The Incredible Properties of Oats
It’s no secret that oatmeal offers powerful skin benefits. As a matter of fact, its use for treating skin conditions dates back to Ancient Egyptian times when oat baths were thought to relieve anxiety and insomnia. The Romans also utilized the positive effects of oats by using it as a dermatological medication for conditions like itchiness and burns. I’m sure you too can think of a time that you or someone you know utilized oatmeal to calm down the autoimmune response of the skin. Oatmeal baths have been a common home remedy for conditions such as poison ivy and chickenpox for decades. I mean, come on – oatmeal offers such therapeutic qualities, there’s an entire line of bath & body products focused on oatmeal as their main ingredient!
So, we know that oats are good for us, but why? Sure, they offer fiber to our diet when ingested, but what about when our skin absorbs it? I wanted to dig a little deeper into why this stuff is supposedly so beneficial for my skin.
The compound responsible for the therapeutic qualities of oatmeal – avenanthramides – have been widely studied for its therapeutic effects and was even approved as a skin protectant by the FDA in 2003. Scientists have found that avenanthramides reduce the body’s inflammatory response, thus reducing the urge to itch.
I have been experiencing a bit of redness on my face due to the seasons changing here in the Midwest. It happens to me every season without fail. As I continually work to eliminate harsh ingredients from my routine, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to try whipping up my own face mask. So, there I was, sitting on my couch at 9 pm concocting up a mixture made purely from my pantry. This recipe is simple and easy.
Here’s What You’ll Need
1/4 C. Finely ground oats
1 tsp. Honey (make sure it’s pure!)
2 T. Distilled water
Spatula or Spoon
Use a coffee grinder, mortar & pestle or a food processor to grind the oats down to a fine powder. To make one face mask, 1/4 C of oats is sufficient. Place the ground oats in your mixing container and add 2 T. water. Add the water slowly and stop when you have achieved a malleable paste. Stir in a teaspoon of honey and incorporate fully. I promise this part is not as messy or sticky as you think it may be. Honey is a wonderful addition because it is a natural humectant. A humectant is an agent that draws moisture from the air to the skin.
Remove any makeup and wash your face with your favorite soap and lukewarm water. Store-bought facial cleansers irritate my skin due to the high amount of synthetic ingredients, so I used a bar of the gentle Lavender cold process soap I made a while back. Side note: Witch Hazel makes a great astringent! I use it every day on my oily skin. Gently pat your skin dry.
Look, this is a homemade oatmeal mask. It’s not going to be pretty! It smells delicious and tastes good. Just ask my cat who licked a cheek’s worth of oatmeal mask off my face! (Don’t worry, I checked, oats are safe for cats in small amounts.) I recommend applying the mask with a spatula, popsicle stick or a utensil of that sort. You can even apply it by hand – just wash them first. Start with your cheeks, nose and chin then apply to the forehead area. You’re going to look silly and you’ll probably want to take a selfie to remember the time you had breakfast on your face.
The mask is so soothing and will begin drying after about 15 minutes or so. As the mask hardens, it may feel itchy on your face. This is normal, don’t be alarmed.
The easiest way to remove this mask will make you feel totally glam – just flake it off into the trash can! (Unless you have a garbage disposal, then use the sink.) Once you have removed the mask, give your face a gentle pat down with lukewarm water and a washcloth. If you have any leftover mixture, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to a week.
How do you incorporate oats into your bath & body products? If you currently do not utilize oats, what have you found that works to soothe your skin? We want to hear from you! Head on over to our Facebook page and show us what you’ve got!