Got coffee and sugar in your pantry? Then you have two of the three ingredients for one of the sweetest, most effective skin care concoctions I've ever used.
True confession time. Winter is rough on my skin. By that, I mean my skin gets really rough in winter. It's dry, ashy and flaky -- and if I'm not careful, scaly as an alligator. Over the years, I've tried all sorts of commercial body scrubs and lotions to keep my skin smooth and supple with varying degrees of success.
A while back, I started seeing coffee body scrubs advertised here, there and everywhere. This wasn't huge news to me. When I was growing up, my grandmother used to mix a few tablespoons of used coffee grounds into the jar of soap scraps she kept on sink and used to scrub her hands after gardening. I didn't really want to use a soap base, though, because soap is so drying. I'd made sugar scrubs before, using essential oils, carrier oils and sugar. They exfoliate well enough, but the oils leave your skin feeling greasy -- not what I wanted at all.
A few weeks ago, I was playing around with a recipe for liquid soap that called for vegetable glycerin as a humectant -- a substance that attracts moisture. It dawned on me that glycerin just might be the perfect base for a body scrub -- not oily, not drying and very inexpensive. I picked up a 6-ounce bottle of pure vegetable glycerin at CVS for about $5. I mixed up a batch of coffee body scrub using equal parts sugar, coffee grounds and glycerin and tried it out.
This stuff is amazing! You'll notice the difference the very first time you use it and it just gets better with continued use. The coffee grounds and sugar are excellent exfoliants. The sugar helps prevent bacteria, and the caffeine in the coffee tightens your skin and helps reduce puffiness. It may also, according to some research, help prevent skin cancer. It definitely reduces some skin discoloration. It also smells heavenly when you're in the shower -- but you don't walk around smelling like coffee for the rest of the day.
Making the stuff couldn't be simpler -- which is a good thing because it tends to go pretty fast around here. My two boys -- 18 and 20 years old -- tried it and love it. They both swear that it keeps their skin clearer -- and neither of them have sprouted a zit since they started using it, so maybe they're right.
Coffee Sugar Body Scrub
1/4 cup used finely ground coffee grounds
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 oz. pure vegetable glycerin
Mix the sugar and coffee grounds together in a small bowl. Add in the glycerin a little at a time until the mixture is a thick paste. Put it in a covered jar and let it sit for a few days. You can use it immediately, but I've noticed that it gets a little more liquid and easier to use if it sits for a couple of days.
To use, just rub it into your skin, then rinse off.
Bonus: Not only are there no harmful chemicals in this to worry about -- if you get it in your mouth while you're rinsing off, you don't end up with a nasty taste for the next hour.