From Cup to Jar: Coffee Grounds as a Beauty Kick
An interview with Elnura Ashimova
FOUNDER OF re:love
Elnura Ashimova, founder of re:love cosmetics, mum and yoga teacher, quit her job in management consultancy to pursue her vision of building a sustainable brand. Inspired by nature and a passion for living life to the fullest, re:love inspires people to stand by themselves and to love their skin. As a beauty brand with a conscience, the label gives new life to the waste product coffee grounds and transforms it into highly effective, natural skincare products. The recycled ingredients are rich in antioxidants that neutralise free radicals and protect the skin from premature ageing.
When Kyrgyz-born yoga teacher and coffee lover Elnura Ashimova started working with natural cosmetics and mixing her own scrubs a few years ago, she came up with an interesting idea. Why throw away her leftover coffee grounds when they could make an excellent base for her scrubs? The countless benefits of the raw material coffee for the skin spoke for themselves. So Elnura first created her coffee-based beauty products for herself and her friends, who quickly gave her lots of positive feedback. Elnura then decided to go into mass production - her beauty brand re:love was born.
Dear Elnura, who is behind re:love and what is your impetus?
Elnura: Six years ago, during my yoga training, I suddenly developed very bad acne, which lasted for several months. In search of a solution, after many unsuccessful treatments, I came across natural cosmetics. Shortly afterwards, I completely cleaned out my bathroom cabinet, and since then I've been careful about what gets in touch with my skin. With re:love cosmetics, I want to inspire more people to try out natural products. At the same time, re:love stands for upcycling, meaning that some of our natural ingredients are valuable raw materials, such as coffee grounds, which we give a second life by preparing and processing them in our products. This conserves the natural raw materials of our planet.
It’s a thing with coffee: some people love it, others try to avoid it. What is the difference between coffee as a stimulant or addictive substance and coffee for skin care? What makes coffee so valuable for our skin?
Elnura: Coffee is a matter of taste, of course. I, for example, enjoy things in moderation. I drink a maximum of 1-2 cups of coffee a day. And I absolutely need my "morning coffee". But I never drink it with an empty stomach. Every now and then, my husband and I allow ourselves a week without coffee at all, then we have tea or homemade Ayurvedic chai. As for the coffee in our natural cosmetics, the amount of caffeine is actually very low and not necessarily the focus. Coffee grounds and gently extracted coffee oil (without chemical additives) have much more valuable components, such as polyphenols, tocopherols and essential fatty acids. These are molecules that are very well known for their skin benefits. This means that our formulas protect and repair the skin, have an anti-inflammatory effect and are very suitable as slow-aging/anti-aging products.
Why did you found re:love?
Elnura: On one hand, I want to share my passion for beauty and especially natural cosmetics with others, but above all I want to make an impact and a statement with my own brand. To put it bluntly, many valuable resources simply end up in the rubbish. These can be reprocessed through innovative technologies and returned to the cycle. re:love gives these raw materials a second life, and customers can love and appreciate these products again.
What else has helped you on your own path?
Elnura: Through my yoga practice I have felt a shift. I paid more attention to what I eat, the people I surround myself with, learned to say "no" sometimes, give myself time to relax and listen to my body. I firmly believe that the glow (radiant complexion) is possible with this holistic approach. And we communicate this on our channels at re:love as well.
What's so special about the re:love products?
Elnura: Because we use coffee grounds as the basis of our beauty range, we are proud to offer a product that allows consumption without a guilty conscience. The upcycled coffee grounds in our products come exclusively from Fair Trade coffee, and all the oils in our formulas are organic. Our products are anti-inflammatory and high in antioxidants and vitamin E. They protect the skin from premature ageing and intensively care for and nourish the skin. And of course, we don't use synthetic dyes, fragrances, preservatives, mineral oils, silicone oils and microplastics. In addition, the coffee oil we use in our facial oil contains a high proportion of tocopherols, also known as vitamin E. These provide a natural preservative effect. All our products are vegan, animal-free (should already be considered standard) and produced in Germany.
What is your vision for the coming years?
Elnura: Upcycled beauty is only at the beginning of its journey, but it is already getting a lot of attention, even from the big players in the beauty industry. I think there are a few other factors that are shaping the upcycled beauty movement, such as zero-waste beauty, sustainable packaging or climate-neutral production. There is still so much to do, but there are some very inspiring initiatives in beauty and personal care at the moment. We plan to expand our natural cosmetics range with more products made from upcycled ingredients. And one of our most important tasks is to educate and sensitise our customers about the sources of natural ingredients and their effects.