May 10, 2018

Coffee beauty tips – just in time for Mother’s Day

AdvertisementThe Independent tapped up a bunch of experts to find out how you can go from America-No to American beauty, by incorporating coffee into your face, body and hair regimes.

Rick “The Superfoodist” Hay, TV presenter and author of The Anti Ageing Food & Fitness Plan, explained how caffeine can help to restore you after a sleepless night – without even drinking it.

“Apply anti-inflammatory chilled coffee grounds to the under-eye area, then sit back and relax for ten minutes. This helps to reduce the under-eye swelling, and to constrict blood vessels.”

“You can mix coffee grounds with some quality oil like olive, coconut or rose hip, and then use it as a cleansing scrub – leave on for a few minutes so that the caffeine can help to close pours, and to cleanse and nourish the skin.”

The grounds, he explains, are all rich in vitamin C, which can help with collagen cross linking when applied to the skin. You can make a face mask with the grounds and oils and leave on for 10 to 15 minutes – but add some honey for hydration and for antibacterial benefits.

Dr Samira Zaidan, the first practising female homeopath in Saudi Arabia and founder of product line Azara Beautique, explains that the high caffeine content in coffee beans stimulates the blood circulation in the skin and scalp, which can be very effective for infections like acne.

And head of skincare at HiMirror, Cin-Yee Ho, says: “Drinking coffee also fights premature signs of ageing, as it contains antioxidants which protect against light, pollution and heat damage.”

She recommends as using coffee grounds themselves as a gentle exfoliator, or applying them under the eyes as part of a serum, as the caffeine reduces blood flow to the area and reduces puffiness.

However, all experts caution care with using coffee scrubs on the face, advising you to stick to dedicated facial products with more finely ground beans, which provide a gentler exfoliation.

A thick-bodied coffee

The act of exfoliating with a coffee scrub also helps to smooth and tone the skin, and to remove surface impurities for better cell turnover.

According to Bean Body, Australia’s favourite caffeinated beauty range, coffee can actually improve the skin’s imperfections. “Caffeine will stimulate blood flow and help reduce the appearance of cellulite, eczema, stretch marks, age spots, varicose veins and psoriasis.”

Its experts recommend using a coffee scrub 1-2 times a week, applying to damp skin and buffing in circular motions. For a more intensive treatment, they also suggest applying product to dry skin for a powerful caffeine hit.

Kate Protopapas, at Isla Apothecary, top clean beauty and wellness range, also recommends using upward strokes towards the heart, to stimulate lymphatic drainage, which helps move stagnant lymph through the body and push the toxins out.

If you’re worried about cellulite, a body serum with caffeine ingredients could be just the thing. According to Ho: “Coffee also acts as a diuretic, so creams containing coffee can temporarily minimises the visibility of cellulite because they draw fluid away from fat cells, shrinking them.”

Hair of the dog

The International Journal of Dermatology found that topically applied caffeine can stimulate hair growth, as caffeine targets DHT, the hormone responsible for hair loss.

The chemical can also help improve follicles, causing hair cells to produce more ATP – i.e. grow quicker and thicker.

According to Ho, “The antioxidants also act when used as a hair mask, strengthening and protecting the hair.”

The market is awash (pardon the pun) with coffee-based hair products, from shampoo to treatments. But you can also DIY.
Mix in the coffee with your shampoo (ground coffee with half a cup of water, then the shampoo) and add a spoonful of cinnamon for an incredible hair hack. It really does leave hair noticeably shinier and voluminous.
Be sure to allow caffeine-shampoos to sit on your head for at least two minutes to reap the full benefits, as it takes time for the caffeine to penetrate – resist the urge to rinse!

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