Whenever I tell people who complain to me about their irritated and acne-prone skin to ‘just wash your face with oats’, they always give me the same weird look. But I’m serious, oats (scientific name: avena sativa) aren’t just for breakfast any more — in fact, they might be the answer to many of your skin woes.
Take it from me. I’m a serious sheet mask/ face mask fanatic. As long as they’ve put it in a jar/ bottle/ little foil packet/ rubber cup/ plastic cup and can be slathered on my skin, I’d give it a go. But trust me when I say I always come back to oatmeal to balance out and ‘reset’ my skin every time it gets irritated.
Why oats are amazing for your skin
Let me qualify that this post is about oats and your skin. Oats are also really good for your body, in terms of controlling bacterial infection, warding off heart disease, weight loss, anti-inflammation, maintaining healthy digestion, etc. So, by all means, continue eating your oats every morning, but I’m here to talk about topical application and what it can do for your skin.
Oatmeal has anti-inflammatory properties. This means it soothes skin that is red, dry, irritated, and acne-prone, leading to soft, clean, and clear skin.
Oatmeal is also a very gentle exfoliator for your skin. When you massage oats onto your face, you’re gently removing surface dead cells (you know, those dull spots and flakes on your face), and brightening your skin.
The fats present in oats also help to form a protective layer over your skin, leaving it not only soothed, but moisturised, and without that icky tight feeling you sometimes get on a bad skin day.
Who should use oats on their skin
Oatmeal is suitable for many skin types, including even the most sensitive, and is recommended for people suffering from rosacea and eczema.
1) Use oatmeal as a face cleanser
Because saponins, a mild cleansing agent, are naturally present in oatmeal, it is a very suitable face/ body cleanser. Oatmeal is also antimicrobial, inhibiting the spread of bacteria and soaking up excess oil. This makes it really suitable for acne-prone skin.
In fact, every time I feel my moisture barrier is compromised, I use oats to cleanse my face until I feel it’s back to normal again. My dry and sensitive skin always feels soothed by an oat cleanse, because oats are moisturising without clogging pores.
How to use:
- Pour a tablespoon of organic instant oats on your palm
- Mix in a little warm water to soften the oats
- Squeeze out excess water — you should get ‘oat milk’, which you can use to wet your face
- Spread the softened oats (they should’ve become a nice paste) on your face, massaging gently. Concentrate on spots that are flakey/ congested
- Optional: Leave the oats on your face for 10-15 mins as a makeshift mask. If you don’t have the time, you can wash your oats off immediately too
- Wash off with lukewarm water. If you have sensitive skin, use cool water instead.
If you have any irritated spots on your body, this method works great too! I find this especially useful for mosquito bites, hives, and/or rashes. You can pour some oat milk into your bath too for extra soothing relief.
Also, if you have a dry/ itchy scalp or dandruff, you can use oats or oat milk to treat your scalp too! It will calm your scalp right down, promoting healthy hair and reducing hair loss.
2) Use oatmeal in your homemade face masks
If your skin is angry, red, itchy, breaking out, or anything — this face mask will calm your face TF down. The combination of oats, yogurt and honey will strengthen and ‘reset’ your skin, gently get rid of the gross surface dull cells, and give you back your glow.
Here is a recipe for the easiest and most effective face mask ever:
- 1 tbs of organic instant/ rolled oats
- 1.5 tbs of organic plain yogurt (Greek style preferred as it’s thicker)
- 1 tsp of organic honey (the better quality, the better)
You can modify this recipe according to your preferences/ needs. Some recommendations below. Pls note that you shouldn’t use essential oils if you are sensitive to any of them!
- For acne-prone skin: 1-2 drops of tea tree oil
- For irritated/ oily skin: Splash of green tea or aloe vera gel/ juice
- For dry skin: Add some mashed avocado (This seriously works, plus you can have the rest of it on toast)
- To lighten scars: Tiny squeeze of lemon (Not too much, or it’ll be too acidic)
- To tighten pores: Add the white of one egg (Yes, raw. Yes, for real)
How to use:
- Cleanse your face with your usual cleanser
- Apply your mask in a thick layer over your face (I recommend using a foundation brush to be less messy)
- Leave on for 20 mins
- Rinse off with lukewarm water, splash with cold water at the end
3) Use oatmeal as the world’s most organic dry shampoo
For real. Oats can absorb oil really effectively.
Here’s how it’s done:
- Grind up your oatmeal in a food processor
- Use this ground oatmeal as an effective, non-drying, silicone-free, sulphates-free, parabens-free, vegan, non-GMO, animal-testing free dry shampoo. Move over, iHerb. You win.
That’s all for today guys! If you want to find out what other soothing, anti-irritating products I use to calm my skin down during breakouts, click here.
What do you like to do when your skin is going through a breakout or is just feeling irritated in general? Hit me up in the comments below.
Keep on glowing!