One of the world’s favourite brews has many more benefits than a mid-morning caffeine kick. Coffee is actually a potent, multi-purpose beauty ingredient that can add lustre to your hair, while diminishing appearance of cellulite and under-eye shadows.
While the health benefits, or lack thereof, of drinking coffee may always be a hot topic for debate, the topical uses of this caffeine-fuelled brew, and the aromatic beans from which it’s derived, offer big beauty pluses that can’t be denied.
From giving gloss to over-stressed locks, to minimising darks circles from lack of sleep, naturally grown, organic coffee offers anti-oxidant properties that have been loved and utilised by many cultures, from England to India, for centuries.
While it’s not clear when the beauty benefits of the herb were discovered, the bean itself has been revered and consumed since the thirteenth century, originating in Ethiopia before being adopted in Egypt and Yemen. The rest of the world soon began its love affair with the popular drink that some researchers warn raises blood pressure and heart rate by 11 percent, all the while making the drinker more alert and reducing the body’s ability to absorb iron.
The topical uses of this caffeine-fuelled brew, and the aromatic beans from which it’s derived, offer big beauty pluses that can’t be denied.
Today, commercial beauty companies are adding the ingredient to creams, scrubs and lotions, with the promise of better skin, less cellulite and shinier hair; however, it’s not necessary to spend hundreds of dollars to give your skin a coffee boost or make use of its powerful deodorising properties. Simply buying fair trade, organic beans or grounds is all you need to begin experimenting with coffee facemasks, body scrubs and toners. In fact, adding grounds to other foods such as olive oil and flax is not only better for your skin, but also your health, as many commercially made products contain harmful preservatives and additives that should be avoided.
Actress Gwenyth Paltrow attributes her dewy glow, from top-to-toe, to regular application of coffee grounds, olive oil and honey, which she removes with a warm towel and follows up with aloe vera gel, straight from the plant, to hydrate. Meanwhile, Jennifer Love Hewitt also sings the praises of a strongly brewed cuppa, and says her shiny brunette mane is thanks to religiously applying a coffee rinse each time she washes her hair.
Organic coffee offers anti-oxidant properties that have been loved and utilised by many cultures, from England to India, for centuries.
While external use of coffee is gaining in popularity, the liquid has also become known for its use in enemas—a form of colonic irrigation that is said to help detoxify the body by stimulating the liver to increase bile production, enabling the organ to eliminate toxins more quickly. When the body’s organs, and in particular the liver and gut, are working efficiently, the skin benefits, creating even skin tone and a glow that can’t be bought in a jar, tube or bottle. However, it’s important to seek well-informed practitioner advice before doing the procedure at home.
Taken internally, there are considerable contraindications to be aware of with coffee, from negative effects of mixing with over-the-counter prescription drugs, to increased risk of hypertension, however, there is little research to determine possible risks by using coffee externally. As with all topical treatments, use sparingly in the first instance to determine if you have any aversion or allergy to the ingredient.
Fill a muslin bag with a fistful of coffee grounds, tying the end into a knot. Knead and rub over the body during a bath or shower to deodorise naturally.
Coffee Face Tonic
Lightens and brightens skin. Brew a strong pot of coffee. Pour into ice trays and freeze. Wipe over forehead, cheeks and chin, being gentle around the eyes.
Tone up pores and wipe away make-up residue. After cleansing, soak cotton pad with freshly brewed fair trade and organic coffee, and wipe over the entire face as you would with a commercially bought toner.
Anti-Ageing Face Mask
Tightens pores and hydrates with Omega 3 fatty acids. Brew strong coffee and allow to cool. Add to one tablespoon of rye flour and one heaped tablespoon of ground flax seeds to make a thick paste. Apply evenly over the face and wash off in 15 minutes.
No-Cellulite Body Wrap
Caffeine stimulates circulation and removes excess fluid. Heat coffee grounds until very warm. Mix with olive oil and spread over cellulite-prone areas and make a body wrap, winding cling wrap around the treatment area. Relax for about 20 minutes and then wash off. Alternatively, use the mixture as an invigorating body scrub one to two times per week.
Add a glossy lustre to your dark locks by brewing strong coffee, allowing it to cool and then combing it through from roots to ends. Style as usual.