It happens the same way every year: when the weather starts to turn colder, my mind turns to oatmeal. (Wait… let’s try that again.) I don’t mean that my mind turns into oatmeal, I mean that my thoughts turn toward oatmeal! 🙂
On mornings when the bitter cold outside seems to have crept into my bones overnight, there’s no better way to start the day than with a warm bowl of oatmeal. I like to add a splash of caramel vanilla creamer and a handful of roasted almonds, and pretty soon I’m warmed up and ready to face the day!
But oatmeal isn’t just a nutritious and satisfying breakfast option—it’s great for your skin too! Many skin lotions and moisturizers feature colloidal oatmeal as a star ingredient because of its soothing, moisturizing, and exfoliating properties.
What Is Colloidal Oatmeal?
Ever wondered what “colloidal” means, or whether colloidal oatmeal is different from regular old oatmeal? Well, for those whose memory of high school chemistry is as hazy as mine, a colloid is a mixture in which a microscopic substance is suspended throughout another substance.
So “colloidal oatmeal” refers to oatmeal that has been ground down into microscopic particles and then dispersed into some type of medium (usually water). This format makes it easy to incorporate oatmeal into skincare products that can help to alleviate dryness, itching, burns, inflammation, and other uncomfortable skin conditions.
Not All Oats Are Created Equal!
- The recipe for the oatmeal shower bags in this post calls for rolled oats, both because they’re cheap and widely available, and because they offer the same skin benefits as colloidal oatmeal.
- Both colloidal oatmeal and rolled oats have the bran intact, which is important because the bran contains a lot of those good skin-nourishing components.
- Oat flour, on the other hand, wouldn’t be as beneficial because those oats have had their bran removed before they were ground down into oat flour.
- So when in doubt, look for whole grain oats when you’re buying oats or oatmeal for skincare purposes!
The Soothing Power Of Oatmeal
The anti-inflammatory and soothing effects of oats/oatmeal make it useful for treating a variety of skin problems, from standard wintertime dryness to more serious conditions like chickenpox. (I remember the many oatmeal baths I drew up for my kids as they each came down with chickenpox over the years!)
Oatmeal is also well tolerated by sensitive skin, which is great news for people like me! (I swear, my skin is so sensitive that I seem to constantly have at least one patch of skin that’s red and itchy for inexplicable reasons.)
But while a soothing oatmeal bath can certainly be beneficial, there’s no denying that it requires a certain amount of cleanup afterward! But there’s a cleaner and easier way to enjoy the skin soothing benefits of oatmeal during the course of an everyday shower: DIY oatmeal shower bags!
I’ll be showing you a quick and easy method you can use to make your own oatmeal shower bags in today’s post. With just a small drawstring bag, a handful of oatmeal, some grated soap, and a few drops of your favorite essential oil, you can enjoy the soothing benefits of an oatmeal bath without any of the mess!
How To Make Skin-Soothing DIY Oatmeal Shower Bags
- Bar of soap
- Grater or microplane
- Mixing bowl
- Rolled oats
- Lavender essential oil
- Drawstring favor bags (organza or muslin work well)
Start by grating a bar of soap with a box grater or microplane. You’ll only need to grate about half of a standard size bar of soap, then you can set the remaining portion of the bar aside to use in the shower or for hand washing.
Add the grated soap to a mixing bowl, then measure out 2 cups of rolled oats and add them to the grated soap. Finally, add 5-10 drops of lavender essential oil (or another essential oil of your choice) to the soap and oats, then stir to combine.
Scoop a handful (around 1/4 to 1/2 cup) of the soap and oat mixture into several small drawstring bags. If possible, choose bags that are made of a relatively sheer material, like organza or muslin, so that water can pass through it without meeting too much resistance.
Once you’ve filled the bags, just tie them off in a double knot and they’ll be ready to use!
How To Use
Just get one of your oatmeal shower bags damp at the sink or in the shower and start scrubbing. The water and friction will activate the soap and create a cleansing lather, while the oats and fabric provide gentle exfoliation to leave you skin feeling clean and soft.
You can even use it in the bath for an oatmeal bath with easy cleanup. Just drop one in the tub while you’re filling it with water (like a “tea bag” of sorts).
When you’re done, hang the bag to dry in your shower or on a hook near your sink. When the bag stops lathering effectively or otherwise loses its “oomph,” simply discard the bag’s contents, rinse the bag itself, then refill it with fresh soap and oats!
These quick and easy shower bags are a great way to enjoy the soothing and moisturizing benefits of oats without having to do a lot of cleanup afterward. Give them a try and let me know what you think!
Have you ever used oats or oatmeal on your skin?
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