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DIY moisturizing OAT SPONGE for dry skin

My body loves warmth, but only the kind that comes directly from the sun. Whenever it gets cold out and everyone starts to use artificial heating in their homes my body, and more precisely its largest organ- my skin (yes, it's an organ!) tends to get super dry. Sometimes it gets so dry that I almost cringe at the mere thought of taking a shower. Not because of the lovely warmth of the water against my skin (that, I adore) but at the thought of how dehydrated it will leave me afterwards.

As weird as this may sound if you've never thought of this before, water is actually very drying to the skin. And of course you can use moisturizing shower gels and body lotions, but what if you (like me) prefer to opt for a remedy that's a little less processed, a little more closer to nature and one that costs only a teeny fraction of what you'd pay for a shower gel?

Well, let me introduce you to what I have been happily using for my skin several winters now. Ta-da:

It's an oat-sponge that I make with just a little piece of gauze or cheesecloth and a handful of oats- that's it!

Oats have a plethora of benefits for our bodies- inside, when we eat them, and out, when applied to the skin. Besides being a great natural moisturizer (by creating a natural barrier on your skin and trapping the moisture inside), oats can benefit your skin in many other ways as well. They can help relieve itchy skin and reduce skin irritation. They can be used as a natural home remedy for treating various skin conditions such as acne, eczema or even sunburn. Despite being very soothing they can also be used as a gentle natural exfoliant, (if you're looking for something more rough try sugar or ground coffee beans).

DIY moisturizing OAT SPONGE

You will need:

  • a square piece of gauze or cheesecloth* (about 20cm/8" long sides)

  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup of rolled oats

  • your bath or shower

  • optional: a bowl with warm water

The simple DIY method:

  • If using a gauze, cut off a square piece of it. It doesn't actually have to be a perfect square, but the closer to a square it is the easier it will be to fold and tie. The sides should be roughly 20cm or 8" long.

  • Take about a fistful of oats- anywhere between 1/2 of a cup to 1 cup should be fine- and place them in the middle of the cloth.

  • Now, either tie the opposite ends together as if you were tying the handle bits of a plastic bag or wrap the oats like a ball, twist the cloth at the top and make a knot as close to your oat ball as possible. Which ever way you tie it, make sure the cloth is wrapped tightly around the oats leaving no extra room in the "bag".

  • Your oat sponge is ready to be taken with you into your bath or shower.

  • SOAKING: You should let it soak in the bath water or the shower's running water for a little while- a couple of minutes should be fine. Alternatively, you can soak it in a bowl with some warm water before you step into the shower.

  • After you've cleaned your body use the oat sponge almost like a regular sponge. The oats should now be releasing their gooey oat milk that when spread on top of your skin will create a natural barrier that will help trap the moisture in. Massage your whole body using this "sponge" and enjoy the soothing feeling and nourishing effects of the oats on your skin.

  • Once you're done massaging it all over your body just rinse it gently, but don't wash of the gooey'ness completely.

  • The same goes for drying. When using a towel opt more for the soft tapping so that you dry your skin by touching and pressing it with the towel instead of the regular "brushing/massaging".

  • Once you're done you can untie the cloth, throw away (preferably compost) the oats and wash the cloth in warm water and soap, rinse, dry and use again the next time your skin needs a little more TLC:)

*Depending on where you live you will probably find a cheesecloth in a general store or one that carries food production related supplies. Depending on the brand it might not always be cheap. A great alternative is a gauze which you should be able to get in most pharmacies. I find that it's maybe not as durable as a cheesecloth but other than that it's usually basically the same thing.

I hope this works for you as well as it does for me! Every time I use this "sponge" I swear that I can feel it's wonderful soothing effects right away. My dry and tight skin feels much more hydrated and therefore becomes more relaxed and supple. I highly recommend this simple and cheap skin care ritual to all skin types.

Oats have a low allergenic potential and have been used to treat various skin conditions for ages, so they should not cause any problems. However, like with anything, please be mindful when using this treatment, and if you do find that your skin starts to get irritated stop it immediately and wash it off your skin.

Ayurvedically speaking: I bet people who have a lot of Kapha (and some Pittas as well) might not even understand the purpose of this post because they've never even known what dry skin feels like. So although this self-care ritual should leave anyone's skin feeling great, I especially recommend it for all the Vatas out there, or people with a Vata imbalance. The moist, soft and sticky qualities of oats will act in a very soothing, nourishing and grounding way, balancing the light, dry, rough qualities of the Vata Dosha.



Info about the benefits of oats for the skin:


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