We’ve covered a myriad of popular skin care ingredients, from coconut oil to mushrooms, but there’s always room to learn about more, right? You may have heard about the wonders an oatmeal bath can do for your skin, and it’s time we shared the facts. Whether you choose to use an oatmeal bath to help relieve irritation or itchiness caused by minor rashes or eczema, we never say no to indulging in a little oatmeal “me time.” Ready to expand your skin care knowledge? Read on for the lowdown on some of the known benefits of oatmeal baths.
WHAT IS AN OATMEAL BATH GOOD FOR?
Without further ado, let’s talk about what an oatmeal bath is good for. Below, we’re breaking down some of the known benefits based on research.
Oatmeal Bath Benefit #1. Chicken pox. If you’re familiar with taking oatmeal baths, it likely all started with your mom running you one as a kid when you had chicken pox. To help care for itching skin associated with chicken pox, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) suggests soaking in a lukewarm bath with colloidal oatmeal in order to help with the incessant itching—made even worse by the fact that you’re not allowed to scratch.
Oatmeal Bath Benefit #1. Eczema. Taking an oatmeal bath for eczema is a tried-and-true remedy. According to the AAD, adding colloidal oatmeal to a bath can help relieve the dry, itchy skin that goes hand in hand with eczema.
Oatmeal Bath Benefit #2. Hives. Are you dealing with an allergic reaction? You may find taking oatmeal baths helps with hives or rashes. The Mayo Clinic states that taking a comfortably cool bath sprinkled with uncooked oatmeal or colloidal oatmeal can help relieve the intense itching that often comes with having hives.
Oatmeal Bath Benefit #3. Poison ivy. As you can probably tell by now, oatmeal baths are great for relieving minor irritation and itching, which is why it should come as no surprise that they’re a great remedy for poison ivy. Per the AAD, those with a poison ivy rash should take a short, lukewarm bath with colloidal oatmeal to ease the itch.
Editor’s note: Looking for help with any of the above (besides relaxation)? It’s best to consult with your doctor for treatment, and they can help you determine if oatmeal baths are right for the concern you’re dealing with.
HOW TO MAKE AN OATMEAL BATH
Now that you know all about the benefits of an oatmeal bath, you’re probably wondering how you can draw your own bath. Follow the steps below and get to soaking!
STEP #1. CHOOSE YOUR OATMEAL
You may have noticed us mention colloidal oatmeal a few times, and if you aren’t sure what that is, we don’t blame you! This type of oatmeal is different than the steel and quick oats you may be used to reaching for when preparing breakfast. When it comes to making an oatmeal bath, you can use uncooked oatmeal or, preferably, colloidal oatmeal, which refers to a finely ground oatmeal specifically made for the bathtub, per the Mayo Clinic. You can typically find it in the beauty aisle of your local drugstore!
STEP #2. SET THE TEMP
As a rule of thumb, you should opt for a lukewarm bath, never hot! Hot water can dry out your skin, which will negate the itch-soothing benefits of an oatmeal bath.
STEP #3. SIT BACK AND RELAX
Hop in the tub, grab a book, or put on some relaxing music! Use your oatmeal bath for some well-deserved “me time.” If you really want to reap the benefits of your time in the bath, consider doing a face mask while you wait. Try one from the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay line, each of which conveniently work in the same amount of time you should stay in the tub. The AAD suggests soaking for 10 to 15 minutes. Once the time is up, step out and pat yourself dry.
STEP #4. AMP UP THE MOISTURE
While your skin is still damp, slather on a soothing body lotion. This will help lock in the hydration. To further trap moisture, throw on a pair of sweats, fuzzy socks, and spa gloves. Your skin will thank you!
Next up: Who says you have to limit yourself to oatmeal baths? There are plenty of ways to make bath time special, and we’re here to tell you how. Check out our article on How to Take the Best Bath Ever.