One of my interests is DIY skincare - I love cheap alternatives to expensive brands that work even better!
My best friend is getting married next weekend and I've been trying to clear up my slightly neglected face with some SOS skincare, so I've revisited one of my favourites - oatmeal.
Oatmeal is one of those rare traditional remedies your grandmother would tell you about - with scientific studies to back it up!
There are a lot of things in oatmeal that make it great for your face. It contains starch, proteins, lipids and β-glucans which protect your skin from water loss (occlusive effect) and hold water close to the skin (humectant effect). Oatmeal has also been shown to normalise the skin pH and protect from UV rays, and has antioxidant properties.
One of the most interesting components of this potent mixture are chemicals called avenanthramides. These only make up 0.03% of dry oatmeal by weight, but are powerful antioxidants, and have strong anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory effects on the skin. Avenanthramide A looks like this:
The FDA has approved the use of oatmeal to temporarily relieve skin irritation from eczema, rashes, insect bites and allergies. Dermatologists also often recommend oatmeal products for conditions such as rosacea, chicken pox and dry skin. Additionally, colloidal oatmeal is the key ingredient in the skincare line Aveeno - it's called after the Latin name for oats, Avena sativa.
I've been soaking oats (ground in my coffee grinder) in a bit of water, then using a cotton pad to wipe the milky liquid over my freahly washed face. After waiting for ten minutes or so (when the oat water starts to dry), I wipe my face again. After repeating several times, I rinse the oat residue off and finish with some jojoba oil. Four days later, in combination with some yoghurt masks, my skin's looking smoother already!
Thanks for reading :) Are you a fan of oatmeal?
Cerio et al., Mechanism of action and clinical benefits of colloidal oatmeal for dermatologic practice. J Drugs Dermatol. 2010, 9, 1116-1120. (Review on the benefits of oatmeal for the skin)
Chatuevedi et al., Diversified therapeutic potential of Avena sativa: An exhaustive review. Asian J. Plant Sci. Res. 2011, 1, 103-114. (Review of all the other great things oatmeal can do for your body)