chal-lenge: noun a calling to account or into question

Follow along as I challenge the tricks, tips, clever craft and decorating ideas and "simple" recipes that we clip, bookmark, and "pin" for trial at a later date.

Are they really worth the effort? Time (and I) will tell!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Coffee Body Scrub

I love body scrubs. They do a great job of exfoliating dry skin and exposing wonderfully soft skin as well as coming in a variety of delicious scents. I always thought of them as a frivolous luxury because a good scrub can be a little pricey and don’t buy them often for that reason. Therefore, when I came across a recipe for a homemade body scrub in my recent issue of Body and Soul Magazine I decided to give it a try.

The recipe called for common ingredients including ½ cup of used coffee grounds, ½ cup of honey and 1 tablespoon of orange zest. It seemed like a simple recipe and I had no problem coming up with the ingredients. I grabbed the used coffee grounds from work. As you can imagine, there was quite a fight about who would take them home, but fortunately I won out for the sake of science. I bought a store brand honey for $2.29 and had an orange in the fridge. An inexpensive recipe is always appealing to me.

I was curious about the reason these ingredients were chosen for the recipe so I did a little research. I was amazed what I found out about the effects of coffee on the skin. Apparently, when coffee is applied directly to the skin it redistributes fat cells and therefore decreases the formulation of cellulite. The caffeine in the coffee scrub also acts as a vascular restrictor, shrinking blood vessels and helping to reduce varicose veins. More importantly, recent studies on laboratory mice indicate that when caffeine is applied directly to the skin it can prevent the occurrence of skin cancer caused by UV radiation. I love to drink coffee but had no idea of what else it had to offer.

As for the honey, apparently it is an antibacterial that acts as a moisturizer as well. Honey hydrates and softens the skin. It is also is good for acne prone skin as it inhibits the bacterial growth and therefore reduces the chance of breakouts. Of course honey is made with only natural ingredients and is rich in nutrients like vitamins B and C. The antioxidants found in honey benefit the skin and prevent it from the effects of premature aging. I had no idea.

I mixed the ingredients together very easily. The scent of the coffee with the orange zest was simply amazing. I filled up the bathtub with warm water and was ready to give this scrub a test run. I was a little concerned that the honey would make the scrub sticky but this was not the case. I applied the mixture in a vigorous circular motion. I was a little over zealous and it was pretty abrasive but it felt good. Note to self: go a little easier next time. I left the scrub on for a little bit to get the full effects of the caffeine. As soon as I rinsed the it all off, my skin felt amazing. The coffee scent did not stay on my skin and I moisturized as usual with no clashing of scents.

I cannot say enough about this homemade coffee body scrub. Given the exfoliation qualities of this recipe as well as the benefits of the ingredients and the price, I will definitely continue to use this body scrub and would recommend that you give it a try as well. As an additional tip, I would suggest that you use a coffee filter over your bathtub drain when you are through because all those coffee grounds cannot be good for anyone’s septic system. Enjoy!

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