I washed my face with coffee for a week and the results were not what I expected

Since I first signed up for Pinterest, I’ve seen countless pins promoting coffee-based exfoliators and masks. According to Dr. Amy Wechsler, coffee tackles puffy eyes, minimizes cellulite, and also exfoliates dry skin. A 1981 study even states that it reduces inflammation. With all these supposed benefits on the table, I thought I’d give coffee skincare a try (and report back, of course).


Though many use coffee in scrubs and face masks a few times a week, I wanted to instead use it every day. That’s why I created a coffee face wash using Folgers instant coffee crystals (which are 100% pure coffee). I then added the recommended amount of hot water to make several cups, allowed it to cool down, and used it in place of a face wash for one week straight.


This is my coffee face wash story.



Before I began my journey into the world of caffeine skincare, I was feeling pretty good about my skin. Yes, I had a few bumps, blackheads, and acne scars here and there, but nothing major stood out to me. Overall, I was most insecure about my dark, puffy undereyes.

Day 1


Initially, I was a fan of using pure coffee as a face wash. It made me feel refreshed and awake, as though I’d gotten the recommended amount of sleep the night before. I could also feel the caffeine tightening my pores.

However, as the day went on, I could feel my skin getting oiler than normal. When I looked in the mirror, I also noticed redness around my nose and T-zone.

Day 2


I noticed a lot more redness on Day 2, and that it spread to the tops of my cheeks. On the plus side, the coffee still made me feel awake, but I was not exactly happy with the results thus far.

Day 3


I feel like the coffee made my freckles darker? I was applying sunscreen as I normally do and was spending about the same amount of time outside, yet my freckles were standing out. Also, the redness stayed and there was a not-so-little breakout above my left eyebrow.

Day 4


By Day 4, I felt like the coffee was making me look worse. My face was getting redder, there were more bumps on my skin, and I noticed something interesting about the breakout I had the day prior: It wasn’t healing as fast as my breakouts normally do. Also, I was not a fan of the shiny forehead that began to show itself on this day.

Day 5


Things started to calm down on Day 5, so maybe my skin just needed to get used to the coffee? Yet, I still wasn’t noticing any miraculous results. I also noticed that my undereye circles looked darker – even though I was getting the same amount of sleep and wasn’t dealing with terrible allergies.

Day 6


The redness around my nose came back and I also developed a red bump by the right corner of my mouth. It wasn’t a pimple, but looked more like a small allergic reaction. Also, the oiliness came back with a vengeance.

Day 7


As you can see, there are some new scars on my chin. I had some pretty bad blackheads on my chin and it took me forever to remove them. Normally, I don’t get that red when I address blackheads and, even if I do, I heal pretty quickly. Yet, that did not happen this time around. Also – I got the worst blackhead, by far, on my nose (which rarely happens).


Honestly, I hated using this face wash. My sensitive skin wasn’t happy with it and I most-definitely wasn’t happy adding several extra minutes to my morning routine (because I normally like to wash my face with just water). Overall, it made my skin redder, oilier, and increased the amount of blackheads on my face. Also, I’m pretty sure it didn’t do my undereyes any justice. On the plus side, it did make me feel more awake!

Since it was cheap to make – and since we all have different skin types – this type of face wash may work better for someone else (someone who doesn’t have super sensitive skin). But, before you go ahead and give it a try, make sure to consult a doctor for a second opinion.

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