One of my favorite ingredients to use in homemade skin care is oatmeal. Oatmeal is soothing since it has anti-inflammatory properties (great for irritated skin), and gently cleanses the skin without over drying it. It is rich in antioxidants and nutrients including vitamin E and zinc. It is super gentle and makes a wonderful mild exfoliant for extremely sensitive skin (it is suitable for sensitive skin that can not tolerate most other exfoliants).
Coarsely grind a teaspoon or two of oatmeal. Moisten with a liquid such as honey, aloe, distilled water, spring water, or milk.
To use as a mild exfoliating cleanser: use it immediately and make fresh each time. Apply a small amount to damp skin, gently massage the skin, leave it on for a minute, and rinse well.
To use as a non-exfoliating cleanser: moisten with liquids. Wait several minutes until the oatmeal is softened (when oatmeal gets mushy, it no longer exfoliates), and then use.
Store excess in the fridge, and use within a few days (you may need to add more liquid each time you use it). (If you do not wish your oatmeal cleanser to exfoliate, do not make this cleanser with cow or goat milk, since they are mild exfoliants too. However you can make this version with cow or goat milk if you wish--it just won't be a physical exfoliant but will still exfoliate using the milk's natural lactic acid)
Some people prefer to cook the oatmeal to soften it faster. If you cook it I recommend making it with water or milk, and then adding other liquids (such as honey or aloe) afterwards.
Prepare oatmeal as mentioned above. Use plain or add other great skin care ingredients like almonds (which also mildly exfoliate), clay (kaolin is suitable for all skin types), or essential oils (add only a drop of non-irritating essential oils. Essential oils good for most skin types include lavender, chamomile, palmarosa, or geranium). Add extra liquids (like honey, etc) if needed. Apply to damp skin, leave on for 5 to 20 minutes (5 minutes if your skin is extremely sensitive; 15-20 minutes for most other people). Rinse well.
After cleansing or masking, be sure to tone/hydrate and also moisturize the skin Oatmeal cleanser and mask technically doesn’t need a toner after use, but I still recommend using a natural toner to hydrate the skin.
About The Author:
Li Wong has a B.A. in Environmental Studies (Biology) and a M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy. She has been crafting natural cosmetics and studying aromatherapy and herbalism since 2001, and is currently a student of Jeanne Rose’s Aromatherapy Studies Course. Environmental interests include conservation, botany, ethnobotany (uses of plants by indigenous peoples), mammals, organic standards in cosmetics, urban wildlife issues, environmental education and awareness, and public perception. She is the owner of Earth Alkemie, an all natural, vegetarian skin care and mineral makeup company.
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