Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Two Simple Facial Scrub Recipes using Used Coffee Grounds

Used coffee grounds can be repurposed in so many ways.  Add them to your soil, to your compost, to your worm farms, worm towers....and your face!

Yes, used coffee grounds actually make a really lovely, chemical-free face scrub - an excellent facial exfoliant that helps to naturally and gently freshen up your skin.

It's simple, free, packaging free and microbead free. I love too that it's value doesn't end here - the wash water is of benefit to your potted plants, vegetable garden or compost.

We accumulate a fair amount of coffee grounds in a day. We use a locally grown chemical free coffee or organic fair trade coffees. I also collect grounds from our local cafes.

Recipe 1: Used Coffee Grounds and Water

I love the simplicity of this recipe and it's so easy to repurpose again into the garden.
  1. Mix the freshly used coffee grounds with some water to make a paste. 
  2. Moisten your face first then gently buff in a circular motion with the coffee scrub.
  3. Put a warm facewasher over your face for about 30 seconds then wash off.
  4. Wash above a movable basin and use this coffee ground enriched water on your garden or potted plants.


Coffee grounds and coconut oil - looks a little like a mud mask - but it works so well and I love that it comes from the earth and returns to it.

Recipe 2: Used Coffee Grounds and Oil

I love this coffee/oil blend because it leaves my skin feeling really soft and smooth.
  1. Mix the 1.5 tbsp freshly used coffee grounds with 1 tbsp oil (I use coconut - but you could use olive or other preferred) to make a paste.  
  2. Moisten your face first then, as above, gently buff in a circular motion with the coffee scrub.
  3. Put a warm facewasher over your face for about 30 seconds then wash off.
  4. Wash above a movable basin and use this coffee ground enriched water on your garden or on your compost heap.
  5. Store any surplus coffee/oil blend in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator. It will keep for weeks.

By giving a coffee face scrub a go, not only is it helping your face, and helping your purse (it's free) and the planet too.

I am always keen to find ways to repurpose our wastes and integrate them back into our lifestyle - thinking of our life in a connected metabolic way - a systems way.

Making a face scrub from coffee grounds is, I admit, just one small way to reduce the coffee waste-stream, but it also reduces the use of plastic microbeads which are becoming a massive problem in our ocean ecosystems. In addition, it diminishes our contribution to the many impacts created by the cosmetics industry - chemical use, packaging, animal testing .....

The waste of used coffee grounds is a huge issue. Over 500 billion cups of coffee are consumed each year. Disastrously, most of the used coffee grounds end up in landfill and contribute to methane gas emissions - a greenhouse gas 23 times more damaging than carbon dioxide.

There are some other big plans out there for processing coffee waste.  Eight million tonnes of coffee is produced each year and the waste product contains 20% oil. Experiments are taking place to explore it's value as a sustainable biofuel source with 10 kg of coffee waste producing 2 litres of biofuel. Other experiments include transforming coffee grounds into a methane sink to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Meanwhile, find ways to can to ensure none of your coffee grounds go out in the bin.

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