Oatmeal: Not Just For Breakfast

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I have been in the kitchen way too much lately! It seems I have been talking a lot about making beauty products from food ingredients. First it was honey, followed by olive oil and now I have been having fun making stuff with oatmeal. And what a lovely grain it is! I am not much of a breakfast kinda gal but if I do eat it, I usually have oatmeal. I love love love a creamy bowl with lots of butter and sprinkled with brown sugar. Obviously, I don't indulge myself too often or I would never fit into my jeans! We are all aware of how healthy eating oatmeal is for your body and heart. What I have discovered over the last several years is how good it is for the outside of your body, too!

I remember a time when I was very young I got a rash from jumping into piles of grass and leaves. My skin was so itchy and driving me crazy (and everyone else, I'm sure). My grandmother ground up some oatmeal, added some baking soda, put it in a warm tub of water and had me soak for about 20 minutes. And voila! My skin felt so much better. I have since learned that it is a natural anti-inflammatory and soother. Oatmeal contains the most amino acids of all the grains which means it works as a water-binding agent in skin care products. In addition to all this, it also has tremendous healing properties and can help sunburn.

Oatmeal has numerous benefits when it comes to skincare. It is used in baths, as I mentioned, as it helps clean and nourish skin. It relieves dry skin and restores the natural moisture balance as well as heals minor skin irritations. An oatmeal cleanser absorbs and removes surface dirt, grime and other impurities effectively as it exfoliates very gently leaving the skin feeling silky, smooth and soft. Oats are also highly absorptive and hypoallergenic which makes them a natural choice to help soften sensitive skin.

When using oatmeal in beauty products, it is recommended you grind it as this will keep it from mucking up your drains. I grind up a large jar of it and keep it in my refrigerator. This way I always have it on hand and can make whatever I want without too much fuss. You can grind the oatmeal in a blender or, better yet, a food processor. Add however much you want to a food processor and pulse until it forms a fine powder. I store it in a large canning jar with a tight lid. 

Oatmeal Bath Treatments
Oatmeal Milk Bath
½ cup oatmeal flour
½ cup powdered milk (I use dried buttermilk)
1 TBS oil (olive oil, almond oil, apricot oil or any other you prefer)
couple drops lavender (optional)
Muslin bag or 12' square of cheesecloth

Mix together oatmeal and powdered milk. Add oil and mix thoroughly. Place mixture in bag or in middle of cheesecloth square. Bring corners of square together and tie off with kitchen string. Throw into running water of a hot bath. Soak for 20 minutes. Use bag to sponge your body for extra softening. Pat skin dry with towel.

Oat and Honey Milk Bath
½ cup oatmeal flour
½ cup powdered milk
2 TBS honey
Muslin bag or 12' square of cheesecloth

Mix together oatmeal and powdered milk. Add honey and mix thoroughly. Place mixture in bag or in middle of cheesecloth square. Bring corners of square together and tie off with kitchen string. Throw into running water of hot bath. Soak for 20 minutes. Use bag to sponge your body for extra softening. Pat skin dry with towel.

Oatmeal Face Masks
Oatmeal is terrific as a face mask because it cleanses deep pores without irritating and drying out the skin.

Oatmeal Face Mask
Pour a small amount of oatmeal flour into palm, add a little water to make a paste. You can use milk for a more moisturizing mask. Apply to cleansed face and leave for 5 minutes. Wash off with warm water and moisturize as usual.

Oatmeal Lemon Mask
Pour small amount of oatmeal flour to palm and add about 1 TBS of lemon juice and make a paste. Apply to cleansed face and leave for 5 minutes. Wash off with warm water and moisturize as usual. Weekly use of this Oatmeal Lemon Mask can help to bleach dark spots and freckles naturally. Lemon juice contains citric acid and vitamin C that function as natural alpha hydroxy acids to help dissolve dead skin cells for brighter, more even skin tone.

CAUTION: Fresh lemon juice can cause a tingling sensation that may become uncomfortable. For sensitive skin, dilute lemon juice with an equal amount of water before mixing into oatmeal and applying to skin. If tingling becomes severe rinse skin immediately with warm water.

Deep Cleansing Face Mask
Because of the lactic acid and enzymes in yogurt, this ingredient adds an extra boost of hydration and skin soother.

1 TBS oatmeal flour
1 TBS yogurt
1 tsp honey, warmed in microwave so it will mix easier

Beat mixture until it becomes consistent enough to spread. Apply to cleansed face and leave for 10-15 minutes. Wash off with warm water and moisturize as usual.

Honey and Oatmeal Face Mask
1 tsp olive oil
1 egg yolk
1 tsp honey
1 tsp oatmeal flour

Blend ingredients until fully incorporated. Apply mixture to cleansed face and leave for 5 minutes. Wash off with warm water and moisturize as usual.

Oatmeal and Egg White Mask
Between the oatmeal and the egg white, this is such a great recipe to tighten up those pores! This is good for oily skin, too. You can do this as often as needed.

½ cup oatmeal flour
1 egg white

Mix together until fully incorporated. Apply mixture to cleansed face and leave for 15 minutes, or until dry. Wash off with warm water and moisturize as usual.

Banana Bread Mask
Good luck keeping yourself from eating this instead of putting it on your face!

½ really ripe mashed banana (good for moisturizing)
2 TBS oatmeal flour
Milk or cream, as necessary
1 pinch nutmeg (acts as a antiseptic)
2 TBS whole wheat flour (acts as an antioxidant)

Whisk ingredients together, adding cream as necessary until you get a smooth, paste-like consistency. Apply mixture to cleansed face and leave for 5-10 minutes. Wash off with warm water and moisturize as usual.

Oatmeal Scrubs
Oatmeal Face Scrub
Pour small amount oatmeal flour into palm and add enough water to make a paste. Apply to face using gentle, circular motion and massage into skin. Rinse with warm water and moisturize as usual.

Oatmeal Buttermilk Scrub
This is such a great recipe, you won't believe it. Between the oatmeal and the natural softening and brightening benefits of the buttermilk, your skin with be singing with joy. Since it is cooled in the refrigerator, I have found this is an incredible scrub to use when it gets hot. What a cooling effect it has! Instant. This recipe makes enough for the face and the whole body.

1 quart buttermilk
½ cup oatmeal flour

Mix ingredients thoroughly and refrigerate for at least two hours. You will get a thick paste, which can be applied anywhere on the body. Leave the scrub on for about 20 minutes. If I'm using this on my whole body, after applying it, I will sit in an empty tub and read  or lay back and meditate. Again, such a great cooling-off method in the middle of our hot summers. Rinse with warm water. If you can use water with lemon juice, that's even better.  Moisturize like usual.

Oatmeal and Brown Sugar Face Scrub
2 TBS oatmeal flour
2 tsp brown sugar
2 TBS aloe vera juice
1 tsp lemon juice

Mix all ingredients in bowl until you have a smooth paste. Gently massage onto cleansed and moistened face and rinse off with warm water. This is enough for the face; triple recipe if you're doing the whole body.

Oatmeal Salt Wash
This blend offers a wonderful and traditional way to exfoliate and cleanse the skin. Sea salt purifies the skin, while baking soda cleanses it. Oatmeal soothes (and feels great) while the herbs add fragrance and healing properties. An exfoliating rub like this helps remove dead skin and also improves microcirculation to reveal healthy, glowing skin. Try to use this wash at least once a week.

1 cup sea salt
½ cup oatmeal flour
½ cup baking soda
¼ cup of one of the following: dried, powdered lavender, rose petals or peppermint. I have used lavender or peppermint essential oils instead of dried. Just a few drops of either are enough.

Using a food processor or blender, combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. If using essential oils, add drops before blending. When using, wet body and use a small handful to gently polish your skin with small, slow circular motions. Wash off with warm water, pat dry with towel and moisturize as usual.