The beauty industry is abuzz.
According to a growing number of experts, there's an easy secret to smoother skin and it's hiding your kitchen cabinet.
"Caffeine has long been used as a cellulite remedy," explained Alexis Wolfer, editor in chief of TheBeautyBean.com and author of The Recipe For Radiance: Discover Beauty’s Best Kept Secrets In Your Kitchen. "It's in most of the highest end cellulite creams that are currently on the market."
Red Flower, a luxury organic skincare label, fortified its Lemon Coffee Blossom Olive Stone Scrub with Arabica beans. Frank, which operates out of Australia, based an entire brand on the concept of caffeinated scrubs. The all-natural exfoliant, which bills itself as 200 grams of "tough love," vows to reduce the appearance of cellulite, stretch marks, psoriasis, varicose veins, eczema and even acne.
But those looking to test-drive the trend "don't really need to spend a lot of money or buy a fancy ingredient," said Wolfer. In fact, they don't need to spend any money at all.
In her book, Wolfer whips up a DIY scrub from spent coffee grounds and wheat-germ oil. The paste is not only "literally free," but also made of pronounceable, chemical-free ingredients that Wolfer swears by.
Wheat-germ oil, say Wolfer, is high in Vitamin E, which means the simple scrub will target "not only cellulite, but stretch marks."
Wolfer is quick to stress that even her miracle scrub will only temporarily minimize cellulite and mask stretch marks. And skeptics point out that even potent scrubs are not designed to penetrate skin for visible improvements in tone and texture.
Heidi A. Waldorf, a professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, confirmed that many topical treatments contain caffeine to combat cellulite, but said that scrub alone is unlikely to improve skin condition.
"We tell people, there's no cure for cellulite yet. The best cure for cellulite is Spanx," she said.
Still, Waldorf added that massage can stimulate blood flow, which will "make the skin feel smoother" and promote increased blood flow.
If you do decide to concoct your own brew, be sure to apply a body oil or moisturizing lotion after the treatment.
"Exfoliating will get rid of an excess layer of skin," said Waldorf. "But you want to maintain that [moisture] barrier."
Alexis Wolfer's Cellulite Concealing Coffee Scrub:
Reprinted with permission from The Recipe For Radiance: Discover Beauty's Best-Kept Secrets In Your Kitchen
1/2 cup caffeinated coffee grounds
1/4 cup wheat germ oil
Mix the coffee grounds and wheat germ oil together to form a thick paste.
Standing in the bath to reduce mess, apply the mixture to cellulite-covered skin. Cover it with tightly wrapped plastic wrap and let it sit for 30 minutes.
Remove wrap before vigorously rubbing the mixture in upward circular motions for at least 5 minutes. Rinse clean with warm water.
Since the results of this scrub are temporary, for best results repeat daily.
Quick Tip You can use either fresh or used (but cooled!) coffee grounds in this recipe. If you don't have wheat-germ oil on hand, feel free to substitute equal parts coconut or olive oils.