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International Coffee Day: our fave coffee skincare recipes

  • 4 min read

At UpCircle it's no secret that we love coffee. So much in fact that we spend our lives venturing all over London collecting it from bars and cafes before turning it into our products!

We believe that if you wouldn’t want to eat it, then why would you want to put it on your skin? So... there’s no better place for finding skin-loving natural ingredients than in your kitchen at home – it’s where our scrubs were first created!

We’ve now rescued 90 tonnes of coffee from local bars and restaurants and repurposed it into our circular skincare range. So, in the spirit of International Coffee Day we thought we’d share some of our fave DIY coffee-based skincare recipes. Time to don your apron and get experimenting!


- Coffee grounds act as a natural microbead-free exfoliator, helping to buff away dry and dead skin, leaving you feeling smooth and soft!
- High in antioxidants, coffee grounds are a potent free radical fighter, protecting skin against premature ageing. The level of antioxidants in used coffee grounds are actually higher than in freshly-ground coffee – even more reason not to simply chuck it all in the bin!
- The caffeine in coffee helps stimulate blood flow making it effective against skin conditions such as acne, eczema, cellulite and stretch marks, and helping to address those areas in need of renewal and regeneration. Caffeine also has natural anti-inflammatory properties which help to calm swelling and redness.
- Coffee is the same pH as your skin - meaning it won't leave it feeling dry!



1. COFFEE BODY SCRUB (for soft, smooth skin)

Create our famous coffee scrubs for yourself at home using your own coffee grounds!


- 100g of freshly-brewed coffee grounds (you can use fresh unbrewed coffee grounds too if you're not a coffee drinker!)
- 2 Tablespoons coconut oil (can also use olive oil or almond oil)
- 2 heaped Tablespoons of shea butter (if not then just use a second oil – eg. almond oil)
- 10g of Sea Salt
- 20g of Coconut Palm Sugar (you can also use Rapadura or Cane Sugar)
- 5-10 drops Essential Oils of choice - see below for some ideas that work well with the coffee scent!


Cedarwood – A woody scent used for calming and to alleviate stress and anxiety.
Peppermint – A cooling agent that enhances mood, sharpens focus, combats irritation and redness, alleviates symptoms of congestion, and aids in digestion.
Rose – Soothing rose helps with circulation, inflammation, and depression.
Bergamot – This citrus scented oil is great from skin infections such as eczema and psoriasis.
Lemon – A good choice for skin irritation and poor circulation. A good choice for improving mood and reducing cellulite!


- Measure all the ingredients into a medium bowl and stir to combine with a spatula or a wooden spoon.
- Transfer to a jar or another pot with a lid and store keep in the bathroom.
- Apply in the shower or bath to damp skin.
- Massage into skin in a circular motion.
- Leave for 3-5 minutes for the essential oils to absorb into the skin for full effect.
- Rinse off thoroughly.
Your skin should feel incredibly soft and smooth.

2. COFFEE ICE CUBES (for dark circles and puffiness)

Dark circles are a common problem these days partially due to our modern love of phones, laptops, TVs etc! The good news is that when applied topically caffeine stimulates blood flow to the area of application – helping reduce their appearance Plus - this really couldn’t be simpler…


- 2-3 tablespoons of coffee
- Water


- Brew a strong organic coffee and pour it into ice cube trays… then (you’ve guessed it) freeze!
- To use the ice cubes, simply dab the ice cubes wrapped in a muslin cloth under and around the eyes before bedtime, or lie down and leave them on top of your eyes (think cucumber slices vibe) for a couple of minutes. Voila.

3. COFFEE FACE MASK (to brighten and detoxify)

Nothing beats a face mask to make yourself feel truly relaxed, and your skin feel clean and refreshed. Clays help to draw out impurities and minimise the appearance of pores, leaving you with a fresh complexion. Create your own mini spa treatment with this detoxifying coffee and clay recipe.


- 1 Tablespoon of your very own coffee grounds
- 1 tablespoon of your choice of clay – our faves are bentonite, kaolin, rhassoul and French pink clay (also found in Cinnamon + Ginger soap)
- A couple of drops of your choice of essential oil (recommendations below)
- Depending on sensitivity, 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar – those with very sensitive skin can dilute with a little water or rose water.


- In a small bowl mix the dry ingredients together first. Then add the wet ingredients until a paste is formed.
- Add additional water / apple cider vinegar until you get the desired consistency.
- Using your fingers or a face mask brush, spread mask over your face or desired area. Let it set for 5 – 10 minutes or until the mask hardens (but before it starts to overly dry and crack or flake).
- Rinse with warm water using slight circular motions before patting dry with a clean towel.


- Tea tree - Tea tree oil is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-microbial. It also promotes the absorption of nutrients (like a face mask ingredient booster!) and works wonders on scarring.
- Jasmine – Sweet smelling Jasmine has been known to ease depression, tension and stress.
- Rosemary - A powerful antibacterial and antiseptic, rosemary oil helps keep whiteheads, blackheads and acne at bay.
- Lavender – A well-known stress reliever but also a potent anti-inflammatory.



This is a softer, more indulgent variation on the body scrub recipe above. Just remove the salt and sugar and blend your coffee grounds with a heaped teaspoon of cocoa powder, and a tablespoon of almond / coconut oil and shea butter. Simple. Effective. Delicious. Thank us later.

We hope you’ve enjoyed getting creative – if you need any more DIY skincare inspo, there are plenty more recipes in other blog posts. Select the "SKIN" category at the top of the blog page to filter the posts!


With love, Team UpCircle x