- An oatmeal face mask is an easy DIY skin care preparation that you can make at home.
- Oats contain antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds, vitamins and minerals that protect skin from UV and environmental damage.
- Oatmeal face masks help repair skin damage, heal wounds and skin conditions like acne, rosacea and atopic dermatitis.
- An oatmeal face mask moisturizes, tones, lightens skin and enhances elasticity to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
With the right ingredients, face masks can moisturize, heal, firm and tone the skin. While professional masks are an option if you have the time and money to spend on a trip to the spa, they tend to be expensive and may also contain chemicals that do more harm than good. To get the benefits from a face mask without the potential harm, homemade DIY masks are an easy, inexpensive and natural way to make your skin look fresh and young.
Benefits of Oatmeal on the Skin
While oatmeal is known to be an excellent source of nutrition when ingested, it also benefits your skin when applied via a facial mask. Oatmeal contains numerous useful nutrients that gently work on your skin to bring back its youthful charm.
Oats (Avena sativa) are rich in antioxidants called avenanthramides. These chemicals have potent anti-inflammatory and anti-itching activity and hence an oatmeal face mask is great for sensitive skin and for skin with painful conditions like acne, rosacea and atopic dermatitis.
An oatmeal face mask has a gentle exfoliating action, unlike fruit-based masks or skin care products that contain alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) like lactic and glycolic acid. While fruit AHAs are excellent exfoliators, too much of a good thing can be bad. AHAs have dual action and can harm the skin when used in higher concentrations in peeling masks. They break the integrity of the skin layer causing irritation, redness and swelling, and generally exacerbate an already present skin condition.
Our skin is constantly exposed to harmful UV radiation and environmental pollution that causes structural changes in the skin, especially the loss of collagen, the integral protein that provides firmness to the skin. Decreasing amounts of collagen result in skin aging and cause signs like wrinkles and sagging skin to appear.
Oats are rich in amino acids, like arginine, histidine, methionine, and lysine, that are important for good skin health. When oatmeal is applied via a face mask, these amino acids enter the skin and help rebuild the skin layer. They help in collagen formation and reverse skin damage due to UV radiation. Regular use of an oatmeal face mask reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and enhances elasticity and firmness.
The other nutrients in oats and their benefits are:
- Vitamin E, a potent antioxidant that gets easily absorbed in skin and reduces skin damage caused by the formation of free radicals due to harmful UV radiation. Vitamin E is also an excellent moisturizer and reduces the dryness of your skin.
- Beta-glucan, a polysaccharide antioxidant that reduces inflammation, heals wounds, soothes sensitive skin, reduces irritation, and gently moisturizes skin.
- Niacin (vitamin B3), an anti-inflammatory compound that has moisturizing and skin lightening activity.
- Zinc, a powerful antioxidant, which helps in healing wounds, keeps cell walls of skin stable and protects skin from UV damage.
- Copper, an antioxidant that works alongside zinc to boost the production of elastin required for skin elasticity.
- Magnesium, which helps prevent the signs of aging in your skin.
Types of Oatmeal Masks
It is simple to make an oatmeal face mask at home with easily available ingredients. Apart from the benefits of oats, the added ingredients complement the activity of oats and create a powerful mix that helps the skin.
Milk and oatmeal face mask
Milk has been used extensively as a beauty ingredient and is known for its skin-soothing properties. It cools the skin, lightens skin tone and acts as a gentle exfoliant. When combined with oatmeal to create a face mask, it soothes sunburned and inflamed skin.
- Whole rolled oats, 1 tablespoon
- Milk (whole or toned), 2 tablespoons
- Measure a tablespoon of rolled oats in a mixing bowl.
- Add milk to it.
- Mix well until you get a smooth paste.
How to apply
- Wash face with warm water. You can use an oil-free cleanser to remove makeup prior to washing your face.
- Apply the oatmeal-milk paste evenly on face and neck. Let it sit for around 20 minutes.
- Wash the mask off with warm water and pat dry for fresh, clean skin.
Instant oatmeal and turmeric face mask
You can also use instant oatmeal to make a face mask. Make sure it does not contain any flavoring or other additives. Cooked oatmeal face masks are great for acne-prone and inflamed skin. Turmeric is an antiseptic and fights acne-causing bacteria. It also lightens the skin.
- One serving of instant oatmeal
- Water, as required
- A pinch of turmeric
- Cook a serving of instant oatmeal with enough water to make a thick paste.
- Add just a pinch of turmeric and mix well. Too much turmeric will color your skin pale yellow (if this occurs, the color will go away after a couple of washes).
How to apply
- Wash face with warm water and a mild face wash.
- Pat dry the skin with a soft towel and apply the still warm (but not hot) cooked oatmeal to the face and neck.
- Let sit for 15 minutes and wash off with warm water. Pat dry.
Apple and oatmeal face mask
Apple can be used to hydrate tone, lighten and cleanse the skin. It is also full of antioxidants that fight skin problems due to UV and pollution damage.
- Oatmeal, 2 tablespoons
- Applesauce, 2 tablespoons
- Honey, 1 teaspoon (optional)
- Add the applesauce to a mixing bowl. If you are adding honey, add a teaspoon of it to the applesauce and microwave the mixture for five seconds to liquify the honey. Mix well.
- Add the oatmeal and mix well to get a fine, even paste.
How to apply
- Wash your face with warm water and a mild soap-free facewash. Pat dry with a soft towel.
- Apply the oatmeal face mask all over your face and neck.
- Let it sit for about 15 minutes
- Wash off with warm water. Pat dry.
Almond oil and oatmeal face mask
Almond oil complements the action of oatmeal because it is rich in vitamin E and also an excellent moisturizer. This face mask is recommended for dry skin.
- Oatmeal, ½ cup
- Sweet almond oil, 1 tablespoon
- Banana, half (optional)
- Add oatmeal to warm water and mix to make a thick paste.
- Slowly add the almond oil to the oatmeal paste while mixing.
- If you wish, you can add half a mashed banana to the mixture and stir all ingredients into a smooth and even paste.
How to apply
- Wash face with warm water and a mild face wash, if required. Pat dry with a soft towel.
- When the mask paste is cool enough, apply it evenly over the face and neck.
- Let the mask sit for about 10 minutes.
- Wash off with warm water and pat dry.
Honey, lemon and oatmeal face mask
Lemon juice is a natural cleanser and astringent, while honey contains natural antioxidants and skin-healing compounds. Together with oatmeal, they make a potent combination for a soothing, healing face mask.
- Oatmeal, ½ cup (powdered, or colloidal oatmeal)
- Lemon juice, 1 tablespoon, and grated rind, 1 teaspoon
- Honey, 1 tablespoon
- Make a fine powder of oatmeal in a food processor.
- Add lemon juice, grated rind and honey and mix it well.
- Slowly add just enough warm water to make a smooth, even paste.
How to apply
- Wash face with warm water and a mild face wash. You may use a cleanser to remove makeup.
- Apply cooled paste evenly on face and neck.
- Leave it on for about 15 minutes.
- Wash with warm water and pat dry with a soft towel.
Side Effects of Oatmeal Masks
Oats are generally safe to be used on the skin. However, in extremely rare cases, it may worsen a skin condition like eczema. If you experience redness or irritation after an oatmeal face mask, seek medical advice and stop using oatmeal on the skin.
Although oats are gluten-free, there may be cross-sensitivity with wheat due to the presence of traces of wheat or rye in the oatmeal due to inadvertent mixing or the oats having been grown in a field that previously had wheat or rye grown in it. Gluten-sensitive individuals should try a skin patch test first by applying a small amount of oatmeal mask on the inside of the elbow and leaving it for 10 minutes. If no adverse reaction is seen, they may safely use it on the face.
An oatmeal face mask is extremely beneficial for the skin. Due to the large number of nutrients it contains, oats can help to rebuild damaged skin, heal wounds, protect skin from UV and environmental damage, and moisturize and cleanse the skin. Regular use of an oatmeal face mask can solve skin problems like dryness, acne, atopic dermatitis and excessive oiliness. Oatmeal face masks are safe with a very low incidence of adverse reactions.