Coffee doesn’t just have to perk up your morning, it can also perk up tired eyes! Infused with real coffee, this coffee under eye cream features nourishing antioxidants, butters, and oils.
What Causes Dark Circles Under the Eyes?
Before we go about fixing a problem, it helps to understand why it happened in the first place. While there are plenty of miracle promising eye creams, solving under eye circles requires some lifestyle changes too.
A 2016 article on “Periorbital Hyperpigmentation” looked at what causes under eye discoloration and puffiness. Not so surprisingly, they found eighty-one percent of dark circle cases were women.
Here are some of the causes of dark under eye circles:
- Genetics – One of the top culprits of under eye circles is genetics. Despite common belief, genes are something we do have some control over. By making targeted healthy lifestyle choices genetics don’t have to wreak havoc on our life (and eyes!).
- Age – Skin elasticity and tone decline as we age. According to Mayo Clinic, in older adults eye tissues and muscles weaken and fat can deposit in the lower eyelids. Fluid may build up and add to the puffiness.
- Poor circulation – When blood and lymphatic fluid is stagnant, it can pool in the under eye area. This contributes to the dark, purple hue. One solution is to massage the area to boost circulation and lymphatic drainage.
- Ethnicity – The amount of melanin in our skin determines how dark or light it is. Those with darker skin tones are more prone to dark, under eye circles, according to a 2014 article in the Journal of Drugs and Dermatology.
Other common causes of under eye issues include:
- Lack of sleep
- Iron deficiency
It’s important to address any underlying health issues, along with using an under eye cream.
Coffee Under Eye Cream Ingredients
There are plenty of under eye creams out there, so why this one? Similar to my shea butter eye cream recipe, this one features natural, skin nourishing ingredients. The star ingredient though is the coffee-infused coconut oil!
Coffee (of course!)
This popular beverage boasts an impressive range of health benefits. While a lot of us may enjoy a cup of coffee in the mornings to perk up our day, this eye cream doesn’t likely have caffeine in it. Because caffeine is water soluble and this is an oil infusion, the caffeine won’t make it through to the final product. So why add coffee to an under eye cream?
Coffee is the largest source of free radical busting antioxidants. These antioxidants reduce the damage from oxidative stress, UV damage, and are anti-inflammatory. Many over the counter coffee under eye creams use green coffee extract from the unroasted beans, but that may not be the best option. 2019 research published in the journal, Metabolites, found a darker roast coffee has more antioxidants than a lighter roast. Another study found:
“There was a significantly higher level of antioxidant activity in roasted beans over green beans. The roasting process created brand new active antioxidant compounds in the beans than existed in the green beans.” Purity Coffee
It makes for a killer mayo, but avocado oil is also really good for skin. This oil is packed with vitamins A, B, and E, proteins, and amino acids. As we age, collagen production in our skin decreases, creating the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and general aging.
Avocado increases collagen in the skin and strengthens cell walls to help skin looker younger and not as thin. Avocado oil may also help inflammation, restore tissues, and protect the skin from UV rays and other stressors. It’s high in carotenoids and 2005 research in the Journal of Nutrition shows it helps vitamin A carotenoids to absorb better.
While I prefer naturally refined avocado oil for cooking with, unrefined avocado oil is more potent for skincare. Look for one that’s dark green and naturally extracted, like this one.
With its chocolate smell and smooth texture, cocoa butter is a favorite for skincare. It’s very high in specific antioxidants called tocotrienols, which are 40 to 60 times more effective than the alpha-tocopherol antioxidants found in vitamin E. Tocotrienols absorb better into the skin, reduce inflammation, and help protect against skin damage.
A little softer than cocoa butter, mango butter is high in vitamin C. It’s high in antioxidants and reduces inflammation to repair and revitalize damaged skin. Unlike shea and cocoa butter, mango butter is more astringent and helps balance out the heaviness of the richer oils in this recipe.
Coffee, lavender, and chocolate may seem like a weird combo, but trust me on this one: The scent is really yummy together! Lavender is also great at soothing and calming all sorts of skin complaints. I’ve kept the percentage really low so it’s okay for the under eye area, but be sure to avoid getting it in the actual eye.
Coffee Under Eye Cream
- Double boiler
- metal tins OR glass jars for storage
- Mason jar
Coffee Infused Coconut Oil
- 1/4 cup organic coffee, ground
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- Combine all of the ingredients except for the lavender essential oil in a small mason jar. Place the mason jar in a pot that has a strainer in the bottom. This protects the bottom of the jar from breaking.
- Fill the pot with enough water to come halfway up the side of the mason jar, and gently simmer until all of the ingredients are melted.
- Add the lavender oil, if using, and immediately pour into your container(s) of choice.
Coffee Infused Coconut Oil
- Place the fresh, unused coffee and coconut oil into the top of a double boiler. You can also use a heat safe glass bowl perched on a pot.
- Simmer the water under the mixture for about an hour to create an infusion.
- Strain well with a nut milk bag or coffee filter and discard the coffee grounds.
Shelf Life and Storage
This under eye cream is best stored in small glass jar or metal tins and will last about 6-12 months. Like most DIY skin products this is best stored in a cool place, away from direct heat and sunlight.
Because there isn’t any water in it, it’s not as attractive to germs and bacteria which cause spoilage. You don’t need a preservative here, but sometimes I’ll add 1% of vitamin E to extend the shelf life of the oils. For this recipe you would use 10 drops of vitamin E oil as an antioxidant.
This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Shani Muhammad, MD, board certified in family medicine and has been practicing for over ten years. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor or work with a doctor at SteadyMD.
Do you use under eye cream? What self-care practices do you use to take care of your eyes?
- Mayo Clinic. (2019, Dec 3). Bags under eyes.
- Parker, Susan M. Power of the Seed: Your Guide to Oils for Health & Beauty (Process Self-reliance Series). Process. Kindle Edition.
- Rothwell, J. A., Loftfield, E., Wedekind, R., Freedman, N., Kambanis, C., Scalbert, A., & Sinha, R. (2019). A Metabolic Study of the Variability of the Chemical Composition of Commonly Consumed Coffee Brews. Metabolites, 9(1), 17.
Unlu, N. Z., Bohn, T., Clinton, S. K., & Schwartz, S. J. (2005). Carotenoid absorption from salad and salsa by humans is enhanced by the addition of avocado or avocado oil. The Journal of nutrition, 135(3), 431–436.
- Roberts, W. (2014, April). Periorbital hyperpigmentation: Review of Etiology, Medical Evaluation, and Aesthetic Treatment. The Journal of Drugs and Dermatology, 13(4).
Sarkar, R., Ranjan, R., Garg, S., Garg, V. K., Sonthalia, S., & Bansal, S. (2016). Periorbital Hyperpigmentation: A Comprehensive Review. The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology, 9(1), 49–55.
- Salisbury, A. (n.d.). Antioxidants: The secret to coffee’s amazing health benefits.