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Maybe you’ve heard of sugar scrubs and salt scrubs (a.k.a. sea salt scrubs or dead sea salt scrubs). I love them. Sugar scrubs are my favorite only because salt will burn if it gets into your scrapes or eyes. I pretty much use a sugar scrub every time I shower, and I make them for my friends (half of the people who ask me for one are guy friends). There’s another option that’s popular for natural body buffing and polishing: coffee scrubs.
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Feel free to leave a comment and disagree with or confirm any of the points I’m making in this article. Your ideas and opinions are welcome. You may even end up doing an experiment yourself. I would encourage you to try a coffee scrub DIY or buy one and make up your own mind about them.
Typically, these coffee scrubs are made from a blend of coffee grounds, brown sugar and coconut oil. Lovely ingredients as long as you don’t have a coconut allergy, and I don’t have any allergies. No, allergies are not one of the reasons I can’t get into coffee scrubs.
I love handmade soaps. Some handmade soaps have coffee grounds blended into them to produce a more exfoliating experience. I do like those soaps. Bars of handmade soaps are very different from oil and coffee-based shower scrubs.
You will see these beautiful photos of coffee scrubs online and on social media. For the record, I don’t have anything against coffee scrubs. In fact, I will likely continue to use them on occasion. Coffee scrubs exfoliate your skin and hold skin-softening oils well.
Once I ran into an old friend on a flight to Chicago. We sat together (Southwest open seating). It was wonderful. She mentioned she loves coffee scrubs. She strongly preferred them to sugar scrubs. It sparked my interest so I went home and made a coffee scrub that weekend. It was just ok.
Why I just can’t get into coffee scrubs
Three reasons why I just can’t get into coffee-based body scrubs:
- If you use them on your face, you may end up with rough coffee grounds in your eye.
- They leave brown coffee muck under my fingernails.
- The coffee grounds get all over my shower.
Coffee in your eye
How did I find out that you might get coffee grounds in your eye? The hard way. Twice.
You can avoid this one if you don’t use the coffee scrub to wash your face or scalp and are careful not to rub your eye before you’ve washed off every single ground from your hands. But, I am looking for the easiest approach to natural skincare. If there are too many restrictions on a product, it’s just not easy enough for me. Plus, pretty much the only time I wash my face is when I’m in the shower. Using a sugar scrub after washing my face adds instant moisture and polishes my skin. I want something I can use from my head to my toes.
When you rub your body with a coffee scrub, it leaves coffee residue on your skin. It’s a lot like the sludge you may see at the bottom of a coffee cup or carafe. Now, that’s not such a big deal, especially if you only use the scrub in the shower. It only takes an extra 20 seconds in the shower to wash the coffee sludge off your skin.
The thing I don’t like is that after I use a coffee scrub, it leaves bits of muck and coffee grounds under my fingernails. Dirty fingernails might not be such a big deal. Gardeners don’t generally mind dirt under their fingernails all that much. I don’t use gardening gloves, and during gardening season, there’s always a little dirt under mine.
It’s more the discomfort of having coffee grounds under my nails that I dislike. Ok, I’m sure I could use unused grounds instead of brewed coffee grounds, put them through the grinder and make them much finer. But, now we’ve exceeding the amount of effort I want to put into making a body scrub, especially since I use them every day. I want to be able to blend up a scrub quickly in the middle of checking other stuff off my hectic working parent To-Do list.
Grounds up the wall
I have used body scrubs in the shower for years and plan to use them for the rest of my life. Usually, the only thing I am worried about is leaving a bit of a slippery sheen on the tiles. I do not want to worry about leaving coffee grounds or sludge splattered all around my shower tiles.
If you’re a bit of a clean freak or you don’t have children, you probably clean your shower more often than I do. In between major cleanings, I don’t want to do much more work than a few sprays of mildew remover.
When I use coffee scrubs in my shower, I end up having to fill a cup with water and splash it on the walls over and over again to clean every speck of coffee off the tiles. Ideal effort level exceeded again.
One more thing
Even if you use yummy coconut oil and vanilla (I recommend Mexican vanilla) and elegant essential oils in your coffee scrub, it still leaves the faint scent of cigarette ash on your skin for the first 15 minutes or so after your shower. It may stay on your skin a little longer than that, but I don’t seem to notice it after 15 minutes.
Why would coffee ground residue smell like cigarette ash? I’m not sure. I am not a smoker, but my Gram was. She smelled of Nivea face cream, Maxwell House and Pall Mall cigarettes. She also died of cancer so please don’t take this as an endorsement. But, after I use a coffee scrub in the shower, it reminds me of the smell of my Gram. If I used Nivea after my coffee scrub, I’d be having serious childhood flashbacks. She would be so mad at me for telling you she smelled like cigarettes.
What do you think?
Ok, before I annoy my late Gram any more, I’ll turn this over to you.
Have you experimented with coffee scrubs? Can you connect with any of the points I’ve made? Maybe you wrote a totally contrary post about how much you love coffee scrubs. I respect that. Please scroll down to share your comments or questions.