This Invigorating Coffee Scrub is My Affordable Go-To for Smooth, Clear Skin

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

After 4 years living in sunny Los Angeles, my complexion took a turn for the worse this past winter when I moved back to Boston. My previous skincare routine had more or less been modeled around sunscreen, but now I was suddenly dealing with dullness and dryness, plus the occasional breakout caused by slathering on heavy creams to combat the former woes. Basically, my complexion needed a reset.

While monthly facials would have proven effective for my skin, they would not have been effective for my wallet. Instead, research revealed that my dehydrated complexion could probably use an exfoliator to help slough away dead skin cells, allowing my serums and moisturizers to absorb more properly. Enter: UpCircle’s Coffee Face Scrub Citrus Blend. I found this customer-loved product on my favorite clean beauty site, Credo Beauty, and liked that it was sustainably made with repurposed coffee grounds from local London cafes. My days rely heavily on copious amounts of caffeine, so I figured my complexion would respond well to it, too—and I was right.

To buy: UpCircle Coffee Face Scrub Citrus Blend, $16;

Meant to be used once or twice a week, the citrus and coffee blend not only buffs my skin for a smooth finish, but also moisturizes it thanks to the essential oils in the formula. The added orange oil is a wonderful anti- inflammatory ingredient, which has helped to calm down my redness, while the lemon verbena oil is a great toner to combat my newfound acne. Plus, unlike peels and pore strips, the scrub seems to visibly clear up the blackheads on my nose and chin after every use. It even tightens my skin in the process to prevent new dirt and oil from clogging my pores.

The star ingredient, of course, is the Arabica coffee grounds. In addition to toning and de-puffing my skin, the coffee beans are full of antioxidants, which have been shown to slow down signs of aging, like fine lines and wrinkles. While I love to use this scrub during my morning showers as a mini at-home spa treatment, I’ve recently been using it during the day, too, now that I’m practicing social distancing. The invigorating coffee and citrus smell acts as an energizing wake-up call in the morning—or as a midday pick-me-up. No matter when I use it, it leaves my face looking smoother and more radiant, After all, just because I can’t go anywhere, doesn’t mean my skin doesn’t deserve to glow indoors.

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