Coffee is a source of nutrients and antioxidants that may benefit the skin, scalp, and hair. A person can use it to exfoliate, treat acne, increase blood flow, and balance pH levels.

In this article, we describe eight ways to use coffee on the scalp, hair, and skin. We also provide research that helps to clarify the potential benefits.

1. Exfoliation

Coffee grounds make a great exfoliant. The grounds do not dissolve in water, which makes them good at scrubbing away dead skin cells.Results of a study from 2013 suggest that substances in coffee also help to promote healthy skin. Caffeic acid, an antioxidant, may boost collagen levels and reduce the premature aging of cells.

To make a simple exfoliating scrub, combine:

  • one-quarter cup fresh coffee grounds
  • one-quarter cup brown sugar
  • enough lemon juice for the desired consistency

Scrub the mixture into the skin once every few days after washing the body. Let the scrub sit on the skin for a few minutes, then rinse it off.

2. Getting rid of puffy eyes

Coffee may benefit people with puffy, inflamed eyes.Caffeine stimulates blood flow and widens, or dilates, the blood vessels. This increases blood flow, which can help the skin to naturally tighten. The result may be a reduction in the buildup of fluid under the eyes.

Other compounds in coffee, such as chlorogenic acids, may also reduce inflammation around the eyes.

Try dabbing around the eyes with a paste of very finely-ground coffee and the liquid from the coffee itself.

3. Sun protection

Coffee contains antioxidants, such as polyphenols. These may help to protect against ultraviolet (UV) rays and some signs of aging linked to sun exposure.

Authors of a study from 2015 concluded that participants with the highest consumption of polyphenols, from coffee or other sources, had fewer UV age spots on their faces. The participants were Japanese women aged 30–60 years. Confirming these findings will require further research.

Drinking coffee or applying it to the skin are simple ways to deliver these antioxidants to the body.

 

4. Cellulite reduction

Coffee may also help reduce the appearance of cellulite on the skin.A small study reported that a topical slimming product containing caffeine and several other active ingredients was more effective at reducing stubborn cellulite in women than a placebo product.

However, from this study, it is not possible to say whether the caffeine, another substance, or a combination produced the results.

A person could try using fresh, wet coffee grounds to scrub and exfoliate areas of cellulite. The exfoliation may also help smooth the skin and stimulate blood flow.

5. Acne treatment

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