Wednesday, May 23, 2012

How to make a soothing oatmeal bag

I was brought up in a very DIY and eco friendly home. When I was younger, if there was anything we could do with our hands, we'd do it. Store bought orange juice? Are you mad? Let's juice the oranges from the tree. Pay for Shallots? Nuh uh, there's some in the garden. Need strawberries for a Strawberry Shortcake? We would just grab a basket and "go shopping", in the garden!

Growing up like this gave me a deep appreciation for how generous nature is, and how little she asks for in return. Just a bit of water, mulch and not much else and you've got yourself a meal! Looking back, this is probably where my interest in natural skin care developed. I became obsessed with rare herbs (not the ones you're thinking about :P) and their benefit on the skin as well as the properties of fairly everyday fruits and vegetables. To me it was incredible to learn how many "modern" skincare ingredients were based on old-world remedies and how people instintively knew what aleviated a certain ailment.

My favorite book, or "bible" was Natural Beauty by Lorna Horrocks. A quick google search tells me it's out of print, which makes me sad but love my copy all the more.

Last year I wrote a blog post about the book My Favorite Skin Care Recipes  (yes, I'm obsessed) but I also wanted to share with you how to make a simple oatmeal bag.

1. Cut a square of fine cheesecloth or muslin (from the fabric store) to around 6x6 inches
2. Add a tablespoon of ground oats into the middle of the square (freshly ground oats are best)
3. Gather up the edges and secure with a piece of twine or raffia.

Ta dah!

Some people sew them but I find it easier to tie them because once its been used, you can put the oats in the compost, wash out the cheesecloth, dry and re-use again. How easy was that?

You can use this in the shower or bath to help soothe and soften your skin. Oats are particually helpful with sensitive, red and sore skin and feature heavily in many high-end skin care products. If your skin is really dry you could even add a dash of Grapeseed or Olive Oil to the bath water but take care stepping out, the tub might be a little slippery.

If you try it, let me know <3

*I just came across this post in my drafts. I wrote it last September. Face palm.*

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