By Rhys Branman, MD
The stimulating properties of coffee have long given us the extra “oomph” we need to complete that project or finish an overdue assignment. Studies have shown that in addition to getting you to work on time, this energizing and antioxidant-infused morning favorite can provide a host of health benefits to those who enjoy moderate intake around 2 cups per day.
But did you know that these little beans are also unsung heroes of at-home skin care? It’s true! From hair rinses to skin-awakening face masks, adding coffee to your beauty routine can help rejuvenate your skin and brighten your day. A few ways you can perk up your primping:
- Brighten your skin with a homemade scrub
Get rid of dead skin and unclog your pores after your morning cup of coffee. The abrasive nature of coffee grounds makes them perfect for an exfoliating scrub, especially when mixed with a little olive oil or honey.
- Renew your hair
Using strongly brewed coffee as a hair rinse or soak can darken and add dimension to darker hair colors. Massaging it directly into the scalp also allows the caffeine to stimulate hair follicles and boost your hair’s growing potential, all while providing natural conditioning and adding shine to your locks. An all-in-one haircare product right on the kitchen counter? We’re in.
- Make a quick, easy, and beneficial face mask
A simple mixture of finely ground coffee and cocoa powder serves to brighten the skin while reducing puffiness in the cheek and eye areas. If you’re prone to dryness, add milk and honey for some natural moisturization. The caffeine increases circulation and tightens the skin for a fresh, bright appearance.
- Say goodbye to cellulite
Caffeine is reported to have a firming effect on the skin over time and is often included in many topical cellulite treatments. You can try your own topical caffeine treatments at home using a simple mixture of coffee grounds, water, and tea tree oil.
Alternative uses for coffee don’t stop there. The health of your home and garden can benefit from your leftover cup of Joe as well. A non-toxic, organic, and child- and pet-safe product right in your kitchen, the value of coffee is infinite. Pour yourself a cup, reserve the grounds, and check out these life-enhancing uses for coffee:
- Revitalize your furniture
A strong concentrate of steeped coffee can be used as an effective and organic furniture stain. This safe alternative to harsh chemicals creates an easy-to-use wood stain with a beautiful resulting color and it’s simple to make. Brew coffee grounds in near-boiling water and leave to steep anywhere from 2-8 hours, depending on how dark you want your stain to be. Cool and strain the concentrate and apply. But don’t get rid of those steeped grounds! You can apply them to furniture scratches to lessen their appearance, making your furniture look new with little effort or money.
- Perk up your plants
Containing a healthy mixture of trace minerals and nitrogen, used coffee grounds steeped in water overnight (2 cups of grounds per 5 gallons of water) offer a natural option for fertilizing your garden. Apply the concentrate, coffee grounds included, to the soil in place of your regular fertilizer and watch your plants wake up.
- Safely ward off insects
Although the smell of freshly-brewed coffee can awaken our senses, the aroma naturally repels many insects, including slugs, snails, and ants. Placing a line of coffee grounds near the entrance points of your home or around your garden can help deter pesky insects. Bonus: you don’t have to worry about safety if children or pets come in contact with it.
- Get rid of unpleasant odors
In lieu of baking soda, old coffee grounds placed in a mason jar can help deodorize your refrigerator and keep food smells from becoming overwhelming. Hands stink of onion or garlic after cook ing dinner? Rub them in dry coffee grounds and the smell goes away instantly.
- Stop Whiskers from trampling your tulips
Keeping neighborhood felines out of your plants and away from your windows can be achieved safely by spreading coffee grounds and orange peels around the base of your garden and near any entryways or windows. The cat won’t be harmed, but will think twice about coming in contact with the unfavorable mixture.
Loving coffee is nothing new, but now that we know it can help us keep things looking great inside and out, we’re hooked. One thing to keep in mind—while do-it-yourself skin care can be beneficial and fun, professional treatments are still the best way to dramatically improve your skin. Treatments such as peels, laser resurfacing, or medical-grade topical products can safely target specific skin concerns with predictable results.
Not sure where to begin? We offer a diverse menu of affordable skin care options to address many common skin concerns, so drop on by and have a cup of coffee with us, and let’s plan for your best skin ever.