Us girls at Little’s have had a crush on UpCircle for awhile. At UpCircle, they turn leftover natural ingredients into quality sustainable skincare products. Their range of coffee scrubs are made with used Arabica coffee grounds that they collect from cafes, bars and restaurants across London. Genius! They have now rescued 80 tonnes of coffee from local bars and restaurants and re-purposed it into the circular skincare range.
So, as we all love coffee… we thought we’d team up with Upcircle and get them to share some of their fave DIY coffee-based skincare recipes. Time to don your apron and get experimenting!
FIRST UP, WHY COFFEE?
Coffee grounds act as a natural microbead-free exfoliator, helping to buff away dry and dead skin, leaving you feeling smooth and soft!
High in antioxidants, coffee grounds are a potent free radical fighter, protecting skin against premature ageing. The level of antioxidants in used coffee grounds are actually higher than in freshly-ground coffee – even more reason not to simply chuck it all in the bin!
The caffeine in coffee helps stimulate blood flow, making it effective against skin conditions such as acne, eczema, cellulite and stretch marks, and helping to address those areas in need of renewal and regeneration. Caffeine also has natural anti-inflammatory properties which help to calm swelling and redness.
Coffee is the same pH as your skin – meaning it won’t leave it feeling dry!
LET’S GET STARTED!
COFFEE BODY SCRUB (for soft, smooth skin)
- 100g of freshly-brewed coffee grounds (you can use fresh unbrewed coffee grounds too if you’re not a coffee drinker!) Give Little’s Vanilla Flavoured Ground Coffee a go.
- 2 tbsp coconut oil (you can also use olive oil or almond oil)
- 2 heaped tbsp of shea butter (if you don't have any, then just use a second oil – eg. almond oil)
- 10g sea salt
- 20g coconut palm sugar (you can also use Rapadura or cane sugar)
- 5-10 drops essential oils of choice – see below for some ideas that work well with the coffee scent!
- Cedarwood – a woody scent used for calming and to alleviate stress and anxiety.
- Peppermint – a cooling agent that enhances mood, sharpens focus, combats irritation and redness, alleviates symptoms of congestion and aids in digestion.
- Rose – soothing rose helps with circulation, inflammation, and depression.
- Bergamot – this citrus scented oil is great for skin infections such as eczema and psoriasis.
- Lemon – a good choice for skin irritation and poor circulation, as well as for improving mood and reducing cellulite!
- Measure all the ingredients into a medium bowl and stir to combine with a spatula or a wooden spoon
- Transfer to a jar or another pot with a lid and store in the bathroom
- Apply in the shower or bath to damp skin
- Massage into skin in a circular motion
- Leave for 3-5 minutes for the essential oils to absorb into the skin for full effect.
- Rinse off thoroughly – your skin should feel incredibly soft and smooth
COFFEE ICE CUBES (for dark circles and puffiness)
Dark circles are a common problem these days, partially due to our modern love of phones, laptops, TVs and so on. The good news is that, when applied topically, caffeine stimulates blood flow to the area of application – helping reduce the appearance of puffy eyes or dark circles. Plus – these coffee ice cubes really couldn’t be simpler to make…
- 2-3 tbsp coffee – try Little’s Italian Premium Rich Roast
- Brew a strong coffee and pour it into ice cube trays… then (you’ve guessed it) freeze!
- Once frozen, simply dab the ice cubes wrapped in a muslin cloth under and around the eyes before bedtime, or lie down and leave them on top of your eyes (think cucumber slices vibe) for a couple of minutes. Voila.
COFFEE FACE MASK (to brighten and detoxify)
Nothing beats a face mask to make yourself feel truly relaxed, and your skin feel clean and refreshed. Clay helps to draw out impurities and minimise the appearance of pores, leaving you with a fresh complexion. Create your own mini spa treatment with this detoxifying coffee and clay recipe.
- 1 tbsp of used coffee grounds
- 1 tbsp of your choice of clay – our faves are bentonite, kaolin, rhassoul and French pink clay (also found in Cinnamon + Ginger soap)
- A couple of drops of your choice of essential oil (recommendations below)
- Depending on sensitivity, 1 tsp apple cider vinegar – those with very sensitive skin can dilute with a little water or rose water
- In a small bowl mix the dry ingredients together first. Then add the wet ingredients until a paste is formed
- Add additional water/apple cider vinegar until you get the desired consistency
- Using your fingers or a face mask brush, spread the mask over your face or desired area
- Leave it to set for 5-10 minutes or until the mask hardens (but before it starts to overly dry and crack or flake)
- Rinse with warm water using slight circular motions before patting dry with a clean towel
Essential oil recommendations
Tea tree – tea tree oil is antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-microbial. It also promotes the absorption of nutrients (like a face mask ingredient booster!) and works wonders on scarring.
Jasmine – sweet-smelling Jasmine has been known to ease depression, tension and stress.
Rosemary – a powerful antibacterial and antiseptic, rosemary oil helps keep whiteheads, blackheads and acne at bay.
Lavender – a well-known stress reliever but also a potent anti-inflammatory.
CHOCOLATE & COFFEE FACE SCRUB
This is a softer, more indulgent variation on the body scrub recipe above. Just remove the salt and sugar and blend your coffee grounds with a heaped teaspoon of cocoa powder, and a tablespoon of almond or coconut oil and shea butter. Simple. Effective. Delicious. Little’s Choc Caramel Ground Coffee works a treat. Thank us later!
We love you Upcircle. Tag us in your DIY makes on Instagram @wearelittles