Beauty

Coffee-Inspired Skincare

A local coffee shop launches its own brand of green caffeine-infused body products

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We all have our morning rituals. Mine involves hitting the snooze button as many times as possible, groggily showering, getting dressed, then finally making a cup of coffee to sip while scrambling to make it out the door on time (which I never, ever do). It may be a first world struggle, but it’s a struggle just the same.

I probably don’t need to say this, but I’m a beauty junkie. So when Stephanie Additon introduced me to her coffee-infused skincare line, Java, I was excited. I wasn’t, though, expecting the kind of kickstart my mornings were about to get. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Stephanie owns Updike’s Newtowne Coffee Roasting Company with her husband, Mark. Her new project, Java Skin Care, is the perfect marriage of the couple’s passions. Mark is master roaster at Updike’s, which is known for its artisan roasted beans. Before opening the shop, Stephanie worked in the corporate world. “I saw women dropping hundreds of dollars on jars of La Mer, which uses the same green coffee extracts we use,” she says. “I thought, I could do that.” For Java, she uses the beans from a fair trade, bird friendly farm in Guatemala (which means that both the growers and the animals whose natural habitats are affected are treated well).

Right now, Java offers four products: a body wash, bar soap, body scrub and a body serum. All four include green coffee extract, which has more antioxidant power than açai, green tea or blueberries. They’re also free of synthetic chemicals, and brewed by a leading natural organic formulator.

When we met, Stephanie gave me a mini demo. I was impressed with the body serum, which is an argan oil based moisturizer. I rubbed it into my hands, expecting a greasy residue, but it immediately sunk in and left my dry winter hands soothed, even after washing them. The real test, though, was in the morning, at home.

I woke up like usual, which means I woke up as groggy and grumpy as possible (but feeling like the day might have hope after I managed to hit snooze a record low of twice), and stumbled into the shower. I poured the body wash into my loofah, eyes half closed, and started my ablutions. The smell wasn’t what I was expecting from normal shower gel – which is to say, it smelled mild, gender neutral and very pleasant. I loved how it wasn’t creamy but still moisturizing. Then, onto the coffee bean scrub, made from large pieces of roasted beans. That’s when it hit me. The smell of freshly roasted coffee. You know how you start to feel more awake even before you take the first sip of your morning? That happened to me in the shower, a full 20 minutes before I’d have any contact with a real mug of joe. The effect was immediately invigorating. When I got out of the shower, I used the body serum all over, in place of my moisturizer. It sunk in faster and magically locked in moisture all day, even with the harsh winter air.

Maybe it was magic, but maybe it was that early jolt of caffeine that got me out of the house on time that morning. In the car, I found myself singing to the radio, feeling 2pm awake at 9am. The products aren’t only great for my skin, they’re great for my mental state... and that’s a beautiful thing.