- I wanted to see the end product of a popular DIY-er. Crunchy Betty has really great recipes on her site, and they are as natural as it gets for skin care. I often use other people's recipes as inspiration, but I can't help but change them when I try them myself (often because of ingredient availability or known sensitivities to some of the recipe's ingredients). This way, I can try her recipe as intended.
- I like her story of wanting to stick to skin care and writing and her husband stepping in to help run the business side of things. It's a nice story. I want to support their business venture since she generously shares her recipes for free.
Now what does this all have to do with one of my favorite ingredients, oats?
Well the first ingredient in the cleansing grains happens to be oats, which I know my skin loves! At our local market, organic oats are inexpensive and available in bulk. This makes them a staple in our kitchen.
First, what are oats? Oat, Avena sativa, is a cereal grass cultivated for its edible seed. According to Live Strong: “oats are a whole-grain food and are rich in fiber, manganese, the B vitamins thiamin and riboflavin, vitamin E and protein. They're also low in sodium and fat and free of sugar, cholesterol and saturated fats.”
One weight loss tradition in my family has been to soak rolled oats in water overnight and then drink the oat water first thing in the morning. I can not tell you why this works, but I've been doing it for a few months with really good results.
Now to get back on track, oats also have amazing benefits for skin. Oats are absorbent, helping to draw out skin impurities, and they act as a mild exfoliant that gently smooths out skin's texture. Oats work well on dry, itchy, sensitive skin and are often recommended for treating eczema, psoriasis and other skin ailments. Oh and did I mention they are inexpensive and readily available in bulk?
In the spirit of Crunchy Betty, I'm sharing my favorite oat-based skin care mask. It also includes kaolin clay (aka white clay), a mild cleansing clay that works well with most skin types. Like oats, kaolin is absorbent and promotes circulation to the skin. Yogurt powder is high in lactic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid that gently improves skin's texture. I've also used plain yogurt or raw kefir in place of the powder when I have it available. It makes for a creamier mask.
Purifying Oatmeal Mask
1 tablespoon White Kaolin Clay
1 tablespoon Oat Flour
1 tablespoon Yogurt Powder
Mix the clay, oat flour and yogurt powder with water until blended to the consistency of...ummm... crunchy peanut butter! The mixture is definitely a little gritty, but it does apply evenly and dries firm.
First use your regular cleansing method to clean your face. Lightly pat dry, but leave skin as damp as possible. Then apply the mask mixture gently and evenly onto your skin using your finger tips; steer clear of the eye area.
Leave the mask on for 15-20 minutes for your first time; I can have it on as long as 30 mins. If you have very sensitive skin, try a patch test first.
Then wash it off with lukewarm water and end with a splash of cold water; pat your skin dry with a clean towel. Finally apply your favorite moisturizer. If I'm not going out, I like to use raw shea butter. While shea is very heavy, I feel like it envelops my skin in a thick, emollient layer of goodness!
How else do I use oats? To exfoliate, as a daily cleanser, in my deodorant recipes, and I'm even thinking about using that oat water from my family tradition to include in DIY hair preparations. I hope you have fun experimenting with oats, and please share your favorite oat recipes with me in the comment section, on Facebook or on Twitter @floraesthetics!