Prepare to have your mind blown: oatmeal, the stuff you put in mason jars overnight for readymade breakfasts, is actually FDA-approved to treat skin conditions. So says LOLI Beauty founder Tina Hedges, who notes that the practice of placing them into masks to treat the skin on your face is a time-honored one, too. “From our grandmothers to the government, oats are the go-to ingredient for soothing irritated skin,” she says. “Most likely, you’ve been passed down, shared, or experimented with a DIY kitchen beauty recipe containing this super skin soother.”
Hedges’ earliest memory of stirring up a DIY oatmeal face mask, in fact, came courtesy of her mother, who swore by the concoction for clearing up acne. “Oats are the ultimate skin caretakers—for balancing the PH levels, soothing irritations, or calming sensitive, itchy skin,” she says. “Oats also contain high levels of zinc for blemish-busing super powers and fight acne-causing bacteria.”
Aesthetician and JustBe Skin Line Founder Negin Niknejad is also a fan of oatmeal face mask recipes. Oats are actually such a gentle and versatile ingredient that they work on all skin types. “Oats are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and lipids,” she says. “[They’re] the perfect ‘meal’ to replenish skin in a most gentle way. Because oat is an emollient, it will not deplete our skins’ acid mantle—the natural film that acts as a barrier protecting our skin from the penetration of bacteria and pollutants.” She also likes it for its hydrating properties and ability to treat pesky conditions such as rosacea and eczema naturally.
Odacité founder Valerie Grandury adds that oats are at the center of her company’s All Embracing Serum ($98) in part because they come with a megadose of antioxidant vitamin E, which is responsible for the redness-soothing abilities of oats and their ability to protect the skin from environmental stressors (read: just about everything in the air these days, especially if you, like me, live in dirty Los Angeles).
Below, I asked all three skin pros to share their favorite DIY oatmeal face mask for calming, clearing, and cultivating the appearance of your skin.
The best oatmeal face mask recipes
Most people, says Hedges, combine oats with honey and dairy-based yogurt to make their DIY oatmeal masks. “For my favorite face smoothie, I like to substitute date nut syrup for honey, and coconut yogurt for dairy-based yogurt,” she says. “If you’re fine with organic, ethically-sourced dairy, try a tablespoon of Ghee as a substitute for yogurt instead.”
Her recipe is for a gentle peeling, exfoliating mask that doubles as a skin-calming treatment. “You’ll need oats, slightly cooked in hot water (or even better, coconut milk!) drained and cooled,” she says. Hedges suggests you then save that water or coconut milk to throw into the water for an oat bath soak.
And if you’re too lazy to DIY, she sells a version as the Pank Pitaya Mask ($38), which contains colloidal oat flour and dragonfruit.
LOLI Beauty founder Tina Hedges’ Oatmeal Matcha Face Mask
Ingredients 1 cup organic colloidal oats pre-cooked in water or organic coconut milk, drained and cooled
2 tsp organic matcha, pomegranate or dragon fruit (pitaya)
1/2 tsp organic date nut syrup (if you can’t find this, use maple syrup or molasses)
1 Tbsp organic coconut yogurt
Freshly grated, organic turmeric root (optional)
1. Add the oats to a blender with the matcha, pomegranate, or dragon fruit powders (we use all of these superfoods in our masks at LOLI).
2. Transfer to a bowl and add in the date syrup and coconut yogurt.
3. If your skin is on a breakout warpath, add in some freshly grated turmeric.
4. Set aside for a few minutes to let it form a paste.
5. Apply on clean, moist skin as a mask and leave on for 15-20 minutes. Rinse off with tepid or cold water and follow with your moisturizer.
JustBe Skin Line founder Negin Niknejad’s Nourishing and Calming Oatmeal Face Mask
2 Tbsp colloidal oatmeal (ground oats)
3 Tbsp hot water or hot milk
1 tsp rose water
1 tsp raw honey
1. Mix the oat powder and the hot milk/water and once it cools, add in the rose water and the honey. If it’s too thick, add more hot water—the consistency should be not runny and not too pasty.
2. Make sure the mask is cool enough, and apply it to the face and neck. Leave until it is near dry, then remove with cool water using a gentle washcloth.
3. Apply your moisturizer and smile!
Odacité founder Valerie Grandury’s Turmeric and Oats Face Mask
“I love to pair the anti-inflammatory powers of oats and turmeric in this DIY masque,” Grandury says. “Turmeric also bursts with antioxidants and is a real boon if you suffer from breakouts.“
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 tsp turmeric
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1. In a food processor, blend oats and turmeric together until you have a course powder.
2. In a mixing bowl, add oil and mix well.
3. I add warm water to achieve spreadable consistency. The longer the water sits, the thicker it will be.
4. Using your finger or the back of a spoon, apply to the face (avoiding eye area).
5. Let sit five to ten minutes, then rinse off.
Oh hi! You look like someone who loves free workouts, discounts for cult-fave wellness brands, and exclusive Well+Good content. Sign up for Well+, our online community of wellness insiders, and unlock your rewards instantly.