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Ode to Oatmeal

Jess Arnaudin

You probably don't know it, but your skin is hungry for oatmeal. Yep. That's right! This heart-healthy staple is ahhh-mazing for your skin as well!


New York City dermatologist Amy Wechsler, MD explains, "There are four reasons why your skin adores oatmeal,"

1. Dryness fighting: Oats contain polysaccharides, which become gelatinous in water and leave a fine protective film on the skin, preventing dull, flaky dryness.

2. Moisturizing: Oats are full of healthy, lubricating fats.

3. Defense building: The proteins in oatmeal help maintain the skin's natural barrier function, which ensures that the world outside the skin stays out, and what's inside the skin stays in.

4. Pore cleansing: Oats are filled with natural cleansers (called saponins) that gently remove dirt and oil from the pores.

To reap all of these benefits, Wechsler suggests treating your skin to a colloidal oatmeal mask every week or two. Here's her super simple recipe:

The Skin Doc's Smoothing, Soothing Oatmeal Mask


2 tablespoons old-fashioned oats
2 tablespoons hot water
1/2 tablespoon honey

1. Put the oats into a clean herb or coffee grinder on the finest setting, and process into powder. *Optional - If grinding the oats is not available to you.

2. Pour into a small bowl and stir in hot water and honey. Let stand for 5 minutes.

3. Wash face with warm water. While skin is still damp, massage paste onto face, circling around eyes and mouth. Leave on for 10 minutes.

4. Remove with tepid water and a washcloth. Apply your favorite moisturizer to seal the deal and set the glow.


For more ways to add oats to your regimen:

Create an exfoliant by grinding oats in a mortar and pestle, or try this one from S.W. Basics which incorporates organic oat flour. 

Or purchase finely milled colloidal oatmeal and add to a warm bath for a skin soothing soak. This has been known to greatly help with eczema and psoriasis. 

Have more skin food recipes using oatmeal? Do share!