Starting the day with a bowl of oatmeal is healthy and easy. But what about introducing oats into your bath time? Oatmeal is super soothing, is packed with vital minerals to help replenish skin, calms any inflammation, and prevents breakouts. To me, that makes it a pretty awesome choice for a calming bath. Bonus: it also combats skin irritation from sunburn, bug bites, acne, and even eczema.
Oatmeal contains phenols, compounds with both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. It has been used for treating itching and irritated skin for centuries and is currently added to many moisturisers and cosmetics for the same reasons. Have you tried our Creamy Winter Serum? It contains colloidal oat extract. Research has shown that the flavonoids in oats protect the skin from some UV A rays and help to restore the skin's natural barrier.
Oatmeal helps rehydrate dry skin, makes a gentle scrub to remove dead skin cells, and has natural saponins that cleanse and absorb dirt and oil, making soap unnecessary. If that's what your skin is longing for these days, scroll down for some of our favourite oatmeal bath recipes.
One note about using oatmeal in the bath. You can grind up old-fashioned oats in a food processor or coffee grinder to get a fine powder. But, used too often, this might eventually clog your drain. (In my experience, an occasional oatmeal bath has been fine.) Alternatively you may want to use a small cotton bag where to place the oats and soak it like a tea bag. Drop the sachet into warm bathwater and squeeze to release the milky oat liquid.
Why choosing organic oats is important. Oats aren't genetically modified, but many farmers still spray the weed killer on oats to dry the plants out at harvest time. Oats can contain glyphosate which is a herbicide that has been linked to cancer. Buying organic oats can help decrease the exposure to this herbicide.
Here are the reasons why bathing in oats it’s an excellent remedy all year round.
1. To Moisturise Skin
Cucumber + Oatmeal Bath
Cucumber contains silica, an ingredient that boosts moisture and elasticity. Cucumber hydrosol has the ability to soften and soothe the skin. Cucumbers have a cooling effect by nature.
Cucumber Seed Oil contains a significant percentage of phytosterols, fatty acids, Palmitic acid, Omega-9 Oleic Acid and Omega-6 Linoleic Acid. It is effective in treating dry skin, eczema, psoriasis, acne and sunburned skin. It stimulates new cell growth to reduce scarring and wrinkles, which makes it an exceptional addition to anti-acne and anti-aging skincare. Not only that, but it also helps promote the production of new collagen, keeping our skin elastic and firm.
1 cucumber, puréed
1 cup old-fashioned oats, ground
½ cup whole milk or goat milk powder
To soothe skin and help restore its moisture, purée 1 large cucumber in a blender (or chop it finely) and strain through cheesecloth into a tub of cool or warm water, depending on your preference. Add 1 cup of ground oatmeal and ½ cup of bi-carb soda. The bi-carb soda can help get rid of blackheads when mixed with water.
Coconut Milk + Oatmeal Bath Soak
Anti-inflammatory oatmeal combines with coconut milk's vitamin E and lauric acid to add moisture and calm dry skin.
½ cup oats, ground
1 cup coconut milk (or a whole can)
1 tablespoon honey
Combine ground oats with coconut milk and stir in the honey. Add the mixture to a warm bath and soak for 15–30 minutes.
2. To Soothe Irritation
Chamomile/Lavender + Oatmeal Bath
Oatmeal is very soothing for itchy skin. If you have eczema or another kind of rash, this bath can really help soothe the urge to scratch. Chamomile adds another calming element but be careful—if you have a ragweed allergy or sensitivity, leave the chamomile out and use lavender buds instead.
1 cup whole oats, uncooked
½ cup dried chamomile / lavender
Place the oats and dried chamomile or/and lavender buds into a cotton sachet. Put it into a tub of warm water (not too hot!) and get in. Squeeze the cotton bag to release the oatmeal liquid into the bath. For extra healing benefits, squeeze the bag while gently rubbing it over your body.
Lavender also makes a fabulous calming option for getting ready to drift off into dreamland. Add a few drops of essential oil to deeply relax your senses.
3. To Soften Skin
Bi-carb Soda + Oatmeal bath
Bi-carb soda baths are wonderful skin soothers, too, making them the perfect complement to oats. Small amounts of bi-carb soda can be used in a gentle cleanser to add more of a manual exfoliation and should be rinsed thoroughly off the skin. Use an aluminium free bi-carb.
Bi-carb soda is alkaline, making the water feel silky and soothing without feeling outright slippery on your skin.
1 cup oats, ground
½ cup bi-carb soda
Combine ground oats and bi-carb soda in a sealed container. Draw a warm bath (as cool as you can stand) and add 1 cup of the bi-carb soda-oats mixture. Relax in the bath for no more than 30 minutes. Then generously apply a healing moisturiser like aloe vera cream, argan or avocado oil to still-damp skin when you get out.
4. For Muscle Recovery
Epson salts + Oatmeal bath
Combine oatmeal with Epsom salts to target tired, achy muscles. Magnesium relaxes the body while reducing soreness.
1 cup old-fashioned oats, uncooked
2 cups Epsom salts
5 drops sweet orange essential oil
2 drops of rosemary essential oil
Make a sachet with the oats. Draw a warm bath and add the Epsom salts and the essential oils, then toss in the sachet. Soak for 30 minutes.
5. For Sunburn Relief
Milk + Oatmeal Bath
When you get that familiar stinging sensation from being out in the sun too long, nothing sounds better than submerging your whole body in cool water. Whole milk can calm the residual heat from the sunburn while its proteins soothe skin irritation. The combination of milk and oatmeal in lukewarm water will help reduce the inflammation in overheated skin. Goat milk is a wonderful option, organic the better.
2 cups old-fashioned oats, uncooked
1 cup whole milk
Make a pantyhose sachet with 2 cups of oats. After filling a bathtub with warm water, add the milk first and then the oatmeal stocking. Squeeze the sock to release the oatmeal liquid into the bath and soak for 15–20 minutes.
Drink plenty of water as sunburns can dehydrate skin. After the bath, follow with aloe vera gel or a cooling cucumber lotion to help heal parched, damaged skin.
Oatmeal baths are a terrific home remedy you can use to treat a variety of skin conditions from psoriasis to eczema. Oatmeal can be moisturising, soothing, and inflammation-relieving for the skin. Oats act as a buffering agent, sustain skin pH, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, minimises irritation, skin protectant, soothes the skin, moisturises the skin, cleanses the skin. Bonus: there are not only good for you but for your furry friends too.
Have checked our Oats Hair Conditioner recipe?
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