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Confession: I don’t drink coffee. This is not a taste preference (I absolutely love the taste), nor is it a health preference (coffee’s good for you now, y’heard?!?)—sadly, it’s more of a biological referendum. I actually feel like a complete nutcase if I drink the treasured bean, like ants and other animals are running around inside of me, like I could stay up for three days straight (even on decaf). Alas. I live a coffee-less life. Until today.

Today, I bring you the glorious solution to all your woes in the form of a dreamy facial exfoliator that smells like a morning vanilla mocha and will awaken your skin like you’re getting ready for your close-up, Mr. DeMille. Let’s talk about what coffee and cacao can do for you on the outside, since we already know what they do once they’re inside of you.

First up: Caffeine can be absorbed through the pores, so the finely ground coffee and raw chocolate will both give you a sweet little perky pep. Caffeine also tightens skin, can reduce redness, and calms irritation and inflammation. Perfection for early morning puffy face (you know what I’m talking about—I recently decided I look very much like a mole first thing in the morning, so I’m hoping this scrub will help).

Also: Both coffee and cacao are major antioxidants, and can help rid your body of free radicals. Free radicals contribute to aging, toxicity, and a bunch of other gross things we’d all prefer to leave behind.

And finally: The scrub contains a few pinches of ground vanilla bean (you could use a couple drops of pure vanilla extract if it’s all you’ve got), which is a luscious aphrodisiac. You may ask yourself, Why do I need an aphrodisiac while I’m sloughing dead skin cells off my body? The answer is simply: BECAUSE DUH. You clearly need more reasons to fall in love with yourself early in the morning.

Enjoy, my loves!

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  • 3 tablespoons coffee beans very finely ground
  • 3 tablespoons raw cacao nibs very finely ground
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sweet almond oil
  • 2 pinches ground vanilla bean or a touch of pure vanilla extract.


  1. I used my Vitamix to grind the coffee and cacao nibs; you could also use a spice grinder, coffee grinder, or other high-powered blender. It’s important to blend to what looks like a flour; otherwise you might scratch your sensitive facial skin.
  2. Empty ground coffee and cacao into a bowl, and add sugar, vanilla, and sweet almond oil. Mix thoroughly, until it reaches a consistency like damp sand.
  3. Wash face as usual. Then use a couple teaspoons of scrub at a time, testing a small area of your face or neck before applying all over. Apply gentle pressure as you gauge how much exfoliation you’d like. Rinse off, and moisturize as you like.