Coffee in DIY lotion

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Why not stick with making anhydrous balms? You could infuse some coffee grounds into a nice oil for a few days, melt in some beeswax, and call it a day.

If you are really after the caffeine, then yes you'd have to make a lotion with water in it, because caffeine is water soluble. But you can't make a lotion with an infusion of coffee for the same reason you can't make a lotion with a tea. There's just no way for you to filter out all the organic particles even with the finest filter. That's why we use hydrosols instead of simply making a herbal tea. As soon as you introduce "bug food" into your lotion, no amount of preservative will save you. I'd strongly recommend buying a proper coffee extract.
I wanted to try something new :) And also, yes, I feel like the point of adding coffee to a lotion is caffeine. I do have coffee infused olive oil that I like to use in soap for scent, but I know I can't hope for any other benefit in this form.

I learned a lot reading this thread. Thank you to all those who patiently explained everything. I think that for beginners, it is hard to imagine that preservatives are actually there to preserve pure water and are not strong enough to preserve anything else. I guess as soon as water is emulsified with something else, it is not pure water anymore and then susceptible to mold and bacteria growth. So if we start with anything else than pure water...

I'll consider buying caffeine extract. But I will post-pone the project, I can't buy any new ingredients right now.
as soon as water is emulsified with something else, it is not pure water anymore and then susceptible to mold and bacteria growth....
I'd say any time a product contains microbes along with sufficient water and a suitable source of food, then you have to consider setting up a preservation system like I described in my earlier post. Emulsification isn't necessary.

For example, leave a cup of brewed coffee, a container of ground coffee, and a cup of plain water uncovered on the counter for a week. The brewed coffee will grow a healthy crop of mold and the others will not. That's not to say microbes aren't present in the ground coffee and the water, just that dry coffee alone or pure water alone don't support microbial growth like the brewed coffee will.
Just to be clear - hydrosols, that are essentially condensed steam, are not safe to use in a lotion recipe?

I see how a water infusion could be problematic, but I’m surprised that a true hydrosol would be problematic.

Is the issue the same with using glycerin infusions in a lotion product?
Hydrosols are not "essentially condensed steam." Any time you pass steam through botanical matter, it's going to pick up essential oils and other components in the botanical matter -- anything that will volatilize at the temperature of boiling water.

If stored at room temperature, hydrosols should contain a chemical preservative. The easiest and least offensive preservative for most people to use is ethanol (grain alcohol) at 20-25% ABV.

If you don't want to use a preservative, hydrosols should be stored in the refrigerator for short-term storage or in the freezer for long term storage.