Thursday, February 26, 2015

Coffee is Awesome in So Many Ways

When I was a young girl, I loved going grocery shopping with my parents. Walking past the deli and bakery, my eyes would dart back and forth, always looking for free samples of cheese or—on a good day—a cookie. Scurrying under the florescent lights, we would walk the aisles of the dry goods section, selecting sugars, flour, canned goods, and crackers. In this area of the store, I would gleefully scamper down one particular aisle, my eager nose inhaling deeply: the coffee aisle. I cannot remember a time when this smell did not appeal to me. I love the smell of coffee. I also love the taste of coffee. And I love the comfort and satisfaction of making a steaming cup of coffee to drink. Yet, every time I make coffee, I have a dilemma: what to do with the coffee grounds? As any good student in this technological age, I asked the ever-knowledgeable Internet. My coffee grounds could become garden fertilizer (for my non-existent garden), room deodorizers, or flea repellent for my non-existent dog. More often than not, coffee grounds would wind up in a piece of foil on my table to “deodorize the room,” or in my large cooler to keep that smelling like coffee, instead of the gross cooler-smell.

However, all of this changed the other day.

I decided to ask the Internet for ideas about simple body scrubs that I could make. About a year ago, I received a sugar scrub as a gift, and I really like using it. Homemade body scrub would be fun to make, and it would cost less than buying it pre-made. But, I don’t want to spend huge amounts of money on all of the different types oils that many homemade body scrubs use. I found some simple-looking sugar scrubs which looked pretty cool. And then I came across a coffee body scrub. I was extremely excited. I found a couple of recipes that differed a little bit, and then figured, “Hey, I’ll just play around with it, if recipes are different, I can tweak it however I want.” And since doing this about a week ago, I have found that coffee body scrub is awesome.  

It smells amazing. Seriously, it smells good in the jar, but when taking a shower, the air fills with the beautiful aroma of coffee. Ah, so heavenly!

Coffee is great for exfoliating your skin. According to Livestrong, " Coffee grounds are a mechanical exfoliate, meaning they can be used to scrub away dead skin to reveal the new, healthy skin underneath, whereas chemical exfoliates remove skin cells with enzymes or acidic properties. Exfoliating with coffee grounds improves circulation, leaving you with smooth, glowing skin."

The caffeine is good, too. A lot of websites claim that the caffeine in the coffee scrub can help reduce puffiness around the eyes. Maybe that's true, maybe it isn't-but it's an exciting thought, isn't it? 

 Like I’ve said, there are a few different recipes I’ve found for coffee body scrub. Some are as simple asmixing together coffee grounds and oil. Others are a little more complicated (one even involved an egg white!). Some recipes called for turbinado sugar, others called for brown sugar. I combined a couple of different recipes, and it follows below:  

Coffee Body Scrub
(makes enough for one small, wide-mouth Mason jar)
¼ c. used coffee grounds
½ c. brown sugar or raw turbinado sugar
1 t. vanilla
3 T. olive oil

Mix all of the ingredients together in a small bowl. I added a little bit of extra olive oil, and feel free to tweak it in any way you want! Put your mixture in the jar or other container and keep it at room temperature. I let it sit for a couple days before using it. But I’m not an expert in the world of homemade body scrubs. 

Enjoy your coffee, whether you are smelling, drinking, or exfoliating your skin with it! 

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