The Oat Spa

If you read my ode to the oat a few days back, you’ll know I was planning to try out a couple of recipes from Margaret Briggs’ book Porridge: Oats and their many health benefits (available on Amazon for just £2.99.)

Well I did. I mixed, I slathered and I wallowed in oats. With some success. I tried out three recipes from the book, as follows:

Oatmeal cleanser for sensitive skin

250ml warm water; 120g oatmeal; 1 tablespoon of honey

Blend ingredients together until smooth.

Cucumber face mask for sensitive skin

1/4 large cucumber (peeled and seeded); 1 tablespoon of whipping cream; 1/2 tablespoon of honey; 8 teaspoons of finely powdered oats

Blend ingredients together until smooth.

Oatmeal bath soak

2-3 cups of porridge oats; 3 tablespoons of olive oil; 5 drops of essential oil; old pair of tights or muslin cloth

Mix essential oils with olive oil. Mix in oats. Place in tights or muslin and SECURE ENDS! Add to a warm bath.

The cleanser was really nice although the quantities in the recipe left me with LOADS of the stuff. I wasn’t sure how long it would keep for (although it could probably be safely kept in the fridge for a couple of days) so there was a bit of wastage there. I’d recommend halving or even quartering the amounts. You’ll still get plenty. To use, simply massage a small scoop into your face. It has a surprisingly creamy, smooth texture and feels really nice on the skin (provided you’re not thinking too much about smearing cold porridge on yourself). The oats have a mild exfoliating effect without irritating sensitive skin so it’s a good dual-purpose option. It’s messy though; much like my homemade chocolate face mask which you can read about here. Do wipe off the excess with cotton wool or kitchen roll before rinsing. You will clog up your sink if you don’t.

The recipe for the mask makes much less product. It’s probably about 2-4 applications, depending on the amount you use, so a good option if you’ve got some friends round! It felt a bit tingly on the skin but that wore off. I’m not sure if it made that much difference to my face and if you aren’t keen on the smell of cucumber I’d suggest you avoid it, but it was fun to try and certainly didn’t seem to do my skin any harm…which is something!

My all time favourite oaty treat though was the bath. I did add essential oils, although these are optional and best avoided if you have very sensitive skin. If you really want to add them, good options are lavender for it’s relaxing, sleep-inducing properties or chamomile for its skin-soothing properties. I used sweet orange for the heavenly smell.

I used a muslin cloth, being irritatingly out of laddered and/or holey tights (although you can bet your life if I’d been looking for a pair to WEAR, there’d have been plenty). I just piled on the mix, then caught up the ends and secured with a hair elastic. This worked brilliantly and I think the cloth will be salvageable. Once added to the bath, make sure to give it a shake around every so often. I also squeezed it a few times once it was nice and saturated, and was rewarded with dribbles of milky, oaty water that made the bath nice and cloudy. Sounds revolting, feels AMAZING on the skin. Oats are brilliant for soothing irritable skin and mine definitely felt better afterwards. I was also left with a moisture-rich film on the surface of my skin afterwards, which helped me hang onto that feeling for longer. I’m definitely trying this one again and may make an oat-bath a weekly or fortnightly event. I reckon regular oat bathing could make a big difference to my eczema when it’s flaring up.

One tip though. Wait till the oat parcel is dry before you undo it and chuck the contents away. It is seriously yucky to do this when it’s still wet and slimy.

There are plenty more recipes in the book, as well as a load of recipes for edible porridge, most of which sound great. Well worth checking out. And if you do experiment with oats in your beauty routine, let me know how it goes…

Call that a bath? THIS is a bath. The one in my mini-moon cottage to be precise. I spent a lot of time here. I didn't put oats in it...

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