How To Make An Oatmeal Bath

Written by Ramona Sinha

We usually start our day with oatmeal in the morning. But it works in more ways than one. Confused? Let us explain. A DIY oatmeal bath is a great exfoliant. It reduces inflammation and soothes the skin. Curious to know more about this unassuming ingredient? Scroll down to understand how oatmeal may keep your skin healthy and a step-by-step guide to a DIY oatmeal bath.

How To Prepare A DIY Oatmeal Bath

You may add the oatmeal powder directly to your bath or prepare a bath bag with it. Below, we have discussed what you may need to prepare both.

1. DIY Oatmeal Bath Using Powder

You Will Need

  • 1 cup of raw, unflavored steel-cut oats
  • A coffee grinder, blender, or food processor


  1. Grind the oats until you get a fine powder.
  2. Test the powder by mixing it in a glass of warm milk. If it easily turns into a paste, the powder is ready. If it settles at the bottom, you need to grind the oats for a longer duration.

2. DIY Oatmeal Bath Bag

You Will Need

  • A large coffee filter or muslin bag, or nylon pantyhose
  • ½ cup of uncooked, unflavored rolled oats
  • A rubber band

Optional Additives

  • 2 tablespoons of milk powder
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2-3 drops of any essential oil for fragrance
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 2-3 tablespoons of Epsom or sea salt


  1. Pour the oats into the coffee filter, muslin bag, or nylon pantyhose.
  2. Add the additives if any.
  3. Secure the bag with a rubber band.
  4. You may make several oatmeal bath bags in advance to plop one directly into a bath.
  5. If you are using a coffee filter, secure it with a mesh laundry bag as the coffee filer may disintegrate in water.

Once you have prepared the oatmeal bath powder and bath bags, here is how to use them.

How To Use An Oatmeal Bath

To Use DIY Oatmeal Bath Powder

  1. Fill the bathtub with lukewarm water.
  2. Add a cup of the oatmeal bath powder and stir to dissolve.
  3. Add any additives (if you wish) like essential oils and bath salts.
  4. Soak in the bath for 20-30 minutes and relax.
  5. Rinse your body with regular water and pat it dry.

Note: Be careful while stepping in or out of the bathtub as the oatmeal powder leaves behind a thin and slippery film.

To Use the DIY Oatmeal Bath Bag

  1. Fill the bathtub with warm water.
  2. Put a bath bag in the water. Wait for 5-10 minutes to let the ingredients dissolve.
  3. Soak in the bath for 20-25 minutes.
  4. You may exfoliate your skin with the bath bag.
  5. Rinse your body with regular water and pat it dry.

Compared to the oatmeal powder, bath bags are less messy. If you are wondering how oatmeal may benefit your skin, read the next section.

Benefits Of An Oatmeal Bath

1. Improves Your Skin Barrier

Colloidal oatmeal (powdered oatmeal) regulates the skin lipids, moisturizes the skin, and improves its natural barrier. It is especially helpful in relieving skin issues like (1), (2):

  • Dry skin
  • Rashes
  • Eczema
  • Pruritis
  • Atopic dermatitis

2. Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Colloidal oatmeal inhibits pro-inflammatory cytokines (a group of proteins and peptides secreted by the immune system) and soothes the skin. Topical colloidal oatmeal can relieve inflammatory symptoms like (3), (1):

  • Skin roughness
  • Scaling
  • Itching
  • Dryness
  • Psoriasis

3. May Help Manage Xerotic Dermatoses

Colloidal oatmeal has been used for ages to soothe xerotic dermatoses symptoms (a form of eczema) like dry, itchy, red, and cracked skin. It contains beta-glucan that protects and soothes the skin. It is loaded with phenols that are responsible for antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and work as UV absorbers (4).

4. Cleanses Your Skin

Oatmeal contains saponins and has skin-cleansing properties (4). Oatmeal baths and scrubs can effectively remove dirt and grease from your skin and keep it clean. You may use oatmeal if you are looking for a natural alternative to the harsh soaps.

5. May Soothe Diaper Rash

Colloidal oatmeal does not irritate the skin, and you may also use it on your baby’s skin to soothe diaper rash, dry skin, scaling, itching, insect bites, and other issues. You may also use products containing oatmeal extract (5). However, ensure to do a patch test and consult a dermatologist.

Keeping the above benefits in mind, you may use colloidal oatmeal to relieve the symptoms of multiple skin issues. If you are concerned about the safety of an oatmeal bath, find your answer in the next section.

Are Oatmeal Baths Safe?

Colloidal oatmeal is considered safe for topical application (directly or as an ingredient in skin care products). The FDA regulates the use of colloidal oatmeal and considers it to be safe for soothing eczema, rashes caused by poison ivy, oak, or sumac, and other skin conditions (6).

However, if you are allergic to the proteins present in oatmeal, it can worsen your existing skin condition and cause:

  • Swelling
  • Itching
  • Redness

In case you develop these symptoms, rinse your skin with soap and water and discontinue oatmeal products and baths. It is better to do a patch test to avoid such adverse reactions.

The Final Word

A DIY oatmeal bath is an excellent home remedy to soothe your skin. It can relieve the symptoms of multiple skin issues and keep your skin healthy, soft, and smooth. Even if you do not have any skin issues, you can pamper yourself to a relaxing and soothing oatmeal bath once in a while. Follow the steps mentioned in the article to prepare your bath soak for a spa-like experience.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

Can I use instant oats for preparing an oatmeal bath?

Yes. You can substitute steel-cut or old-fashioned oats with unflavored instant oats.

Who can benefit from oatmeal baths?

Everyone can benefit from oatmeal baths as they do not irritate the skin and help keep it moisturized and smooth

Is there any other way to use oatmeal other than an oatmeal bath?

Yes! You can prepare an oatmeal scrub by blending old-fashioned oats and warm water. Apply the mixture directly to the skin, massage it gently, and wash off.

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6 Sources

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Oatmeal in dermatology: A brief review
  2. Colloidal Oatmeal (Avena Sativa) Improves Skin Barrier Through Multi-Therapy Activity
  3. Anti-inflammatory activities of colloidal oatmeal (Avena sativa) contribute to the effectiveness of oats in treatment of itch associated with dry, irritated skin
  4. Colloidal oatmeal: history, chemistry and clinical properties.
  5. Safety and efficacy of personal care products containing colloidal oatmeal
  6. CFR – Code of Federal Regulations Title 21
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Ramona is a journalist-turned-content writer. She holds a Master’s degree in English Literature and has been writing for the digital world for over five years. She specializes in writing for Skin Care. She has done a certificate course titled ‘Dermatology: Trip To The Skin’, offered by Novosibirsk State University. She believes that beauty begins with a good skin care regimen and is on a mission to eliminate all toxins from her routine. She helps and guides readers in selecting products and ingredients specific to their skin type/issue. When Ramona is not working, her books and passion for music, good food, and traveling keep her busy.