I got up this morning to the wonderful scent of freshly brewed coffee filling my house. Of course I didn’t put the coffee pot on to boil but I really enjoyed a cup of Trinidad coffee. Trinidad coffee is very special. It is mild, flavourful and never bitter. Coffee has been grown and harvested in Trinidad from the wild for hundreds of years and once we were even considered the King of Coffee and Cocoa. Trinidad is still the hands down uncontested Cocoa King when it comes to taste, aroma and quality. Local coffee has not gotten such high acclaim but it is gem yet to be discovered. This gem shines with small artisan family run - fertiliser free plantations, where traditional knowledge is passed from parents to children for generations.
Okay so enough talk about the #1 morning must have in the world. Coffee is a skin care must have.
Picture of a flowering Coffee Tree (C. Arabica)
We love how people are slowly rediscovering the power of natural ingredients all over again. Coffee is really a hot ingredient…green coffee bean powder, ground roasted coffee beans, coffee bean extract, coffee bean oil are all used in skin care.
BENEFITS OF COFFEE
Natural gentle exfoliant - helps you remove dead skin, dirt, grim and oils naturally without damaging your skin
Anti-oxidant rich - reduces your signs of ageing, protects from sun and radical damage, supports healthy skin.
Caffeine rich - leads to glowing skin by supporting good circulation, skin cell renewal. Proven for cellulite reduction and toning the skin.
Anti-puffiness function - chemicals in coffee help regulate the amount and movement of water in the skin layers thereby reducing puffiness
Anti-inflammatory function - chemicals like the polyphenols and xanthines and acids found in coffee work to reduce inflammation which is great for making skin look radiant.
LEARN MORE ABOUT COFFEE IN SKIN PRODUCTS
There is a lot of hype about Coffee but here are some things you need to know:Green Coffee Beans and Green Coffee Bean Extract
When coffee has not been roasted after harvesting it is called Green Coffee Beans. These greenish-grey beans have been advertised as a weight loss aid and in fact the extract from these beans is probably one of the top selling weight loss products on the market.
Green Coffee Beans contain higher amounts of a chemical called Chlorogenic Acid, which has been noted as a weight loss inducing chemical. Some scientific studies back up this claim and now some companies are using this ingredient for skin care. There are no real studies of the benefits of Green Coffee Bean Extract in skincare beyond the benefit of anti-oxidants and caffeine which are found in the extract.
Ground Roasted Coffee Beans
Roasted coffee beans are full of caffeine and a host of other complex natural chemicals. If used in the right way roasted coffee can deliver caffeine to the skin. Caffeine is a proven ingredient for cellulite reduction, toning in blemish prone skin and skin restoration in dull looking skin. It easily crosses the skin barrier when applied topically and thus is a good active ingredient for creams, scrubs and the like. The other chemicals present in roasted coffee beans, mainly complex anti-oxidants, are also great for skin health.
Coffee for cellulite treatment
For Green Coffee Bean Extract it has been shown that the active ingredient inhibits new fat cells from growing and helps in transport of fatty acids (they are found in fats and oils) or reduces uptake of carbohydrates. These actions may be responsible for the extract’s noted use in weight loss.
Topical application, e.g. applying Green Coffee Bean Extract in a cream, is another story. For this to work as a “fat burner” in cellulite reduction the extract would have to be readily absorbed by the skin. In most cases I’ve seen the ingredients used in these creams cannot form the right structures to get the active ingredient into the pores and across the skin barrier and into the blood stream. This would require what cosmetic chemists call liquid crystalline lamellae structures and liposomal delivery. Sound fascinating but it is truly complicated chemistry. Caffeine and anti-oxidants in the extract may have some benefit, though caffeine is in much lower concentration for the unroasted beans.
The smarter cosmetic chemists out there think this also applies to using ground roasted coffee beans in scrubs. For the anti-cellulite benefit to be real the caffeine needs to get into the fatty tissue. Massaging your cellulite with a coffee scrub would help the circulation but not remove the fatty tissue.
The oil + coffee or salt+ coffee + oil or sugar+coffee+oil scrubs on the market are really just moisturising exfoliants. Unless that coffee is first boiled to release the caffeine then they will not have active caffeine. Also caffeine has limited ability to dissolve in oils so that means it will not get from the coffee beans and into the cellulite you are trying to get rid of. Sorry to burst the bubble.
How we use coffee
We love using coffee as a natural sustainable exfoliant. It has mild abrasive action and can also provide some skin nourishing active ingredients in the right product. What’s even better is that the yummy scent of coffee also acts as a pick me up in products made with good quality coffee grinds.
Our Espresso For Your Face Coffee Scrub is a coffee scrub made with freshly ground sustainably farmed Trinidad Coffee. We make sure the caffeine gets into the scrub by boiling the coffee before using it. This way the coffee provides exfoliation plus delivers a functional amount of caffeine to treat dull tired skin. Find out more about this fabulous exfoliant here.
Look out for our exfoliating Coffee + Coconut Soap and All Over Coconut Coffee Scrub in 2018.