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How to Make a Colloidal Oatmeal Bath

Quick and soothing nourishment for dry skin and eczema

Written by: 100% PURE ®
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It’s no secret that skin can become a bit more dry, itchy, and irritated this time of year. And if you have a skin condition like eczema or psoriasis, it’s likely that your skin is having an even tougher time.

As those who face it know all too well, there is no way to cure eczema. But sometimes, a soothing soak in the tub can help with symptoms – especially when you use colloidal oatmeal!

Colloidal oatmeal is a form of oat grain, Avena sativa, ground into an ultra-fine powder. This makes it different from your typical oatmeal, with a consistency that creates a few extra benefits.

Colloidal oatmeal is an emollient, meaning that it softens and soothes the skin. The nutrients from the oats are also broken down for better absorption into the dermis. This is important for those with eczema, because these nutrients – specifically proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals – have been shown to create an anti-inflammatory effect.

So while eczema can’t be cured, colloidal oatmeal may help you lessen skin irritation. We’ve got a favorite method for using this super soothing ingredient: a colloidal oatmeal bath. Here are some simple steps for whipping one up at home!

Tips for Your Colloidal Oatmeal Bath

A colloidal oatmeal bath is a simple, affordable way to help soothe eczema and inflamed, itchy skin. Here are a few tips worth keeping in mind:

Water Temperature
While a steaming bath may help loosen muscles, it’s not a good idea for dry, itchy, or irritable skin. Hot water can strip your skin of its natural oils, exacerbate irritation, and dry out the skin even more.

When taking a colloidal oatmeal bath to soothe your skin, experts recommend that you keep the water between 80°-85℉. It should still be comfortably warm, but not enough to turn your skin pink.

Wash With Your Hands
When your skin is dry, rough or bumpy, it may be tempting to use a washcloth to exfoliate. However, a washcloth or loofah may worsen eczema with rough and porous textures. Instead, we recommend that you wash your skin in the bath with freshly-washed hands.

Don’t Soak Too Long
As soothing as your oatmeal bath might be, we don’t advise soaking for an extended period of time. Long baths in warm water can sap skin of essential moisture, especially since most water contains limestone and chlorine – both of which can irritate the skin with prolonged exposure.

That being said, a good period to stay in the tub would be no longer than 15-20 minutes.

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How to Make Your Own Custom Colloidal Bath
  1. Pour 1 cup of rolled oats in a high speed blender, food processor, or spice grinder. Grind until you achieve a fine, even powder.

  2. When the texture seems right, test the powder’s consistency by adding a tablespoon of your ground oats to a glass of warm water. The oat powder should quickly dissolve and give the water a silky, almost creamy texture.

  3. If the powder sinks to the bottom of the glass without dissolving, the oats are probably not fine enough. Repeat step 1 until you’ve reached the perfect consistency.

  4. When the desired consistency is achieved, you can either store the colloidal oatmeal in a jar for several weeks, or use it immediately for your bath.

  5. To use, pour the colloidal oats into a bath of warm water. At this point, you can add any desired additives for extra soothing benefits (see below for suggestions).

  6. Soak for about 15-20 minutes in a warm bath, gently massaging the oat-infused water onto your skin.

  7. Pat the skin dry once you get out, avoiding rubbing. Follow with a nourishing body lotion for overall moisture. For stubborn dry patches, use our Intensive Nourishing Balm or Whipped Body Butter.

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Additions for Your Colloidal Oatmeal Bath

While colloidal oatmeal can work wonders on its own in a bath, sometimes you need a little extra TLC. These additions can make for an extra soothing soak, and will make your bath just the right secret sauce for your skin’s needs.

Essential oils may be added, but use them sparingly: too much fragrance may worsen irritation. However, the following botanicals are ultra-soothing and safe for sensitive skin, which means you can add them to your bath in whatever amount you choose.

Pulsed Rose Petals
Rose petals are known for soothing irritation and calming eczema. The natural fragrance of rose petals is mild enough that you won’t have to worry about it making your skin worse, while still being enough to lavish your senses.

Pulse your rose petals lightly in a food processor, or crinkle them in your hands. This will help release some of the oils while keeping them intact (and easy to clean out of your tub).

Sunflower Seed Oil
Sunflower seed oil is often considered one of the best plant-derived oils for skin care, and for good reason! Virgin sunflower seed oil is anti-inflammatory, and can strengthen the barrier of your skin to encourage hydration. Through these combined properties, sunflower seed oil makes an ideal ingredient for your colloidal oatmeal bath.

Borage Oil
Also known as starflower, borage is a delicate blue flower whose petals form a star. It’s been known to treat a variety of ailments, including eczema and skin irritation. Nourishing and calming, borage oil can be used to ease itchy skin and reduce redness caused by inflammation.

Jojoba Oil
Since jojoba oil is so similar to the sebum created by our skin, even those with sensitive skin can enjoy its hydrating benefits. These are granted by the substance’s rich chain of long fatty acids.

Evening Primrose Oil
Of all its uses, evening primrose may be best renowned for its soothing properties, especially for skin inflammation. Today, it’s become a popular home remedy for eczema, psoriasis, and acne.

We realize that even with bathtime tricks like this up our sleeves, eczema can be frustrating to live with and can easily interfere with your daily life. That being said, keeping your beauty regimen filled with gentle, soothing products can make a huge difference in the condition of your skin.

Before you go, take a peek at some of our favorite products for sensitive and eczema-prone skin:

We carefully hand-select products based on strict purity standards, and only recommend products we feel meet this criteria. 100% PURE™ may earn a small commission for products purchased through affiliate links.

The information in this article is for educational use, and not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should not be used as such.

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