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Ever thought of turning your coffee beans into a body scrub?

Learning about the different uses of coffee and its skin benefits might make you want to give it a try. (Besides, who said you had to limit your coffee use to your morning cup of Joe?).

Plus, there may be benefits to scrubbing it on your skin. Read on to find out what the benefits are and how to create your own coffee scrub at home.

Yes — or, at least, it’s possible the caffeine and other ingredients in it are.

In fact, a 2013 study found that caffeic acid, an antioxidant found in coffee, may increase collagen production, which may help reduce signs of skin aging.

A 2015 study found a correlation between coffee drinking and reduced “photoaging” effects — in this case, defined as pigmented spots and wrinkles.

One caveat: As we’ve written before, most coffee-related research focuses on either drinking coffee or using cosmetic products that contain caffeine, not necessarily coffee scrubs themselves. So it’s hard to generalize the results of these studies to coffee scrubs specifically.

However, there’s likely no harm in using a coffee scrub on your body, with one exception (more on that below).

And, like other kinds of exfoliation, it can:

  • slough off dead skin cells
  • help unclog pores
  • promote brighter skin
  • temporarily reduce the effects of cellulite

Robert Anolik, a board certified dermatologist, says coffee scrubs are safe to use on the face and body.

However, he cautions that some people develop allergic dermatitis from coffee grounds.

If you’re not someone who already makes or drinks coffee on a regular basis, it’s a good idea to do a patch test on your arm before using a coffee scrub.

How to do a patch test

  1. Wash your arm from your wrist to your elbow, and pat it dry.
  2. Rub a small amount of coffee grounds onto a small area of the underside of your arm.
  3. Wipe the grounds off.
  4. Wait 24 hours. If there’s no reaction, you’re good to go. If you experience redness, itching, or hives, you’ll want to avoid using a coffee scrub on your skin moving forward.
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Dr. Dee Anna Glaser, a board certified dermatologist in St. Louis, MO, recommends including a few staple ingredients in your scrub, such as:

  • Coffee. You can’t have a coffee scrub without coffee! Plus, it serves as an antioxidant.
  • Oil. Glaser recommends coconut oil as a moisturizer, because it doesn’t contain any skin-irritating chemicals. But jojoba oil, olive oil, and grapeseed oil work as well.
  • Rolled oats. These can help reduce inflammation on the skin.
  • Vanilla extract. You can use this to cover up the coffee scent if you’re not a fan, or you can use it as a relaxing aroma.
  • Salt or sugar. These serve as the actual exfoliants in your scrub.

The instructions for the recipes below are the same:

  1. Simply combine ingredients until you reach your desired thickness.
  2. Then, gently scrub the mixture onto your face or body.
  3. Rinse off with water.

Coffee and coconut oil scrub

If you’re looking for something quick and easy, or if you’re a beginner at DIY projects, here’s a good recipe for you.


  • 1/2 cup coffee grounds
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp. water

Coffee and sugar scrub


  • 1/2 cup coffee grounds
  • 1/2 cup sugar (either brown sugar or granulated sugar works fine)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp. water

Coffee and Himalayan salt scrub

Himalayan salt has many properties that are great for the skin, such as treating acne and psoriasis, and delivering magnesium.


  • 1/2 cup coffee grounds
  • 1/2 cup Himalayan salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp. water

Coffee and baking soda scrub

Baking soda is an alkaline substance that helps the body maintain its pH levels.


  • 1/2 cup coffee grounds
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp. water

Coffee and rolled oats scrub


  • 1/2 cup coffee grounds
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp. water

According to Glaser, the easiest way to apply your scrub is simply by stepping into your tub or shower.

Gently scrub the mixture over your body or face in a circular motion, and then rinse off with warm water. That’s it!

Since your DIY scrub will lack the preservatives that cosmetic products contain, Glaser recommends keeping your scrub for no longer than a week in an airtight container to eliminate the possibility of fungus and mold growing.

While you can use old coffee grounds to create your scrub, both Anolik and Glaser suggest using fresh grounds.

Glaser states that the older grounds could affect the texture of the scrub. Plus, fresh coffee grounds contain higher levels of caffeine and antioxidants, which may boost any skin-related benefits.

The bottom line: the fresher, the better.

How often you should exfoliate depends on your individual skin type.

“Usually an exfoliation 1 to 2 times a week is most helpful and balances associated irritation,” Anolik says.

Glaser says if you have dry or flaky skin, you may benefit from exfoliating 3 to 4 times per week.

However, if you notice any redness, irritation, or cuts developing, stop exfoliating and speak with your doctor.

You shouldn’t use a coffee scrub if you have a coffee allergy or if you see that you’re having a bad reaction.

Glaser also cautions against using a scrub if you have acne, rosacea, or eczema, or if you’re using any retinoid-containing products, since they can make your skin more sensitive.

Coffee has many great uses in and out of your body. Creating your own DIY scrub is an easy way to achieve smooth, healthy skin.

Morgan Armstead is a senior at Johnson C. Smith University and an intern with Healthline, writing beauty and wellness material.