Initially, one of the most difficult things about that ‘Clean 9’ cleanse I tried at the start of the year was removing caffeine from my diet. I love a latte in the morning – it perks me up, eases me into the day and feels like a comforting bit of routine. And I’m not alone: we’re just coming to the end of UK Coffee Week, during which we celebrate the country’s love affair with coffee while at the same time raising money for clean drinking water in coffee-growing communities around the world.
To mark UK Coffee Week MyVoucherCodes – a website which shares money-saving tips, coupons and vouchers – did a bit of research into the nation’s favourite bean and compiled a list of 24 lesser-known and alternative uses for coffee. They got in touch to ask if I’d like to share them with you – to which I said, I’ll tell you what, how about I give one a go?
Using coffee to reduce under-eye puffiness intrigued me: I stare at computer screens all day and most nights, making my eyes prone to tiredness. I did a bit of hunting around online and found a simple recipe for a DIY coffee eye mask using just egg white and coffee grounds. As luck would have it, our neighbour had dropped off a box of freshly-laid eggs the day before (sidebar: this was exactly what I thought home ownership would be like). What could possibly go wrong?
To make the mask, simply beat together the white of an egg with two teaspoons of ground coffee in a bowl until frothy. You should use fresh coffee grounds for this as they’re still full of caffeine, but the recipe I found also allows for used coffee grounds as long as the coffee has just been made. Apply the mask under your eyes – or to your whole face, if you want – with a brush or your fingers, and leave on for 10 minutes to let the caffeine do its work.
I was prepared for the mask to tighten on my skin as the egg white dried – drying masks are actually my favourite, because I like to feel something getting to work on my face I guess? – not for it to start running down my cheeks while looking suspiciously like something I had scraped out of the cat box. That said, I imagine in controlled conditions you’re more able to tilt your head back and less likely to be scrabbling around for a photo. By the time the 10 minutes were up this was still pretty runny, leaving me to conclude that I had done something wrong – until I went to wash it off.
Because here’s the thing – as gross as this looks, it actually works. My eyes felt brighter and more awake after washing everything off, which was slightly inconvenient given that it was about 10pm by this point. Would I do it again? Honestly, I’d rather buy one of the overpriced coffee-containing beauty products that every company who has cottoned on to this particular secret of nature is determined to sell you, because at least it will save me making a mess of the kitchen – but it’s always useful to have a couple of hacks like this up your sleeve, not least because you can make a few quid selling them to the tips pages in women’s magazines (is this still a thing? If the internet has killed off the likes of Chat and Bella, this former cigarette kiosk worker will be very sad indeed).
What do you think of MyVoucherCodes’ list of coffee hacks? Do any of them surprise you? If you prefer your coffee in the traditional way, pop over to their Facebook page where they’ve been giving away Starbucks vouchers all week – our Kate’s already won one!