Oatmeal is more than a simple breakfast cereal -- the hearty, nutrient-rich grain is safe to use topically to benefit a number of skin conditions, including blackheads and sensitive, irritated skin. Oatmeal works as a gentle natural cleanser and exfoliant, loosening clogged pores that lead to blackheads. It also contains potent antioxidants and provides moderate anti-inflammatory properties. Use oatmeal alone or with other natural ingredients to make a variety of facial treatments. Always wash your hands and face before applying oatmeal to your face, then rinse the oatmeal with lukewarm water.
Cook a batch of oatmeal according to the directions on the label and let it cool until it's comfortable to touch. Smooth the oatmeal over your face, but avoid the sensitive area around your eyes. Dip a clean, soft washcloth in warm water, then squeeze out the excess water and lay the warm cloth over your face. Wait 15 to 20 minutes, then rinse.
Combine uncooked oatmeal and plain, low-fat yogurt to make a gentle facial mask. Use approximately 3 tablespoons of yogurt and 2 tablespoons of oatmeal, then stir in a squeeze of lemon juice and a few drops of olive oil. Smooth the mixture over your skin and leave it for 5 to 7 minutes before rinsing.
Create a gentle exfoliant by mixing equal parts oatmeal and almonds, then pulverize both in a blender, food processor or coffee grinder. Place a small amount of the mixture in your hand and add a few drops of water to create a paste. Massage the paste gently into your skin, then rinse.
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M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.