When I was introduced to Optiat, I was worried. Why? Beacause I don’t don’t coffee. I never have, I find the taste to be bitter and the smell is not pleasing to my olfactory system. The only time you will find me smelling coffee is when I am testing fragrances as the smell of the coffess clears the palette Fortuneately Optiat products don’t require me to consume them, just to slather them all over my skin.
Optiat is run by a brother and sister team. The concept of upcycling and local sourcing germinated the idea for the brand. The grounds of the coffee bean from your favourite coffee shop are normally discarded. Optiat however take these grounds and make them into beauty products. One Person’s Trash Is Another Person’s Treasure (geddit) Genius idea. Sustainability is at the heart of the brand. The coffee husks are hand sourced from coffee shops in urban hipstick central (aka Hackney). Some (not all) of their ingredients are organic and it is a paraben and mineral oil free brand.
The first product launched by Optiat was a coffee scrub. The team at Opiat realised that when you have a dry scrub you loose lots of the exfoliant down the plug hole so thir coffee scrub is in a gel format and contained in a plastic tube which means that it can sit in your steamy bathroom without getting solid. The scrubs are available in four fragrances. Vanilla, which is the most coffee esque so one of the hardcore coffee drinkers. Manderin which for the first millisecond smells like Terry’s chocolate orange and then turns itnto full coffee mode, Peppermint which is quite stimulating with the coffee and minty fragrance molecules. The least coffee esque of the quad is Lemongrass option which has coconut and smells a bit like a holiday. The latter option is the most popular in the range.
On The Body
The repurposed coffee grounds are amped up by the addtition of brown sugar and sea salt so the exfoliation you get is really through. For this reason, I personally don’t use and would not recommend this product for the face. Opiat consider that this product is suitable for sensitive skin but I think that you would need to use an extremely light hand for that. I did use it on the Mr in the middle of a stubbly beard stage and he did enjoy it but I used a very light hand. On the body however it is a different story. Back of thighs, elbows and knees cope well with this grainy product. Optiat anti oxidant levels in brewed coffee is higher than in freshly ground coffee but if .your focus is really on scavageng free radicals this is probably not the product for you. There is some reasearch about the impact of caffeine on cellutte, acne and skin pigmentation but at the levels in this product, I would suggest that theyy would be negligible.
I was worried it would leave the bathroom smelling like a coffee shop but interestingly, your skin (and bathroom) are left smelling of the added fragrance and the coffee smell is minimal. You skin is left extremely smooth and moisturised thanks to the sweet almond oil, and shea butter. The 200g size is perfect for the bathroom and this is a unisex product so all the family will be dipping into it.
New Launch – Hemp Exfoliator
Continuing with the trash to treasure theme, Optiat are using locally sourced (oxfordshire) hemp husks in face masks. The masks only contain the dry ingredients so you add water just before you use it. The ‘mens’ mask and the purifying mask contain very similar ingredients. Charcoal, bentonite clay and fullers earth to draw out impurities and minimise excess sebum. I really wish that they had not marketed a specific mask for men, I was enjoying the gender free vibe of this range. The Nourishing mask has calendula and aloe vera. The hemp husks are finely ground and provide a physical exfoliant when first appied to the skin. The other acitves get to work as the mask dries on the skin. You will need a small pot or plate to mix the dry ingredients with water. I’d suggest a paddle type foundation brush for applying it to the face.
On The Face
The mask dries to form a taut layer after a couple of minutes and you remove it after 10. My skin was clear and my pores appeared minimised when I removed the mask. It did not sting or irritate my skin at all and I followed it with a hydrating mask.
Optiat is a new brand. It is already stocked in wholefoods which is impressive considering the brand is less than two years old. If you are a green / natural beauty afficianado and or a coffee addict this brand is worth investigating. This is not a high tech brands so the levesl of anti -oxidants and caffeine are not going to make a significant difference to the skin in a short space of time. However, there are great opportunities for the brand to extend it’s range. If I were at the helm, I would be seeing if it is possible to create two further products. One with a finer ground coffee which in my opinion would make it more suitable for the face, and one that grinds the grounds to a powder to create an exfoliating polish.