How do you take your coffee? It’s a question most of us can easily answer in cafés, but now it applies to your beauty routine, too. While coffee might be an integral part of your morning, it’s not usually considered a skincare ingredient. But lately, you might have noticed coffee grounds, oil, or extract on the ingredient labels of many skincare products.
One key reason why coffee keeps popping up in skincare products is caffeine. “Caffeine is a wonderful ingredient in skincare products because it is a vasoconstrictor. That means that it constricts blood vessels, or makes them smaller,” explains Purvisha Patel, MD, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Visha Skincare. Coffee is also secretly packed with good stuff for skin. “Coffeeberry extract is high in flavonoids and carotenoids and can help protect your skin from free radicals. It helps protect your skin from sunlight and photodamage,” says Dr. Patel, and adds that “coffee by itself has antioxidant properties as well.”
In an effort to use environmentally responsible production methods, some skincare brands are also repurposing used coffee grounds that would otherwise end up in landfills. UK-based skincare brand UpCircle Beauty works with London coffee shops to source its grounds. “In the UK, we send 500,000 tons of coffee waste to landfills per year, so there’s plenty for us to try to intercept before that happens,” says the brand’s co-founder, Anna Brightman. “Every day we’re contacted by coffee shops all over the country asking if we can collect their grounds.” And the brewing process may actually make the post-consumer grounds more potent, not less so. “The research has shown that antioxidant levels in used coffee grounds are actually higher than in freshly-ground coffee,” says Brightman.
We also have an emotional connection to coffee (seriously). When former fashion editor Sophia Chabbott was developing the hero products for her newly launched skincare brand, Testament Beauty, she looked to her grandmother for inspiration. “One of the things Grandma Frieda was known for was her Turkish coffee,” says Chabbott. “When I was a kid, we’d go to her house and pick grape leaves in her backyard garden, which we’d then roll in the kitchen. After that, my mom, my grandmother, my sister and I would sit with her while the adults had their Turkish coffee.” The memory is so close to Chabbott that it became part of her brand’s ethos. “The Turkish Coffee 3-in-1 Mask is a testament to her,” she says.
Intrigued? Keep reading below for more coffee-infused skincare products that you’ll love just as much as your daily cup of joe.
UpCircle Eye Cream With Maple and Coffee
“Coffee oil is fantastic for brightening the complexion, giving the skin a dewy and well-rested appearance,” says Brightman. Plus, you can rest easy knowing that the coffee oil was sourced from brewed coffee that otherwise would have been sent to a landfill.
Testament Beauty Turkish Coffee 3-in-1 Mask
Inspired by Chabbott’s “garden to table” Mediterranean lifestyle, this exfoliating face mask is packed with Turkish coffee, avocado oil, and cacao (and is worth trying for the addictive, dessert-like scent alone).
Versed Recovery Mode Advanced Night Cream
Coffee before bed? Hear me out: With antioxidant-packed fermented purple tea and green coffee extract, this night cream will have you waking up with a brighter complexion.
Paula's Choice Resist Skin Restoring Moisturizer SPF 50
This daytime moisturizer has everything, including anti-oxidant–packed coffee seed, shea butter, and apple. It also contains niacinamide for brightening and a whopping SPF 50 to keep your skin protected.
Náu Anti-Fatigue Face Cream
With green coffee extract and coffee oil, this lightweight moisturizer is like an espresso shot for sleepy skin.
100% Pure Organic Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream
Caffeine is especially common in eye products thanks to its ability to combat puffiness. This formula has both coffee and antioxidant-rich green tea, as well as rosehip oil, aloe, and vitamin E for extra nourishment around the delicate eye area.
Frank Body Caffeinated Face Moisturiser
The brand’s body scrubs are made with coffee grinds and have a huge following, but this creamy face moisturizer is also a hit.
Acaderma Better With Age Rejuvenating Rich Cream
If you want a little anti-aging power with your coffee, consider this face moisturizer that also boasts hyaluronic acid, bakuchiol, and ceramides.
Kopari Starry Eye Balm
The coffee oil and subtle highlight give your eyes an instant wide-awake look. Apply on no-makeup days or as an eye primer for a little extra glow.
Dermalogica Phyto-Nature Firming Serum
A little of this dual serum goes a long way. Use just one pump to deliver equal parts of both serums, and let the green coffee, brightening camu camu, and Moroccan rock rose extract get to work.
Itadi Face Wash
Unlike harsher face scrubs, this creamy cleanser blends bits of coffee along with nourishing shea butter and coconut oil for gentle exfoliation.
Naturopathica Espresso Mud Body Scrub
Coffee is a popular ingredient in body products, too, particularly in scrubs. Case in point: this detoxifying formula from Naturopathica.
The Body Shop Ethiopian Green Coffee Cream
This rich body cream has a fresh, herbal fragrance, making it a nice choice for those who want the firming benefits of coffee without smelling like Starbucks.