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Natural Living

Beauty and the Bean

Your daily coffee fix can do so much more than quick-start your morning-it can also perk up your skin and get rid of puffy under-eye bags.

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The beauty benefits of coffee-or its illustrious ingredient caffeine-are a hot topic. In eye gels, caffeine helps deflate puffy skin by constricting blood vessels and reducing inflammation. It also helps drain excess blood and lymph fluid to temporarily deflate puffy eyes and reduce the appearance of dark circles, making you look well-rested.

Aromatic ground coffee beans, when mixed with essential oils, make delicious body scrubs. Ground coffee helps take off the dead surface layer of skin leaving a soft, polished glow without scratching the skin. The grounds’ edges are rounder than other popular exfoliating agents, such as seeds and husks, that can be jagged and irritating to the skin. A gentle coffee scrub or after-sun lotion containing coffee can also calm sunburn. Too much sun leaves the skin alkaline, but coffee contains essential fatty acids that soothe the skin and help balance its pH level.

Caffeine has highly potent anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce redness in your skin. It may also help prevent blemishes and acne. Coffee is also chock-full of antioxidants, which help protect the skin from harsh weather and other environmental stressors, as well as soothe and heal dry and cracked skin.

Research is emerging that green, unroasted coffee beans are even richer in antioxidants than roasted beans and provide significant skin-related benefits when applied topically. Apart from the antioxidant agents, green coffee beans are also rich in essential fatty acids and vitamin E that nourish and moisturize your skin to stop sagging, discoloration, and sun damage.

Coffea arabica seed oil is extracted by cold pressing green coffee beans. In a clinical study, a topical mixture containing Coffea arabica was applied twice daily as a facial wash and once per day as a lotion and night cream. After 12 weeks, study participants who received the coffee mixture experienced significant improvements in the appearance of wrinkles, firmness, redness, and texture, compared to the control group. These impressive results were due to Coffea arabica’s ability to increase collagen and elastin and to protect against moisture loss.

Americans drink more than 580 million cups of coffee each day. Be warned: coffee beauty products and spa treatments may become as addicting as your morning latte.

Andalou Naturals Luminous Eye Serum.

Revive your under-eyes with Andalou Naturals Luminous Eye Serum. Caffeine from green coffee stimulates circulation to reduce puffiness and help diminish dark circles. Fruit stem cell complex repairs damaged skin cells and regenerates healthy cells. Vitamin C and goji berry glycopeptides boost collagen and elastin to smooth fine lines and firm skin.

100% Pure Cocoa Kona Coffee Body Scrub

Invigorate and smooth your skin with 100% Pure Cocoa Kona Coffee Body Scrub. A rich aromatic paste of organic Kona coffee and oils of pomegranate seed, açai, cacao, grapeseed, and apricot, plus chocolate extract, exfoliates dry, flaky skin, leaving it soft, smooth, and moisturized. The fruit oil acids also gently brighten skin for a healthy glow and are easily absorbed rather than greasy to apply.

Alba Botanica Hawaiian After-Sun Lotion Replenishing Kona Coffee

Give sun-exposed skin a pick-me-up with Alba Botanica Hawaiian After-Sun Lotion Replenishing Kona Coffee. The natural acids in coffee seed extract soften skin and boost circulation, while the caffeine in the coffee and green tea help neutralize free-radical damage due to overexposure. Aloe, sunflower seed oil, and tropical emollients, including papaya extract, macadamia seed oil, white ginger lily root extract, kukui nut oil, and kelp hydrate and nourish for an après-sun glow.

MyChelle Dermaceuticals Magnolia Fresh Eyes

Wake up tired eyes with MyChelle Dermaceuticals Magnolia Fresh Eyes. Green coffee extract in this eye serum stimulates blood circulation and can decrease the thickness of the under-eye fat pad. Eyeseryl peptide strengthens weakened capillaries and supports the elimination of excess fluid responsible for dark circles and puffiness. Magnolia leaf extract helps strengthen and repair the delicate under-eye skin.

Take a Coffee Break … at the Spa

Coffee’s potent beauty properties are stimulating more demand for caffeine-powered skin treatments. The crème de la crème of spas include coffee treatments on their menus, including full-body exfoliations with aromatic coffee scrubs, anti-cellulite detoxifying body wraps using coffee, moisturizing massages with coffee-infused lotions and body oils, and applications of facial serums and creams infused with coffee. ONE the Spa at Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica, Calif., offers a 90-minute detoxification treatment that features a vigorous and potent coffee scrub followed by a clay wrap to draw out impurities, and topped off with a deep tissue massage.

Coffee Talk

See if you can match the following quotes about coffee to their authors:

  1. “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.”
  2. “My dream is to have a house on the beach, even just a little shack somewhere so I can wake up, have coffee, look at dolphins, be quiet and breathe the air.”
  3. “I can’t imagine a day without coffee. I can’t imagine!”
  4. “If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee.”
  5. “A leaf fluttered in through the window this morning, as if supported by the rays of the sun, a bird settled on the fire escape, joy in the task of coffee, joy accompanied me as I walked.”

A. Anaïs Nin
B. Howard Schultz (Starbucks CEO)
C. Abraham Lincoln
D. T.S. Eliot
E. Christina Applegate

Answers: 1. D; 2. E; 3. B; 4. C; 5. A