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Belfast mum Orla's full of beans over coffee skin scrub

Motivational speaker turns passion into business

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THE DAILY GRIND: Orla McKeating experimented for months before launching her scrub

THE DAILY GRIND: Orla McKeating experimented for months before launching her scrub

Stephen Hamilton

THE DAILY GRIND: Orla McKeating experimented for months before launching her scrub

A mum has created a luxury beauty product after searching for a solution to itchy skin brought on by lockdown.

Orla McKeating, who has spent the past year moving towards a more sustainable lifestyle, makes her scrub from used coffee beans.

Original Coffee Scrub was perfected in the kitchen of the 38-year-old's Belfast home after months of experimenting.

The product is scented with essential oils and made from coffee grinds that normally end up in the bin.

Orla, who runs Boden Park Coffee Roasters with her father, imports ethically grown coffee beans for artisan shops.

Using grinds from her maker at home, Orla, who is also an entrepreneur and motivational speaker, devised her scrub for use by herself and son Elliot (8).

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Orla McKeating

Orla McKeating

Stephen Hamilton

Orla McKeating

"Since lockdown, I have really tried to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle, going to zero-waste shops, using the car less and reusing and recycling more," she said.

"In the middle of this latest lockdown, I developed dry and itchy skin and would have woke up in the middle of the night scratching. I tend to get itchy lumps on my skin when I am stressed.

"I just thought I would try and create something myself. I was aware of all the used coffee grinds being dumped, so I did a bit of research into the benefits of coffee and caffeine for the skin to see if I could reuse them.

"I discovered that because coffee is natural, it can really brighten the skin and caffeine can reduce the appearance of cellulite and wrinkles. It can reduce dark circles under the eyes. It also helps with circulation and inflammation."

Three months ago, Orla started to experiment with recipes in her kitchen, working with only natural ingredients to perfect her scrub.

As well as using it daily on herself and her son, she sent test pots to dozens of friends, family members and colleagues to try out and give her feedback.

"I covered my whole body, except for my eyes, in it dozens of times and I'm really delighted by it. It is not a harsh exfoliator. It is very gentle and hydrating without being greasy," she explained.

"I now use it on my face every day. I really can see the change. My skin is definitely brighter. It has also really soothed my skin and the itchiness too.

"Elliot has mixed black skin and it really moisturised and soothed his too, so it can be used on any skin type.

"I knew friends and family would give me honest feedback and I was delighted that it was all positive. I even tested it on some male friends and it works as a beard scrub too. I had to work on getting the packaging right, then l was ready to launch three weeks ago."

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NATURAL: Orla’s scrub is made from grinds and scented with essential oils

NATURAL: Orla’s scrub is made from grinds and scented with essential oils

Stephen Hamilton

NATURAL: Orla’s scrub is made from grinds and scented with essential oils

A soft launch on social media led to steady sales and, almost immediately, an order from an online beauty salon.

Orla is naturally delighted. "It is growing organically, which is exactly what I want because I am making it all myself in my kitchen," she said.

"I'm probably drinking a lot more coffee than I usually do to get the grinds. I've started to drink it iced.

"It is exciting, although it is just a passion project which I am really enjoying."

As well as posting products outside Belfast, Orla is carrying out deliveries within city limits.

Learn more about the scrub at www.orlamckeating.co.uk


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