Quite a lot, actually. Oatmeal's benefits
for skin care are many. It is naturally
absorbent and works to draw out unwanted oil
and impurities from your pores, providing
better results than many standard cleansers.
When mixed with water, oatmeal aids in
balancing your skin's pH level, improving
your overall complexion. It contains phenols
and flavonoids that act as antioxidants to
protect the skin against sun damage, and
oatmeal's rough texture also helps exfoliate
those dead skin cells.
Still not impressed? Oatmeal has
anti-inflammatory properties and can help
reduce both painful swelling and itchiness.
It actually works to inhibit the sensory
transmitters in your skin, preventing them
from sending impulses to the brain. That's
why oatmeal is effective at taking the itch
out of poison ivy, and why it can help you
with the irritation that goes hand-in-hand
with acne cysts. If your blemishes irritate
you less, you'll be less likely to pick at
them and make your skin worse.
an oatmeal mask
One of the nice things about oatmeal is that
it's cheap and easy to find at the local
grocery store. Making an oatmeal mask is
simple. You'll want to mix 3/4 cup of
oatmeal with 1 cup of water, then heat it
just as you normally would if making a meal.
Once cooked, give it a little time to cool
down (you want it warm, not hot), and then
add 1/4 cup of honey to the mix. The honey's
moisturizing properties make for an added
benefit, and its stickiness also helps the
mask adhere to your skin. Leave it on for
about 15 minutes before gently rinsing off.
Take care to avoid contact with your eyes.
Oatmeal's rough texture could cause some
pain otherwise. The mask may also irritate
the skin just below your eyes, so give a
wide berth. Some users like to cover their
eyes with used teabags during this time,
which both protects and soothes the skin,
reducing puffiness and the appearance of
Oatmeal masks are remarkably safe, with
virtually no side effects (except in the
case of allergies). This is generally one of
the healthiest acne home remedies around.
Just be sure to remove the mask before it
becomes dry and brittle, unless you want
your skin to end up the same way.
Colloidal oatmeal is simply oatmeal that has
been ground into a very fine powder. Some
users try to make it themselves by mashing
up dry oats, but this can be tricky, as the
particles need to be extremely small to have
a true colloid effect (smaller than many
food processors can handle). True colloidal
oatmeal does not sink in water, but
instantly binds to form a pasty goo.
The main advantage of using colloidal
oatmeal is that it's even more absorbent
than the standard variety, making it a more
powerful acne cleanser. Your skin may also
be able to absorb the helpful nutrients in
the oats more readily. And since the
consistency is pastier, you won't really
need the honey, so it's a bit easier to
prepare. On the downside, because the
texture is less coarse, you won't get the
same exfoliation benefit.
Whichever variety you choose, using an
oatmeal mask 1-3 times per week is a safe,
effective and natural way to promote clear
and healthy skin.