Java products offer RI-grown caffeine fix for skin

As co-owner of North Kingstown’s Updike’s Newtowne roasting company and café, Stephanie Additon has served countless cups of coffee over the years. Now, she wants you to bathe with it.

Additon recently launched a line of all-natural coffee-infused bath and body products called Java skin care. The four-item collection includes bar soap, body serum, scrub and wash.

The benefits of applying coffee to the skin go beyond scent, she says. Similar to green tea and blueberries, green (unroasted) coffee has high levels of polyphenol antioxidants. And caffeine has become a popular ingredient in skin care, as it is thought to constrict blood vessels and reduce inflammation.

“We are taking organic coffee and elevating it,” said Additon, who lives with her husband, Mark Additon (with whom she owns the coffee shop), and two children in Narragansett. “It’s an incredible bean that will brighten and tighten your skin.”

Java products use coffee in three ways: Grounds from roasted coffee beans serve as an exfoliant in the bar soap and scrub, and extracts drawn from roasted as well as unroasted beans add caffeine and antioxidants.

When you combine all three, “They amplify each other,” she said, adding that initial testers have used the products together in an effort to reduce the appearance of cellulite.

Mark, Updike’s Newtowne’s roaster, came up with a proprietary way of extracting high levels of antioxidants from green coffee beans, she said.

They source the coffee from a farm in Guatemala, process it at the shop and then send it to a formulator to be combined with other ingredients — including argan and sweet almond oils — and manufactured into shelf-stable products.

When she first came up with the idea for Java skin care about four years ago, Additon had hoped to make it entirely in Rhode Island. But she soon realized that teaming up with an established formulator would be the easiest way to enter the high-end natural skin-care market.

“To get where we want the brand to go, which is really an eco-luxury brand, I had to branch out,” she said. The U.S.-based company she is working with, also proprietary, vetted her for a year before agreeing to produce the line, she said.

Now her products are available in more than a dozen boutiques and spas in Rhode Island, and there are plans to sell it at locations outside of the state.

Alayne White, owner of Alayne White Spa in Providence and Bristol, recently added two new treatments done with Java products to her Bristol location’s menu. “I am excited by the simplicity and quality of this local line,” White said.

Additon, who is looking to develop facial products next, said it was important to her to launch with body-care items.

“We tend to spend a ton of time and money on our face, but we don’t really teach folks how beautiful the skin on their body can be, and how to take care of it,” she said.

Java skin-care products retail for $9-$36. For more information, including Rhode Island retail locations, or to purchase online, go to