Skincare Journal, May: DIY coffee scrub

Caffeine is a popular ingredient in a lot of skincare products. It helps to fight free-radicals and is anti-inflammatory. It is suppose to help tighten the skin as well, thus it is a popular ingredient in de-puffing eye creams and cellulite creams. In some cases, it is also suppose to help with redness of the skin. Since I made coffee for the first time in a long while, I figure I might as well try a coffee scrub DIY I’ve seen before. It is a facial scrub consisting of grounded coffee (new or used) + coconut oil + honey. I added just enough coconut oil to make it emollient and honey to help it stick together (I know, such a precise recipe it is).


It’s for your face, so it’s suppose to moisturize, help with puffiness/redness and exfoliate. I used it 3-4 times over the past few weeks and it was ok. The coffee did provide nice exfoliation, it was not as jagged/abrasive as I thought it would be when rubbed on gently. The coconut oil probably also helps to cushion it and prevent the exfoliant from being too harsh as well as moisturize. It makes your skin super soft and smooth after you rinse off. So yes, it is an effective exfoliant, HOWEVER….. it is quite messy since the granules don’t dissolve, so you gotta clean the sink afterward or put a fine enough filter to catch the coffee granule as you are rinsing. It didn’t really do anything for my redness and, here’s the thing: I feel like sugar (for dry skin) or salt (for oily skin) would be much better as the exfoliant granule in the DIY than coffee since they don’t make a mess. They also dissolves when wet and when in contact with heat from your skin, thus making them a bit less abrasive. If you want the skincare benefit of the caffeine, why not add a few drops of black/concentrated coffee liquid instead of using grounded coffee? And, there are plenty of other ways to get anti-oxidants.

In short, it works as a decent scrub, but a DIY scrub with sugar or salt + coconut oil + whatever you want to add (honey, tea or coffee liquid) would be much more skin friendly with less cleaning hassle. So, that was the little DIY thing I did in May. The post and skincare journal got a little delayed since I was occupied with some Korean goodies, but better late than never…

Skin condition: My skin started off nicely at beginning of the month, but I had a minor reaction on one cheek when I was playing with some serums and peels so I spent the second half of the month trying to fix the bumpy, red and slightly itchy skin. Other than that, my skin have completed the winter/summer switch. It is now oily/combo rather than dry/combo. The pores are normal, and I think my skin is a tad brighter from the essence I’m using.

Product used: I’ve been using DDG Medi-Spa peel weekly and samples of Tatcha enzyme powders inbetween. As for masks, I used collagen sheet masks, Fresh Rose mask and Origins Charcoal mask. The products I used daily are:

  • Murad Essential C cleanser
  • Lancome Tonique Douceur, Alcohol-Free
  • Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence
  • Serum samples (Dior One Essential, Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus, Kate Somerville RetAsphere Micro Peel, SK-II Wrinkle Specialist Moisturizing Serum)
  • Shiseido Benefiance Eye Cream
  • Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream
  • SPF sample packets

I was hoping to find a new favorite but none of the SPF sample packets I tried suited my taste, so I end up ordering Amore Pacific Natural Protector SPF30. My skin acted up probably because the combination of DDG Medi-Spa peel and Kate Somerville RetAsphere Micro Peel, which I treated like a serum, was too strong. I’m skipping serum for awhile until my skin settles, then I will resume playing around with serums. When it comes to glycolic acid, retinol and hydroquinone, it seems like you can never be too careful.

Other influences: The weather’s been a bit dry, but it was manageable with the help of facial sprays. Now that it’s warmer and more sunny, remember your sun protections! Aside from SPF, I’ve been trying to get into the habit of wearing a hat and bringing my sunglasses with me when out and about. I thought about writing a blogpost about SPF, but why do that when there are plenty of good ones out there? And this article from Allure covers most of the points I want to make. Even if you are lazy, just read the first two sentence after each bullet point to make sure you are protected!


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