What Are The Benefits Of Oatmeal Baths?

What are the benefits of oatmeal baths? – we answer all there is to know about oatmeal, how it helps skin and supply some expert commentary on why oatmeal helps to relieve skin conditions.

a woman pouring an oatmeal bath mixture into a bathtub

What Are Oatmeal Baths?

Oatmeal baths are a simple make-at-home bath remedy that has the proven benefit of helping people with skin conditions.

It’s effectively a bath with oatmeal in it and nothing else -well, water is in there too, obviously!

Oatmeal has been used for skin care purposes since the Roman times.

Today, oatmeal can be found in many organic skincare creams and bath soaps, including the world-famous Aveeno products.

It’s one of the best home remedies for irritated skin!

How Does Oatmeal Help Itchy Skin?

a hand scratching at itchy skin on a shoulder

The benefits of oatmeal baths for skin conditions are quite amazing.

Oatmeal can help to protect, moisturise, exfoliate and cleanse your skin.

So, if you’re a sufferer of skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis, then it may be a good option to consider.

There’s not many things in life that come close to the discomfort of itchy, sore skin that nothing can sooth or take the edge off.

But oatmeal helps to boost collagen production, reduces inflammation and improves the complextion of the skin, so is definitely worth a look if you’ve exhausted all other options.

What Are Oatmeal Baths Good For?

The top skin conditions that oatmeal baths have proven to relieve:

  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Sunburn
  • Severe Dry Skin
  • Dermatitis
  • Chicken Pox
  • Hives
  • Insect Bites

What Kind Of Oatmeal Do You Use In An Oatmeal Bath?

oatmeal ground up and made into a powder in a glass

Before you go rushing to the kitchen cupboard for a handful of breakfast oats, it’s important to understand that the oats you put into an oatmeal bath are not exactly the same as the oats you use in your morning porridge.

Well, they are just like the oats that you eat, but they are prepared a little differently.

Colloidal oatmeal is ground from the kernels of oats and is then blended into a fine powder.

This type of oat should be used in an oatmeal bath and can usually be found in your local supermarket, pharmacy, or health store.

Your standard breakfast oats – like Quaker Oat so Simple – tend to have added sugar and other artificial ingredients that aren’t ideal for an oatmeal bath.

How Does An Oatmeal Bath Help Itchy Skin?

So what are the benefits of an oatmeal bath and how can taking one help itchy skin or other skin conditions?

Oats have been used for centuries to soothe and calm skin conditions.

They can provide a great anti-inflammatory effect that can help with itchy skin and aid in soothing an allergic reaction.

Packed with vitamins (specifically vitamin E), minerals, fats and proteins that help heal the skin.

Colloidal oatmeal works to bind the skin and create a protective barrier to help lock in moisture and reduce inflammation.

a woman putting moisturiser on her cheek

Now you understand how Colloidal oatmeal can help the skin and soothe itchiness, it’s time to find out how to make your own oatmeal concoction.

How to Make Your Own Oatmeal

Make sure you are using uncooked, whole oats that don’t have additives (don’t be emptying your golden syrup oats into your bath!).

Grind the oats up with a blender, food processor or anything you can get your hands on that will turn the oats into a finely ground powder.

You can check if they are ground enough if they dissolve easily in a tablespoon of hot water. The water should turn a little milky and not feel gritty or abrasive.

Once they have been ground to a fine dust, your oats are ready to be popped into the bath!

How To Prepare an Oatmeal Bath to Soothe Itchy Skin

Time needed: 45 minutes

10 to 15 minutes to run the bath
10 to 15 minutes soaking in the bath
10 to 15 minutes to moisturise your skin
45 minutes in total to complete your oatmeal bath

  1. Fill your bathtub

    Firstly, fill your bathtub with warm (not hot) water and remember not to add any soaps or bubble bath as this could cause more irritation to your skin.

    If your water is too hot, this too could make your skin feel more itchy and inflamed, so be sure to let a hot bath cool a little before you get in.

    A young woman preparing an oatmeal bath

  2. Pour your ground oats into the bath

    Pour half a cup of ground oats into the bath and stir it around until the oatmeal has blended with the water.

    The water should start to take on a milky appearance, and this is exactly what you’re aiming for.

  3. Get in the bath

    Get in and soak in the oatmeal for around 15 minutes.

    This will give the skin enough time to absorb the nutrients – but don’t soak for too long as your skin will dry out and make itching worse.

    Be careful getting in and out of the bath, as the oatmeal mixture can make your bathtub very slippery.

    Young woman taking an oatmeal bath

  4. Clean the bath to remove the slippery residue

    After you’ve had 10-15 minutes soaking, get out of the bath and give it a quick rinse out to remove any leftover oaty bits.

  5. Give yourself a gentle pat down

    Carefully pat yourself down, trying not to rub or irritate your skin.

    Young woman drying her hair with a towel in bathroom

    Do this until your skin feels a little damp but not entirely dry.

    You don’t need to rinse yourself off, because you want to keep all the moisture-laden components of the oat mix on your skin, so they can work their magic.

    Don’t scrub yourself dry. Be gentle. That works best.

  6. Apply moisturiser

    Young woman applying moisturizer to legs after her oatmeal bath

    Rub organic lotion or hydrating cream into your skin within a few minutes of getting out of the bath.

    Doing this will help to lock in the moisture and ensure you of better results.

    Moisturisers that are rich in vitamin E are great for locking in extra moisture.

    And, if you have particularly dry skin – or are treating a condition like psoriasis – using oils or heavy ointments may be a better idea, as they stay on the skin a little longer and help to prolong the impact of your oatmeal bath.

After one oatmeal bath you might notice the benefits of softer, smoother skin.

However, it might take a week or so to really notice a significant difference.

“You can take oatmeal baths twice daily. The oatmeal acts as an emollient and protective moisturizer for dry skin.”

Azza Halim, MD
ground up oatmeal in a jar

Oatmeal baths are a safe way to take the edge off sore skin conditions.

It might seem a tad yucky at first but it’s definitely worth a go.

Please note – if your skin feels worse after one oatmeal bath, don’t try it again and and arrange an appointment with your GP.

Say goodbye to harsh, red skin!

How Often Should You Take An Oatmeal Bath?

As Azza Halim indicates, it should be perfectlyt safe for you to have a couple of oatmeal baths each day – for around 15 minutes at a time.

That said, you should consult your healthcare provider to ensure that an oatmeal bath will be beneficial for you and the condition you are trying to relieve.

Can I Give My Baby An Oatmeal Bath?

Yes, you can!

Just as with your own skin, your baby’s skin could benefit from an oatmeal bath/

Regular oatmeal bathing will help to soothe baby skin-case issues like nappy rash and other skin ailments.

Have You Tried An Oatmeal Bath?

Let us know in the comments below if you have any handy tips and tricks for improving your oatmeal bath experience – we’d love to hear all about them!

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