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Why You Should Take an Oatmeal Bath

BATH BOMBS ARE PRETTY, BUT OATMEAL DOES A LOT MORE FOR YOUR SKIN

Article by Hayley Hyer

Photography by Stock Images

I'll admit it—I got sucked into the bath bomb trend for a little while. They are so pretty and fun to watch! Then I read what is actually in most of them. Sadly, it's a lot of artificial colors and perfumes and chemicals that you definitely don't want to be soaking your skin in. Unless it's from an organic, non-toxic company, I'm now avoiding most bath bombs.

RELATED: 3 Face Mask Ingredients to Avoid

On a similar note, Epsom salts aren't necessarily bad for your skin in any way, but there also is no scientific evidence to back the many benefits we hope to get from soaking in it.

READ MORE: Does Epsom Salt Work?

But that doesn't mean the relaxing baths have to end! Oatmeal isn't super pretty, and it doesn't fizz, but it is wonderful for you skin. When I was 5 years old, I was diagnosed with Henoch-Schönlein purpura, which is an autoimmune disease most common in very young children. One of the symptoms was super itchy hives, and my saving grace was the oatmeal baths my mom prepared for me!

Now in my adulthood, I still enjoy the benefits of soaking in oats. Here's why you should try an oatmeal bath for yourself and how to do it.

Why Take an Oatmeal Bath?

"In 1945, colloidal oatmeal compounds started becoming more widely available for treating skin conditions, according to the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology.

Colloidal oatmeal is the oatmeal preparation that’s commonly used in lotions as well as for baths. Specifically, it’s oatmeal that’s been finely ground or chopped and suspended in liquid.

Colloidal oatmeal has both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. This is thanks in large part to the presence of compounds that include vitamin E, ferulic acid, and aventhramides. The Journal of Drugs in Dermatology reports that aventhramides are the main antioxidant in oats.

Even in small amounts, the compounds found in colloidal oatmeal inhibit tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-8 release, which have been associated with conditions like psoriasis. These compounds also reduce itching."

—Rachel Nall, RN, MSN, CCRN (Medically reviewed by Debra Rose Wilson, PhD, MSN, RN, IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT)

READ MORE: Oatmeal Baths: A Skin-Soothing Home Remedy

Colloidal oatmeal also contains compounds that can help our skin retain moisture, preventing dehydration and dryness. So whether you have a skin condition that is bothering you or not, the oatmeal bath will at least help your skin feel nourished and hydrated!

How to Prepare an Oatmeal Bath

One super easy way to prepare an oatmeal bath is to buy some packets of pre-made bath treatment. As you are filling up the tub, slowly sprinkle it in and break up any clumps. Then it's ready for you just like that!

AVEENO Soothing Oatmeal Bath Treatment For Itchy, Dry Skin

"Relieve itchy, irritated skin the way Mother Nature intended—naturally. Made with 100% natural colloidal oatmeal, this dermatologist-recommended skin treatment creates a milky bath that relieves itch and irritation due to poison ivy, insect bites, sunburn, eczema and more. Warm and comforting, your skin will say 'ahhh.'" —Aveeno

DIY Colloidal Oatmeal Bath

Another option is to prepare your own colloidal oatmeal. For one bath, you just need 1/2 cup organic rolled oats and 1/4 cup baking soda. Make sure the oats are completely plain and not flavored or from an instant packet.

You will also need a food processor or spice grinder to blend the oats. Then stir the baking soda into the ground oats, and you're ready to add it to your bath!

If you'd like to spruce it up, you can add ground flowers or herbs like chamomile, but keep in mind that they might get stuck in the drain of your tub. The oatmeal and baking soda will dissolve, so you don't have to worry about your drain if you keep it simple with those two ingredients.

READ MORE: DIY Colloidal Oatmeal Bath Soothes Dry, Itchy Skin

If you don't have a persistent skin condition, you don't need to take oatmeal baths super often. But save this article for the next time you feel like your skin is dry and want to do something a little extra for it!

Follow Hayley Hyer @hayhyer

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