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DIY coffee scrub

Coconut and coffee body scrub

A few days ago, I wrote about how I feel about coffee scrubs. In the post, I suggested that you make your own, try it out and decide for yourself what your feelings are about coffee scrubs. It’s only fair that I give you some directions about how to make a DIY coffee scrub if I’m going to suggest you try it!

Body scrubs, in general

Scrubs like these can be made with a sugar, salt or coffee base and are blended with natural oils to exfoliate and soften the skin. It’s basically food for the skin, as all good natural skincare should be.

I make body scrubs for my friends – both men and women – on a regular basis. My kids like them so much, I use the promise of a shower scrub as a way to talk them into taking a shower.

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Not really a DIY-er? No problem. You can skip to the punchline here by just buying a ready-made coffee scrub from a verified handcrafter. It is a great gift idea for the coffee lover in your life!

But, if you want to put in the effort, it should be pretty easy to make your own scrub. I recommend you use it in the shower. As I have written before, coffee scrubs can be messy, and it’s best to keep it contained.

One major caveat: some people are allergic to coconut. If you are not sure if you have a coconut allergy, don’t slather your body in coconut oil.

If you are not allergic to coconut, check your kitchen. Do you have coffee grounds, coconut oil, sugar and vanilla? If so, let’s go.

Coconut oil on a white marble countertop

DIY coffee scrub

1/2 cup coffee grounds (used or unused but why would you not get a cup of coffee out of this?)
1/2 cheap brown sugar (Cheap white sugar will do, too. Don’t use Turbinado raw sugar, it’s too rough)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
(optional) 10 drops of essential oils, like lime, wild orange or peppermint

Dump the ingredients into a shatter-proof bowl and mix until well blended.
That’s it. Easy, like I like it.
Some directions online recommend warming the coconut oil for 20 seconds in the micro before mixing. If you do that, it’s best to add the sugar after you blend the oils and coffee together. The sugar melts a little otherwise.
There will likely be lumps of coconut oil left in your blend. Don’t worry about it. They are like little bursts of moisture.
I do not recommend you store your scrub in a glass bowl if you are going to use this near stone countertops or tile floors. Broken glass is a scary proposition for a shower.
Wet your skin and rub it with the coffee scrub.
Let it soak into your skin for a minute if you have the time.
Rinse off.

You might never look at used up coffee grounds in quite the same way after you shower together.

Coconut and coffee body scrub

How to store coffee scrubs:
In the fridge, coffee could grow mold if you don’t use it right away.
In an ice cube or silicone mold in your freezer, then in your fridge in adorable little single-use cubes.

When should you use the scrub?

You can use a body scrub in the shower everyday. If your skin seems irritated, it might be too much exfoliation for you. Just skip a few days. My skin is pretty average, and I am able to use body scrubs in the shower everyday with incredible, skin-smoothing results.

My review of coffee scrubs is controversial. I love that they are natural and reuse coffee grounds that would otherwise go into the trash or compost pile. But, overall I think they are just ok.

How often do I use coffee scrubs?

I do make them on occasion, but most of the time, I use sugar scrubs.

Olive oil and sugar scrubs are not as messy as coffee scrubs and are easier to use on your face. I don’t recommend using coffee scrubs near your eyes. Sometimes those rough little coffee grounds end up inside your eyelid. It’s an unpleasant experience.

Do I have to use it in the shower?

You can use it in any sink, if you are just looking to use it on your hands to counteract the drying effects of soap; however, coffee grounds can be sludgy and messy. I only use it in the shower. A sugar-based scrub is likely a better choice to keep near your bathroom or kitchen sink for after-soap skincare.

Please scroll down a bit and leave a comment to let us know what you think about coffee scrubs. How do they work for you?

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Posted on 10 Comments

3 reasons I just cannot get into coffee-based body scrubs

Coffee and coconut body scrub for the shower

Maybe you’ve heard of sugar scrubs and salt scrubs (a.k.a. sea salt scrubs or dead sea salt scrubs). I love them. Sugar scrubs are my favorite only because salt will burn if it gets into your scrapes or eyes. I pretty much use a sugar scrub every time I shower, and I make them for my friends (half of the people who ask me for one are guy friends). There’s another option that’s popular for natural body buffing and polishing: coffee scrubs.

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Feel free to leave a comment and disagree with or confirm any of the points I’m making in this article. Your ideas and opinions are welcome. You may even end up doing an experiment yourself. I would encourage you to try a coffee scrub DIY or buy one and make up your own mind about them.

Typically, these coffee scrubs are made from a blend of coffee grounds, brown sugar and coconut oil. Lovely ingredients as long as you don’t have a coconut allergy, and I don’t have any allergies. No, allergies are not one of the reasons I can’t get into coffee scrubs.

I love handmade soaps. Some handmade soaps have coffee grounds blended into them to produce a more exfoliating experience. I do like those soaps. Bars of handmade soaps are very different from oil and coffee-based shower scrubs.

You will see these beautiful photos of coffee scrubs online and on social media. For the record, I don’t have anything against coffee scrubs. In fact, I will likely continue to use them on occasion. Coffee scrubs exfoliate your skin and hold skin-softening oils well.

Once I ran into an old friend on a flight to Chicago. We sat together (Southwest open seating). It was wonderful. She mentioned she loves coffee scrubs. She strongly preferred them to sugar scrubs. It sparked my interest so I went home and made a coffee scrub that weekend. It was just ok.

Why I just can’t get into coffee scrubs

Three reasons why I just can’t get into coffee-based body scrubs:

  1. If you use them on your face, you may end up with rough coffee grounds in your eye.
  2. They leave brown coffee muck under my fingernails.
  3. The coffee grounds get all over my shower.

Coffee in your eye

How did I find out that you might get coffee grounds in your eye? The hard way. Twice.

You can avoid this one if you don’t use the coffee scrub to wash your face or scalp and are careful not to rub your eye before you’ve washed off every single ground from your hands. But, I am looking for the easiest approach to natural skincare. If there are too many restrictions on a product, it’s just not easy enough for me. Plus, pretty much the only time I wash my face is when I’m in the shower. Using a sugar scrub after washing my face adds instant moisture and polishes my skin. I want something I can use from my head to my toes.

Coffee muck

When you rub your body with a coffee scrub, it leaves coffee residue on your skin. It’s a lot like the sludge you may see at the bottom of a coffee cup or carafe. Now, that’s not such a big deal, especially if you only use the scrub in the shower. It only takes an extra 20 seconds in the shower to wash the coffee sludge off your skin.

The thing I don’t like is that after I use a coffee scrub, it leaves bits of muck and coffee grounds under my fingernails. Dirty fingernails might not be such a big deal. Gardeners don’t generally mind dirt under their fingernails all that much. I don’t use gardening gloves, and during gardening season, there’s always a little dirt under mine.

It’s more the discomfort of having coffee grounds under my nails that I dislike. Ok, I’m sure I could use unused grounds instead of brewed coffee grounds, put them through the grinder and make them much finer.  But, now we’ve exceeding the amount of effort I want to put into making a body scrub, especially since I use them every day. I want to be able to blend up a scrub quickly in the middle of checking other stuff off my hectic working parent To-Do list.

Grounds up the wall

I have used body scrubs in the shower for years and plan to use them for the rest of my life. Usually, the only thing I am worried about is leaving a bit of a slippery sheen on the tiles. I do not want to worry about leaving coffee grounds or sludge splattered all around my shower tiles.

Coffee grounds on white marble shower tile

If you’re a bit of a clean freak or you don’t have children, you probably clean your shower more often than I do. In between major cleanings, I don’t want to do much more work than a few sprays of mildew remover.

When I use coffee scrubs in my shower, I end up having to fill a cup with water and splash it on the walls over and over again to clean every speck of coffee off the tiles. Ideal effort level exceeded again.

Three reasons I prefer sugar scrubs to coffee scrubs in my shower

One more thing

Even if you use yummy coconut oil and vanilla (I recommend Mexican vanilla) and elegant essential oils in your coffee scrub, it still leaves the faint scent of cigarette ash on your skin for the first 15 minutes or so after your shower. It may stay on your skin a little longer than that, but I don’t seem to notice it after 15 minutes.

Why would coffee ground residue smell like cigarette ash? I’m not sure. I am not a smoker, but my Gram was. She smelled of Nivea face cream, Maxwell House and Pall Mall cigarettes. She also died of cancer so please don’t take this as an endorsement. But, after I use a coffee scrub in the shower, it reminds me of the smell of my Gram. If I used Nivea after my coffee scrub, I’d be having serious childhood flashbacks. She would be so mad at me for telling you she smelled like cigarettes.

What do you think?

Ok, before I annoy my late Gram any more, I’ll turn this over to you.

Have you experimented with coffee scrubs? Can you connect with any of the points I’ve made? Maybe you wrote a totally contrary post about how much you love coffee scrubs. I respect that. Please scroll down to share your comments or questions.