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Using Coffee Grounds for Exfoliation

Caffeine 101

Exfoliating facial scrubs can be expensive, so many people have been searching for an inexpensive alternative. Coffee grounds are a safe option to try, as they meet the rule that many people try to follow: never put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t consider safe to eat. There have not been many studies of the effects of coffee or of caffeine on the skin, although one study showed that a caffeine-containing lotion applied to the skin of mice caused the mice to develop 44% fewer noncancerous tumors and 72% fewer cancerous tumors than mice who did not receive the caffeinated lotion.

Using Coffee Grounds for Exfoliation


  • Mix five tablespoons of fresh brewed coffee grounds with one tablespoon and one teaspoon of salt. Use as a facial scrub. This can be messy if you prefer to exfoliate in the shower, but is not so difficult if you washing your face at the sink.
  • You can also use freshly brewed (and cooled) coffee as a rinse for the scalp. Some people claim that coffee will prevent dandruff.

Why It Works

Coffee contains over 300 antioxidants. When applied to skin cells, antioxidants can help repair damage to DNA, producing younger-looking skin.


It is always important to be gentle with the skin. If your purpose in exfoliating is to make the skin look more smooth, you will not achieve that by scrubbing so hard that you injure the skin. Scrubbing that hard can result in a red, blotchy look. Scrubbing that hard may also sting, if you are using a coffee grounds/salt combination.

Be aware, as well, that when you first begin to exfoliate regularly, exfoliation may remove the top layer of dead skin cells only to reveal impurities below that were just beginning to form. The skin under the top layer is not always in perfect condition.

If you have a negative reaction (such as blotchiness, a rash, or acne) after you begin exfoliating with coffee grounds, consider the possibility that you might be having an allergic reaction. Try using a very gentle, hypoallergenic cleanser for a while and observe whether the reaction disappears


In addition, be aware that your body can absorb caffeine through the skin, so if you are very sensitive to caffeine, you might wish to exfoliate in the morning, rather than at night, to avoid possible insomnia.

More Remedies


This information is solely for informational and educational purposes only. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of or the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Be aware that many of the techniques and remedies published on this site have not been evaluated in scientific studies. Often, only limited information is available about their safety and effectiveness. Use of these remedies in connection with other medications can cause severe adverse reactions. It is always best to speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Additional information contained in our Legal Statement

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