Despite Sri Lanka being a predominantly tea-loving nation, coffee is increasingly gaining in popularity these days. A new beverage culture is developing, attracting consumers towards the multitude of unique blends served at the chic high street coffee chains in the cities. The country boasts a thriving coffee industry and has done since the 1600s – long before tea was planted. However, despite the exquisite aroma and rich flavour of freshly roasted, high-quality coffee beans, coffee has always taken second place to black or green tea in Sri Lanka, especially after the coffee canker in the 1870s, and so it seems... coffee is simply 'not everyone's cup of tea'.
But wait! Coffee is great for the skin! Seriously, the sand-like texture of coffee grounds makes a great exfoliant to remove dead skin cells, helping to rejuvenate and boost circulation. What's more, the caffeine in coffee grounds has potent antioxidant properties (caffeic acid) that help protect the skin from sun exposure and reduce the appearance of cellulite. While science tells us that exfoliating the skin with coffee grounds cannot get rid of cellulite, it may reduce its appearance as coffee scrubs tighten the skin, improving your blood flow and eliminating any excess water. Coffee grounds also create a perfect face wash for oily skin in tropical temperatures. Here are some ideas you can try at home.
Rejuvenating coffee scrub: Mix together ½ cup fresh ground coffee with ½ cup of brown sugar. Add ½ cup of coconut oil (almond or macadamia oil can be used) and 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract. Mix and gently rub all over your body (avoiding the eyes). Leave for 5-10 minutes and rinse off thoroughly.
Energising whitening coffee scrub: Mix 1 tablespoon of ground coffee, 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar and the juice of 1 lemon to make a thick paste. Scrub your face gently and rinse off with warm water.
Invigorating coffee face mask: Mix half a cup of coffee grounds with a few teaspoons of milk to form a rich, thick consistency. Smooth over face and leave for 10- 15 minutes. Rinse off with lukewarm water.
Vitalising coffee feet and leg scrub: Mix ¼ cup of coffee grounds, ½ ripe banana (mashed), ½ cup of olive oil and ½ cup of salt in a bowl. Apply over legs and feet and massage gently for 15-20 minutes. Rinse with warm water.
Nourishing coffee face scrub: Mix 2 tablespoons coffee grounds, 3 tablespoons natural yoghurt or milk, 1 tablespoon of honey and 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder. Spread the mixture onto your face and massage gently for 10 minutes. Rinse off and moisturise.
To enjoy the full benefits of coffee scrubs, you should apply them to different parts of your body at least 2–3 times per week and finish with your favourite moisturiser. As with most good scrubs, frequent exfoliating will, over time, result in a more even skin tone, reducing the appearance of fine lines, scars and stretch marks.
Don't forget: When experimenting with any natural DIY skin treatments, you should proceed with caution to prevent the risk of irritation and inflammation of your skin.
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