The history books are vague on this point, but it’s very possible that in the annals of skin care, nothing’s ever made women more obsessed with exfoliation than Frank.
The Australian product line with a manly name is all about this femme-favored beauty practice. And from the looks of Frank’s Instagram feed, sloughing your body of its dead skin cells has never been more popular.
In the @Frank_Bod universe, models are coated in coffee grounds, and puns like “You have to get dirty before you get clean” are a plenty. It all makes the messy act of exfoliation look especially glam. No one has a cellulite-related dimple. No one minds cleaning their ravaged bathtub.
The beauty brand, which is now just coming stateside, can’t keep the little brown pouches of Frank coming fast enough.
It all started with an old wives’ tale. Steve Rowley, one of the five founding partners of the buzzed-about (and literally buzz-y) Frank Body brand, is a cafe owner in Melbourne and had been approached by a women looking for cast-off coffee grinds.
“At first, he thought she was using the grinds for fertilizer, but he found out she was using them as an exfoliator,” says Erika Geraerts, another founder. “[She] told him coffee was really amazing, not just for soft skin, but also cellulite.”
Rowley first laughed it off as a beauty tall tale, but then began playing around with his grinds, mixing them with various natural oils. “[Rowley and his friend Alex Boffa] got really messy and dirty, but ended up feeling amazing,” Geraerts says. That’s because freshly-roasted ground coffee is an “awesome exfoliator,” she raves—and packed with antioxidants. Plus, caffeine helps stimulate blood flow, which can lessen the appearance of skin issues, like psoriasis and eczema.
It’s a dirty business. Frank launched in 2013 with a “humble coffee scrub” ($14.95) full of skin-nourishers like cold-pressed almond oil, sea salt, and vitamin E packaged simply like a wholesome bag of joe. Most of the Frank line, which now also includes body scrubs with coconut and peppermint, lotions, and gentler face washes are equally, well, brown and gritty—and they look pretty crazy on your skin and in your shower.
When I tried the creamy face scrub ($19.95), which has finely-ground coffee and detoxifying white clay, my ticked-off husband wanted to know why I’d rinsed out my coffee mug in our bathroom sink.
“No pants are the best pants.”
Frank is cheeky—on multiple levels. Geraerts and the remaining company co-founders, Bree Johnson and Jess Hatzis, hail from the branding and content-creation world, hence Frank’s chic packaging and smart, saucy slogans like “All day, every day, I can’t wait to be on you,” or “No pants are the best pants.”
“When we started, it looked like our ‘brand’ was a bag full of dirt,” Geraerts laughs. “We knew we had to have a bit of fun and not dress it up as a $70 luxury product.” (The line is more in the $15 to $20 range.)
Frank’s website is also full of other, ahem, cheeks, AKA gorgeous ladies in nude-colored skivvies, showing off enviably glossy body parts. “We like to think a confident woman can poke fun at herself, and appreciate beautiful bodies,” Geraerts says.
The proof is…all over Instagram. Frank has become a legit Instagram sensation, with more than 640k followers and peeping shots of coffee-covered bods—a lot of them from brand fans, or “frankfurts,” using the hashtag #thefrankeffect.
Then there’s @frankfeedback—all user-submitted before and after pics, showing seriously impressive beauty improvements. “We have almost 80,000 tagged images, which has been incredible,” says Geraerts. “I’d never think about posing with [say], my shampoo on Instagram, but it has become quite a normal thing to do.”
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