Your skin is a protective covering for your whole body, and it is also your largest organ. You’ve spent a lifetime cleaning and nurturing your skin, so it will continue to make you look youthful and radiant. An old-fashioned oatmeal bath can be a comforting part of your daily beauty routine.
Unlike many of your vital organs, much of your skin is exposed to the elements, especially the sun. How you care for your complexion now will be evident when you are older. Fashion icon Coco Channel once observed that although nature gives us a beautiful face in youth, we all will get the skin we deserve when we’re older.
Yesterday’s Tan is Tomorrow’s Wrinkles
Remember when sunbathing was popular in earlier decades? Hollywood insisted that a sun-kissed complexion was the ideal beauty. People of all ages donned sunglasses and rubbed themselves down with coconut oil for the perfect bronze body. Their sun worship often led to sunburn and permanent skin damage.
You can usually recognize those who were sunbathers in the past. Many of these people have prematurely aged with tell-tale wrinkles and dark, leathery skin. Unfortunately, sun damage often causes skin cancer and other dermatological maladies. Are you paying for basking in solar rays when you were younger?
Since medical experts have spread the warning about the dangers of overexposure to the sun, most people have responded accordingly. Do you practice skin safety in the sun? Some of these best practices include sunscreen, wearing hats and light clothing, and avoiding the sun during peak hours.
Despite your best efforts, you may come home from the beach or pool with an accidental sunburn. They can range from mild redness and irritation to severe burns with blistering and pain. If you have a severe burn with blisters, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Mild burns will often sting for a while, then fade into intense itching and skin peeling. It can be miserable when you are trying to go to sleep. What can you do to soothe your irritated skin?
Another skin complication that many people experience is eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis. Dermatologists have recognized at least six different skin conditions and say that patients can have one or more types simultaneously. These skin experts estimate that at least 30 million Americans battle atopic dermatitis every year.
While environment and other variables may come into play, the cause of atopic dermatitis remains a mystery. If you have been diagnosed with this common skin ailment, you’re all too familiar with its symptoms. You’re usually plagued with dry, patchy skin that is continuously itching and flaking.
One of the strange things about atopic dermatitis is that it can flare up when you least expect. Then, the symptoms can disappear and not return for weeks. Because of this, some dermatologists suspect that atopic dermatitis and its variants could be an autoimmune disorder.
How can you find natural relief from this bothersome skin ailment? Countless people say that a warm oatmeal bath does the trick. It calms the nagging itch and rehydrates dry, flaky skin.
Knowing Your Skin Type
Dermatologists usually place our complexions in four categories: normal, oily, dry, or combination. While genetics play a significant role in your skin type, your lifestyle and environment also are key contributors. Each skin type may be sensitive, which creates another set of issues.
You may identify with one skin type or a combination. Many people have dry skin and have issues with an oily T-zone, the area of the forehead, nose, and chin. Season changes, weather, and hormonal fluctuations are often problematic for your skin, regardless of your type.
Not only can a warm, healing oatmeal bath benefit dry, flaky skin, but it can help any type. Oatmeal can dry excess skin oil and act as a gentle exfoliant to prevent pimples. People with sensitive skin attest to its gentle cleansing action that’s free of irritating chemicals or additives.
Oatmeal isn’t Just for Breakfast
When you were growing up, you probably enjoyed warm oatmeal for breakfast. For hundreds of years, oats have been a major cereal crop that provided nutritious food for people and animals. It’s a beloved grain around the world, especially in Scotland and Ireland.
This hearty grain is packed with vital vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Numerous medical studies confirm that using oats topically can also nourish your skin. Oats ground into oatmeal is easier to dissolve in water for a beneficial skin soak, and it’s best to use the whole steel-cut variety.
Many bath and beauty products advertise natural ingredients, like oatmeal. You’ll often see it in soaps, shampoos, and skin products. Sometimes oats are listed by its Latin name, Avena sativa.
It isn’t surprising that many of these so-called natural products contain chemicals and artificial ingredients that can irritate sensitive skin. These fad beauty products tend to be a little pricey, too. The good news is that you can use inexpensive oats for a DIY oatmeal bath every day.
How to Create an Oatmeal Bath
Does your skin feel irritated, dry, and itchy from overexposure to the sun or from skin conditions like atopic dermatitis? Is your complexion oilier than usual, and you see more acne outbreaks? Or, maybe your skin looks dull and needs to be revitalized.
For any of these conditions, look no further than your pantry. Our ancestors used natural ingredients they kept at home for health and beauty remedies. Oats were one of their top choices when it came to skin conditions.
Do you want to soothe burning skin and nourish it at the same time? Try a soothing oatmeal bath, and you may see a calming difference. Here are some quick tips on preparing this natural and therapeutic bath.
• A Recipe for Success
Oats are probably one of the cheapest yet most nutritious grain on the grocer’s shelves. For your bath, purchase the old-fashioned rolled variety, not the steel-cut oats. You needn’t buy the most expensive name brand since a bargain one will do just as well.
The Internet is loaded with recipes to create an oatmeal mix for bathing. It is up to you whether you prefer plain oatmeal or want to add other beneficial ingredients. Here is a basic recipe that works well for dry or sun-kissed skin. You will need:
- A blender
- ½ cup ground oatmeal
- 1 cup whole milk, or goat’s milk
- ½ cup honey
- ¼ cup almond oil
- Ten drops of your favorite essential oil, like lavender
Put the oatmeal in your blender and pulse it at high speed until it turns into a coarse flour. Add the milk, honey, almond oil, and essential oil and blend for about three seconds or until totally blended. Pour the mixture into a sealable container and use it within three days.
Feel free to experiment with other recipes to find the ones that you like best. Since these mixtures don’t have preservatives, they can’t be stored for long periods. If you notice that your bathing mixture is making your skin condition worse, discontinue using it.
• Adding Moisturizers and Essential Oils
The first recipe incorporated milk, honey, and almond oil for a boost of hydration for your skin. Some other moisturizers you can consider adding are aloe, lanolin, coconut oil, or shea butter. Most essential oils have antibacterial and antifungal properties, and they lend a calming fragrance to your bath.
Feel free to experiment with other recipes to find the ones that you like best. Since these mixtures don’t have preservatives, they can’t be stored for long. If you notice that your bathing mixture is making your skin condition worse, discontinue using it.
• How to Use Your Oatmeal Beauty Bath
Oatmeal is so gentle that dermatologists often recommend it for the most sensitive skin. A warm, soothing oatmeal bath can be mild enough for your baby’s skin, as directed by your pediatrician. Some people can be allergic to oats and should avoid using it in their bathing or beauty regimens.
It’s best to use your oatmeal mixture within three days, immediately if possible. Hot water isn’t good for dry or irritated skin, so fill your bathtub with warm water. It’s up to you if you want to wash with soap or just use this instance as a therapeutic soak.
As the tap is running, add the full container of the oatmeal mixture into the water. The force of the water will disperse the mix throughout the tub. Before you get in, you might use your body brush to stir the water for a better distribution of the oatmeal.
Sit back in the tub, soak, and relax. Use a clean, soft washcloth to rub the oatmeal-infused water gently over your body. If you like, light candles and burn incense for total tranquility and relaxation.
Final Thoughts on Enjoying a Comforting Oatmeal Bath
There’s no need to fill your tub with chemicals that can enhance your water when nature provides everything you need. If you want to love the skin you’re in, then using oatmeal is an excellent way to soothe it and make it look amazing. Oatmeal exfoliates and promotes healing and rejuvenation.