We've been drinking coffee for more years than we can remember. A good cup of joe from our local coffee shop is how we prefer to jumpstart the day. Plus, we can proudly brag at family dinners about the many health benefits of latte-sipping. (Coffee can make us less stressed AND make us smarter? We'll have another cup.)
There are beauty benefits worth nothing, too. Coffee is loaded with antioxidants, which can prevent premature skin aging. And some research even suggests an association between intake of caffeine (which we all know coffee has in spades) and decreased risk of skin cancer. Here are three beauty benefits of coffee:
1. It gets rid of puffy eyes.
Caffeine works as a constrictor to reduce swelling and inflammation, according to dermatologist and psychiatrist Amy Wechsler. She recommends applying eye creams that contain caffeine, as opposed to drinking coffee, because topical treatments target this skincare problem faster.
2. It minimizes the appearance of cellulite ... temporarily.
You've probably read accounts of women proclaiming that they got rid of cellulite by scrubbing with coffee, but this isn't accurate. "No matter what's in [the scrub], if you scrub hard enough it will irritate the skin," Wechsler explains. "And when you irritate the skin, it brings in more water, hence inflammation, so you get swollen." So if you're going to the beach and want to scrub the heck out of your tush, the doctor warns us that the skin-firming effects will only last for about three hours.
3. It exfoliates dry skin and makes it feel silky smooth.
While coffee beans may be a bit too harsh to use on your face, Wechsler believes using a homemade scrub made out of coffee bean grounds is a safer option for exfoliating the body. "Scrubs shouldn't hurt. You can grind the coffee beans so that it becomes a manual exfoliant and not a sharp one. I find some of those seed exfoliants hurt because of the irregular shape," she adds.
Below is a simple coffee scrub recipe that certified nutritional consultants and health coaches Marra St. Clair and Lori Kenyon-Farley shared with us from their book "The Juice Cleanse Reset Diet."
What you'll need: 1 cup of warm coffee grounds, a half cup of sea salt and two tablespoons olive oil.
Directions: Lay newspapers (or an old towel) down on your bathroom floor. Stir all ingredients together and apply the mixture to dry skin. Brush thoroughly onto skin, giving extra attention to your elbows, feet, and other extra dry areas. Leave on for about two minutes. Brush off as much of the mixture as possible before hopping in the shower. Alternatively, you can apply and wash off in the shower, but cover the drain with mesh to avoid clogging the drain.
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