Oatmeal Could Be The Soothing, Anti-Aging Ingredient Your Skin Needs

Looking for moisturized, soothed, and supple skin? You might want to look in your pantry. As it turns out, oatmeal isn't just a cozy, age-old breakfast staple. This powerful superfood is also jam-packed with skin-pampering components, making it an excellent addition to your self-care routine. 

However, it isn't quite as simple as reaching for a bag of instant brown sugar cinnamon and hoping for the best — in fact, it's better to leave the flavored oatmeal for your breakfast bowl. To reap the most benefits from an oatmeal wash, stick with whole, plain oats finely ground into what's known as colloidal oatmeal. 

A simple paste of oats and water can alleviate inflammation and redness, reduce signs of aging, moisturize and cleanse the skin, and serve as an all-natural alternative to harsh astringents and other things you don't want to wash your face with found in other cleansers. Here's how to elevate your oats from breakfast bowl to beauty regimen.

The skin-soothing benefits of oatmeal

A 2018 study published in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity revealed the secret to oatmeal's skin-soothing quality to be avenanthramides. These plant components have powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiproliferative qualities. In plain English, that means avenanthramides help protect against free radical damage, reduce redness and irritation, and help suppress autoimmune responses like psoriasis, respectively. 

Oatmeal was also found to have moisturizing properties in a 2019 paper published in the Italian Journal of Dermatology and Venereology. The study observed oatmeal's effects on xerosis (dry skin) and determined it to be a safe, effective solution to dryness and itching. Keeping the skin moisturized and the skin barrier functioning properly can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, making oatmeal a powerful anti-aging ingredient. 

The antioxidant qualities of avenanthramides found in oats are another critical component of anti-aging skincare. Per a 2010 study in the Journal of Dermatological Science, antioxidants protect your skin from and prevent oxidative stress caused by harmful UV rays, environmental factors, and the natural aging process. While antioxidants won't make you live forever, they can visibly reduce signs of photoaging — wearing facial sunscreen every day helps, too.

How to incorporate oatmeal into your skincare routine

For the best results, stick with colloidal oatmeal, the same kind of oats used in the 2018 Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity study. You can make colloidal oatmeal by using a blender or grinder to turn whole, plain oats into a fine powder. The process is relatively straightforward, but BodyGarbage Handmade Suds has a handy tutorial on YouTube that provides a visual demonstration. 

Once you've ground your oats into colloidal oatmeal, it's time to wash! Place a small, quarter-sized amount of oatmeal into your palm, and add a few drops of water. Rub your hands together to make a wet paste (add more water if necessary) before lathering up like usual. Just like any other facial cleanser, be careful to avoid the eyes, and don't rub your skin raw. A gentle lather with lukewarm water should suffice. Rinse, then pat your skin dry with a soft towel. 

Whether you're out of face wash and can't make it to the store or looking for something a bit more natural, oatmeal is a fantastic option. Afterward, reward yourself with a warm bowl of your favorite flavored oatmeal as the tasty cherry on top of your all-natural self-care routine.