skip to Main Content

What Happens If You Bathe in Oats?

Oat is a timeless ingredient used in skin regimens for thousands of years. A packet of oats does not only make an excellent meal in a healthy diet plan. Bathing in oats is an ancient practice, so let’s see what the benefits are.

What Are Colloidal Oats?

A colloidal oat, which is usually found in many oatmeal bath recipes, is similar to the oats that you eat.

It sounds sciency but colloidal oats are made of rolled oats processed into a very fine powder. It is then mixed with water to create the murky colloidal mixture. Yep, the kind of colloids you have studied in chemistry.

The process of grinding the oats breaks down the cellulose and fiber to release its emollient properties. Its microparticles can penetrate the skin and create a thin film barrier to keep it moisturized.

Soaking with oatmeal in the bathtub feeds the skin to give you a supple and youthful glow.

Benefits of Bathing in Oats

There are different ways you can incorporate oats into your skin regimen. You can use it as a face mask, apply it directly on the skin or add it to bath water.

While you can use regular rolled oats directly, breaking them down makes them less messy and boosts their skin health benefits.

Here’s what happens if you bathe in oats:

Cleanses your skin: Oats contain saponins that effectively lift dirt, debris and oil from the skin. Regular cleansing helps skin keep its radiance. It also prevents the buildup of bacteria that can cause infections if they seep through wounds and breaks. Clean skin is also essential for skin care products such as anti-aging and other treatments to work.

Exfoliates the skin: Bathing in oats removes the outermost layer of the dead skin. Dead skin builds up and clogs the pores, leading to skin problems if not removed. Oats help prevent these buildups and breakouts for brighter, smoother and healthier skin.

Keeps the skin hydrated: Oats are a rich source of soluble fiber called beta-glucan. Inside the gut, beta-glucan forms a gel-like solution that boosts the good gut bacteria. When applied topically, it forms a thin layer of film that absorbs water and traps the moisture to prevent scaly and flaky dry skin.

Relieves itching: Colloidal oatmeal reduces dryness, scaling and itching of the skin which stems from various causes. It has excellent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that provide immediate relief. It is best for skin conditions like eczema, bringing a longer-lasting effect. Bathing in oats is a time-tested and doctor-recommended remedy for many types of skin itchiness.

Also, dipping your hands in this easy vinegar solution provides relief from itchiness and soothes irritation.

Treats skin allergy: Colloidal oatmeal reduces the rate of histamine release and is best for alleviating skin allergies. If you have urticaria and hives, you can simply apply a paste of oats and water in the area. Or, you may soak in a warm oatmeal bath (but not too hot) for about 15 minutes. It is important not to use any type of soap for skin allergies which may worsen the condition.

Prevents breakouts: An oatmeal bath restores the natural pH balance of the skin. It makes the skin more resilient against environmental triggers. In its natural balance, the skin becomes less sensitive and minimizes the breakouts of skin problems like acne and eczema.

Treats many types of skin conditions. An oatmeal bath is beneficial in alleviating the symptoms and speeding the recovery of:

  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Chickenpox
  • Diaper rash
  • Dry and itchy skin
  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Shingles
  • Rosacea
  • Insect bites and plant dermatitis
  • Sunburn
  • Urticaria and hives
  • Acne

Helps you relax: The benefit of an oatmeal bath is not limited to alleviating skin problems. Bathing in colloidal oats is also great for promoting relaxation and relieving stress. It helps calm the nervous system to give you a good quality sleep. If you have nagging itchy skin problems, a lukewarm oatmeal bath can send you to a relaxing good night’s sleep.

DIY Colloidal Oatmeal Bath

Yes, you can buy cosmetic-grade colloidal oatmeal to add to your bath water. But, you can also make your own superfine oat flour at home using regular rolled oats.

What Happens If You Bathe In Oats- ingredients
What you will need:
  • Blender, coffee grinder or food processor
  • Drawstring bag or muslin cloth
  • 1 cup steel cut or rolled oats
  1. Grind the oats in a very fine powder, so fine it dissolves when added to hot water.What Happens aIf You Bathe In Oats- grind oats
  2. Transfer the oats to the drawstring or muslin cloth and tie it well. This process is optional but intuitive if you don’t like the mess after a bath.What Happens If You Bathe In Oats- transfer the oats in a drawstring
  3. If not using the muslin bag, just add the fine oats directly into cool to lukewarm bath water. Stir well until the water gets white and creamy.What Happens If You Bathe In Oats- finely ground oats

How to Use

Bath in the oatmeal water for about 15 minutes. Rinse off with cool to lukewarm water and air dry or pat dry your skin gently with a clean towel.

The oatmeal bath is slippery. Be careful when getting out of the tub.

Use tepid water for soaking (between 90-95ᵒF or 32-35ᵒC). Do not run the water on hot, since hot water can inflame the skin and cause more irritation.

Soaking too long in a bath can dry out the skin. Do take it for no more than 15 minutes.

Test patch the colloidal oatmeal on a small area of your skin before using, especially in children. Do not use it if there are signs of itching, redness and inflammation. The skin responds differently even to natural products and some may be sensitive to the compounds in oats.

Upgrading Your Oatmeal Bath

Adding helpful ingredients can elevate the effects of your oatmeal bath. From the basic recipe, you can explore more options such as these extras:

  1. Stir in 1 cup Epsom salt to help soothe sore joints and muscles.
  2. Add ¼ cup lavender, chamomile or rose petals for a more relaxing and calming bath.
  3. Add ½ cup baking soda to ease itching and skin irritations better.
  4. Mix with 2 tbsp whole milk powder to nourish super dry skin.
  5. Stir in a few drops of essential oil like lavender, eucalyptus or peppermint to heighten the sensory effects.

Check out these premium lavender seeds which you can use to cultivate an endless lavender supply right at home- indoors or in your backyard.

Notify of

8 The Lost Herbs Comments
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I LOVE your articles.

Hi Cece,

Thank you for your kind words!
We are very happy to hear this.

Many blessings and good health!

But what if a person wants dry dead skin as in fingertip calluses for a musician, especially an aging musician, whose skin has gotten thinner and find calluses slow to form and quick to dissolve?

Hi Peter,

Thank you for your question!

An oat bath does a very gentle skin exfoliation, so you don’t have to worry.

Many blessings and good health!

Will the pesticide that is not allowed in the US, but is imported from other countries affect the skin? The pesticide residue in oatmeal has an affect on fertility. I have banned it for animal food. Now I know why my rabbits cannot breed.

Hi Lisa,

To minimize exposure to pesticide residues, you can consider purchasing organic rolled oats. 

Many blessings and good health!

I have several concerns–all house plumbing related. Good Idea to reduce oats to a powder. But the potential problem is, as you said, oats are sticky, even in powder form. Drains can be long to the street. Even powder will eventually drop out of water and can still build up a dam in a pipe, even as more oats are added. There will already be plenty of scum drain pipes. From house to street piping gives access to rats. What if they crawl into your front yard drain pipe to eat oat piles. Could be a problem! There are already little brown dams in the pipe that can catch and build up brown-log oat piles. Does anyone know what it costs for a back-hoe to dig out your front sidewalk to the road to get access to your final drain pipe?] There are drain cleaners (open clogged drains). They will cost more to go all the way to the street because they will probably have to put a camera (yes there really are cameras on pipe cleaners, no joke here). It would be better to lay down some cloth (Wool, shammy, T-shirt) screening at your bathtub drain and let the water slowly leak out than wondering where in your drain pipe to the road most oat flour will drop out of the water. Though you may have to wash your shower-tub more often. Is it really worth it?

Hi Radar,

You can put the oat powder into a muslin bag, as the author of this article did.

Many blessings and good health!

Back To Top