee facial scrub below:

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Total time:7 MINS
Prep Time:5 mins

Brightening and Softening Coffee Face Scrub

Recipe by:author Megan Patiry
The caffeine in this face scrub can help fix those dark under-eye circles.

Ingredients

  •  3 T ground coffee
  •  1 T coconut palm sugar
  •  1 T olive/jojoba oil
  •  1-2 drops fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  •  Mix all dry ingredients, then add in your choice of oil. Massage onto face using gentle circular motions. Rinse and pat dry.

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