Does Instant Oatmeal Benefit the Skin?

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Rich in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, folate and potassium, a morning bowl of oatmeal is a smart dietary choice, helping lower cholesterol and keeping your heart healthy. The same properties that make it nutritious to eat also bring benefits when applied to your skin. Discover the many uses of oatmeal as all-natural beautifier and ways this kitchen cupboard staple that gets you going can get you glowing.

Instant Oatmeal vs. Traditional Oats

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Instant oatmeal, also known as quick oats, is just as nutritious as traditional rolled oats. According to New Mexico State University, the difference between the two is preparation. Both traditional and instant whole grain oats undergo a mechanical process that removes the outer hull after harvesting. An additional process cuts, steams and flattens the instant oats, allowing them to cook in less time than ordinary oats. Because instant oatmeal cooks more quickly, your body also breaks it down and digests it faster, giving it a higher glycemic index. While ingesting food with a lower glycemic index may help with health issues such as high cholesterol, topically it makes no difference, and treatments with quick oats will benefit your skin as much as traditional oats.

Soothing Skin Relief

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Skin rashes, dermatitis, bug bites and eczema can cause uncomfortable itching and even redness. Oatmeal, instant or traditional is soothing in a lukewarm bath. If you suffer from dry itchy skin, Family and Community Medicine at the University of Cincinnati explains that 1 cup of oatmeal placed in a cloth bag and added to your bath water, will soften your skin and minimize itching. If you choose to use instant oatmeal in the bath, choose a variety that is unflavored and unsweetened.

Dead Skin Exfoliation

The gritty texture of oatmeal makes it an excellent exfoliating agent, which removes dead skin cells when rubbed over the skin. According to Bowie State University, instant oatmeal, prepared and cooled, helps to slough off dead skin cells. When it comes to your face, the best way to apply the cooled oatmeal is as a facial pack or mask, left on for approximately 10 minutes and then rinsed away. You can also use cooled instant oatmeal to exfoliate in the shower, rubbing the cooled oatmeal over your wet skin with your hands.

Sensitive Skin Cleanser

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If you have sensitive skin, soaps and body washes may be too harsh. Unsweetened, unflavored instant oatmeal provides a fragrance-free and soap-free skin cleansing option. The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection explains that oatmeal wrapped in a cloth and used as a washcloth cleans and softens without soap. Adding a scoop of powdered milk or a few drops of olive oil to the oatmeal in the cloth will provide added moisture to your skin as you cleanse.