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DIY Oatmeal Acne Mask

March 28, 2013 Reviewed by Sunil 9 Comments

Recently, Sarah pointed out some great at home masks to deal with various facial issues. Her aspirin mask was an efficient way of drying up problem breakouts on the spot but a treatment like that might be a little harsh for some and overly dry skin. I did some digging and came across an oatmeal acne mask and kept finding more and more people with variations of it. They were as simple as oats and water and others called for the addition of yogurt or cinnamon. As a beginner, I didn't want to experiment too much so I opted for a simple oatmeal acne mask recipe.

Oatmeal Acne Mask Ingredients:

3/4 cup Oatmeal
1 cup Water
1/4 cup honey


First, boil the water then add the oatmeal in. I used quick oats so it was done in a minute. After the oatmeal was done cooking, I poured in the honey. After stirring it up for a bit, I left it to cool; it's recommended not to put boiling hot oats on your face. When it cooled down enough to  a slight warmth, I poured the oatmeal acne mask concoction into a bowl and moved towards my sink, ready to apply. I thought it would be like shaving cream- just put some in my hand and smear it evenly.

Not even close to shaving cream.

The first problem with the oatmeal acne mask is that it's chunky and sticky. Applying this mask will take a couple of minutes because you'll do one part, move to another, and that previous part will fall off. You have to be patient and gentle, constantly applying and filling in small sections. Putting the oatmeal acne mask on your nose is the hardest part since it isn't a flat surface like your cheeks. After getting it all on, I left it to harden for 15-20 minutes.

When the time arrived to remove the oatmeal acne mask, I decided to use my fingers to put the oatmeal back into the bowl as it would probably be ill advised to pour a bowl of oatmeal down my sink. As with peanut butter, these things can clog sinks.  I realized that the oatmeal wasn't too hard and it was still kind of sticky. The good thing about scraping the oatmeal acne mask off your face and into a bowl is that when you're done, you can grab a spoon and eat it right up.

I'm joking.

When my face was clear of large chunks of hardened oatmeal, I washed it with warm water. It was pretty sticky and the oatmeal ended up all over my hair for some reason. It took a lot of washing to see the end result of teh DIY oatmeal acne mask. I noticed that my face looked plump, in a good way. Even my tiny wrinkles on my forehead seemed a bit filled in.  I also realized that my face wasn't as dried out, so much so that I didn't moisturize for the day. I didn't notice much of a change in my blemishes despite the idea that oatmeal was supposed to draw out the oil. I did, however, notice that my pores were significantly smaller. The honey, on the other hand, was supposed to have worked like a glue, but honey on its own is said to have acne fighting power. Along with being able to moisturize, a study in 2008 from the University of Amsterdam says that medical-grade-honey is able to kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria. It's been used to help heal wounds for thousands of years.

Personally, I didn't see any mind blowing results from the oatmeal acne mask, but I do think that I had less oil on my skin throughout the day than normal (probably due to my smaller pores) and that in itself might be a way to prevent future breakouts. And yes, I think that is reason enough for me to try it again and because it's so cheap and simple to do, I'll probably do it once a week. If you plan on doing an oatmeal acne mask yourself, I have one suggestion. Grind up up the oats in a food processor rather than using whole rolled oats. They'll give you more of an exfoliant quality and will better soak up oil on your face. Also, they'll be a heck of a lot easier to apply.

  • February 4, 2016

    by Les

    It's 1000% easier and more efficient to put the oats through a food processor first which basically makes them a fine powder. This is what I do anyway!!

  • June 20, 2015

    by Terri

    Cynthia, oatmeal masks are great for shrinking pores and soothing irritation. Another suggestion is to make changes in your eating habits. After returning to college to pursue a second career in nutrition, I discovered the benefits of a whole foods plant based diet. If you can't quite make that much of a change try eliminating all dairy products and cut back on sugar and oils. In a matter of weeks you should notice considerably clearer skin.

  • June 19, 2015

    by Cynthia

    I'm 16 years old and I've had EXTREMELY BAD acne ever since I was about 13 or 14 so after about 2 or 3 years of bad acne I was left with dark acne marks, oily skin, and red patches of irritation. I've tried just about EVERYTHING from high end brands to home remedies and I feel that this oatmeal/honey/water mask works.I've been trying this out for every day a week and I've seen good results! I put 3/4 cup of powder oatmeal with 1/4 cup of hot water and 2 table spoons of honey. I leave it on for an hour because it takes that long to dry and then I rinse off with warm water. It leaves your face EXTREMELY soft and it made my pores even smaller so now my face isn't oily at all and it reduces the redness and irritation and swelling from pimples when ever I break out and my acne scars have lightened.

  • April 9, 2014

    by SandraJT

    I've been using oats for skin issues for over 20 years. There is absolutely no need to cook them before using as a facial mask.

    Grind some steel cut oats in a coffee grinder or blender til they're a fine powder. Set aside.

    Brew some herb tea (do some research on herbs which are helpful for skin issues). Let cool.

    Use RAW honey or manuka honey. Some of the best raw honey I've found is from New Zealand, although sourcing in your own area is also a great idea (namely a honeybee farm).

    Mix your oat flour with the raw honey & cooled herb tea. Proportions will depend on how much you're making. You want it thick enough to stick to your face but thin enough to smooth on. You can also add full fat yogurt to this mixture. Store leftovers in the fridge.

    Let sit in your container at room temperature for at least an hour for the oats to absorb the liquids.

    Smooth onto your face, let dry for approximately 30 minutes. If you're having a bad breakout, leave on overnight.

    Remove with a wet washcloth, using tepid water. Pat your skin dry. Follow with your usual skin care regime.

    This leaves your skin baby soft, clear, even toned. It reduces inflammation of breakouts and helps them heal faster. It leaves your skin temporarily producing less oil.

    It's a really great treat for the skin.

  • December 20, 2013

    by Rajni

    How many times should we apply this oat mask on face in a week???
    Thanks

  • December 26, 2012

    by Brie

    I have a bowl of oatmeal and egg white next me right now and I am about to put it on. Im only 13 and I have used an avocado mask before, they seem to make my face feel alot fresher, but I havent tried this one yet, so im hoping for good resaults like maybe all my acne goes away and my skin is smoother.

  • February 17, 2012

    by Lauren

    Oats also have anti-inflammatory properties. Used a variation of this mask to treat a random outbreak of some kind of very angry acne (almost looked like cystic acne) when I was 12 or so, and have not seen an issue like it again. I'm 30 now.

  • May 29, 2011

    by Gigi

    I’m 50 and have been using oatmeal masks for 40 years. The oats seem to clear pores, stimulate natural oils and promote healing. These masks helped clear my acne when I was young, and keeps my skin soft and pores clear and smaller now.

    Keep it simple: oat flour + warm water.

    If you can’t find oat flour in your grocery, mill some from rolled oats in a blender or food processor.

    Mix the water with oat flour in the palm of your hand to make a soft paste. Put it on your freshly washed face clean, and leave it on as long as you like. Just remember the longer you leave it on the dryer the mask becomes, and the more water it takes to rinse it off.

  • March 29, 2011

    by Jaysie

    I've never had to deal with acne, but I have had the random, pus-filled or inflamed zit rise up and occasional oily face periods due to hormonal changes. I've used oatmeal and aspirin pastes among many other remedies and found them just so-so. When I've had an pimple, I want it gone overnight and I've never found anything faster than Rezamid. During oily periods, I use Lazlo Heavy Controlling Lotion or the original Payot Speciale 5 at night to prevent eruptions. These aren't natural/organic products, but I use them only sporadically because typically I have normal to dry skin.

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