I'll start by being totally transparent: I am someone who often skips the most important meal of the day. While I've never been able to convince myself that coffee and a banana is a well-balanced breakfast, I remain convinced it is one of the best ways to wake your skin up in the morning in the form of a delicious coffee scrub. Plus, if I'm immediately reaching for that canister of coffee instead of making breakfast when I wake up, chances are my skin is just as tired as I am.
One of the best reasons to utilize the topical benefits of coffee in the morning is it can remove baggy eyes with its anti-inflammatory properties. Coffee also has a solid amount of antioxidants (flavanoids) that fight those pesky signs of aging which seem alarmingly noticeable in the mornings. Antioxidants are extremely important in skincare as they also help protect the skin from free radicals that cause acne, hyper-pigmentation, and dry skin.
Drinking too much coffee has been linked to bacterial and hormonal acne and I can personally attest that putting too much coffee on your skin can cause breakouts and irritation. This scrub should be used once a week with organic ingredients to ensure your pores don't get dosed with unwanted pesticides.
Photo via Flickr user srslyguys
You'll need the following ingredients for this coffee scrub:
First, let's talk about why we're using these delicious ingredients on our face. The banana is going to be moisturizing and a great ingredient for the consistency of your scrub and help alleviate any blemishes. Bananas are stimulating and filled with energizing B vitamins, that's why so many of us love them: we feel good when we eat them—and your face will too!
Photo via Flickr user keepon i
The mint provides a slight cooling effect for this scrub which I love; mint is antiseptic, which means it cleanses and removes bacteria causing acne.
Photo via Flickr user Anthony Cramp
That honey though? That's going to be pH balancing, hydrating, and cleansing. It's one ingredient that I rarely go without when exfoliating sensitive parts of my body like my face and neck or any area with unruly razor burn.
Photo via Flickr user sunny mama
Now that you know why these ingredients are important, let's get cooking! First, make sure the coffee is finely ground; coarse grinds can be too harsh on the face and lead to irritation and dryness. Use larger grinds for rougher parts of the skin like the bottoms of feet or dry elbows to slough off more stubborn dead skin cells.
Once your coffee is ground, set it aside in a mixing bowl. Next, take half a banana and 2 mint leaves and add to a blender. Blend for about 30 seconds and pour directly into the mixing bowl. In lieu of a blender, you can mash the banana into the coffee with a muddle, but the blender will save time and mix the mint in efficiently.
Add a tablespoon of raw honey to the mixing bowl and mix vigorously. At this point, you can add more coffee for a thicker paste. Thick coffee scrubs are aesthetically pleasing, but I find a looser consistency is more gentle and easier to smear on my face.
Photo by Kristin Collins Jackson
For DIY coffee scrub novices and anyone who has never directly applied these ingredients topically on skin, do a test patch on the inside of your arm and wait for 30 minutes. Assuming there is no irritation, you can now move your scrub to a sealable jar and apply directly on makeup free skin. Massage lightly into the skin and allow the scrub to dry, your pores drinking in the cooling, cleansing effects of the mask.
Photo by Kristin Collins Jackson
Keep your mask on for 3 minutes and rinse with warm water. Do not scrub with a wash cloth, be gentle to avoid irritation and follow-up with your daily toner and moisturizer of choice. Don't be surprised that your skin is likely to feel as soft as a baby's butt! It's totally normal, I promise.