Ahhh coffee scrubs. One of the trends we have seen in cosmetics over the last year or two! 😛 I see the appeal in finding products which have simple, recognisable ingredients in their formulas, promising to do amazing things. The problem though, is that a lot of these claims are inflated or untested. Frank Original Coffee Scrub is one of those products. It promises to not only scrub away dead skin cells as per an ordinary body scrub, but fight cellulite, uneven skin tone and stretch marks (these claims have been posted numerous times via their Instagram page). That’s a lot. Caffeine does indeed help to firm up your skin by breaking down fat and shrinking the size of fat cells, minimising the appearance of cellulite, but it’s super unlikely that a coffee scrub alone will help you achieve this. Unfortunately, not everything you place on your skin gets automatically absorbed by your skin into the blood stream like magic (despite what numerous all natural beauty brands claim – *cough cough, marketing!). If that were so, the human race would not last very long… Despite this (and I will go into this further on in the post) it is a nice body scrub! Messy, but it has positives you may want to hear about! 🙂
Frank Original Body Scrub contains some lovely ingredients – Roasted and ground robusta coffee beans, cold pressed sweet almond oil (which contains vitamins A, E and D), additional vitamin E (antioxidant), brown sugar, sea salt and orange oil.
I’ll do something for you: like scrub away dry, flakey skin with my roasted and ground robusta coffee blend, leaving you feeling soft and smooth. I’ll cleanse and clarify with brown sugar and sea salt. Then I’ll smooth, moisturise and tone with cold-pressed almond oil. I’ll love every inch of your bod, because that’s the kind of guy I am.
The first thing that you will notice about this scrub, is that yes – it looks and feels just like ground up coffee! Ground, roasted coffee has some moisture to it and with the added oils mentions above, it feels soft and moist. If you like the scent of coffee, then this scrub will put into seventh heaven! I adore the scent of coffee, probably even more so than I enjoy drinking it. It’s a homely scent, whilst being reenergising. Because of the orange oil, it also reminds me of orange chocolate quite a bit – so all good things! haha 😀
The coffee is ground to be quite fine, but because of the added sugar and sea salt, I would call this scrub a medium coarse scrub. Not as full on as some salt scrubs can be, but it also isn’t as fine as most salt scrubs are (and doesn’t melt away quite as quickly). Frank recommends that you use the scrub on dry skin and leave it to dry for 5-10 minutes. I assume this is so some of the caffeine in the scrub can penetrate your skin and work it’s wonders. Unfortunately, I doubt a lot of caffeine (if any) gets down far enough into the skins epidermis to work it’s magic. You see, the caffeine would need to reach the hypodermis (which is where the fatty cellulite tissue is stored) in high concentration to work. Unfortunately, there’s heaps of things standing in the way of this happening – hair follicles, large particles and poor delivery methods. Usually, high-tech skin care will utilise delivery methods such as nanoparticles, microemulsions or ultrasound to get the ingredients to where they need to be to work best. Standing around with scrub on your skin, probably ain’t the most effective delivery method (and you will just feel cold..). Caffeine also needs be at a concentration of 5% or more to be effective at shrinking fat tissue (the higher the concentration the better). Dry scrubbing will exfoliate your skin more effectively than scrubbing damp skin, but to be honest, I’m rarely bothered to do this… I usually use the scrub in the bath and to scrub myself silly, I stand up and apply the scrub whilst massaging my skin in circular, upward motions. I still get some great exfoliation using the scrub this way. It leaves a wonderfully light oily residue on your skin (I suspect its the sweet almond oil) so nothing to heavy or greasy. I don’t feel like I have to moisturise my skin afterwards – it’s left so soft, moisturised and smooth!
The scrub will inadvertently even out your skin tone (like all scrubs do), because you are getting rid of dry skin build up, which can build up unevenly on the skin. After a good scrubbing, you should have a clean and even skin tone all over! For any pigmentation issues, you will need to use a more dedicated product (or a scrub which contains acids – chemical exfoliants as well as physical exfoliants). Giving yourself a good scrub weekly (or even every 4-5 days) will also help.
The one minus of this scrub is that it is messy. You will have some loose coffee get away from you and spill into the corners of your shower/bath tub or bathroom. It is a little bit of a hassle sometimes. I’m not sure that I will always return to this scrub, because of this reason. Another positive however, is that the 200g bag lasts you quite a while! This is probably because the coffee/salt/sugar granules don’t melt instantly when in contact with water, so a small amount will go a long way on one limb. The original scrub comes in at $16.95 and the website offers free shipping! Frank also does a coconut/coffee scrub, peppermint/coffee scrub and cacao/coffee scrub. I’ve tried the coconut version before which is lovely as it contains real coconut flakes.
If cellulite is a major concern of yours, French skincare brands do excellent firming/cellulite fighting targeted body creams. I have the Lierac Ultra Body Lift 10 Serum, which contains a 10% strength caffeine complex. The caffeine is paired with phosolipids which help prevent fat storage. It also contains added licorice and raspberry extracts. The added extracts (specifically licorice) help remove excess water from cells. Wheat proteins also help strengthen the skin. I decided to not do a separate review of this ‘serum’ as it is hard to get a hold of in Australia, Asia or the US. I also have to admit that I don’t use it every morning and evenings as instructed by the directions, because a) I’m to lazy and b) I don’t have major cellulite concerns, but I love the firming action provided by the serum and most firming creams. I use it on the thigh area primarily. The serum is more of a gel which isn’t sticky and it has a lovely sweet scent which is supposed to be raspberry (perhaps a little raspberry does come through)… It’s bright pink and lovely to use.
If you happen to go on a trip to France anytime soon, you can put it on your list!
Have you tried a Frank scrub or another coffee scrub before? Let me know your thoughts on this topic! I think Frank has actually wound back some of their claims, which used to be everywhere regarding the ‘magical’ powers of this scrub, which is a good thing after all because they aren’t proven. If you would like to find studies conducted on caffeine and how it helps to reduce cellulite (and what cellulite actually is) Lab Muffin did an excellent post on this topic and provides further reading links to studies.
Catch ya next time beauties!