This soothing oat bath and body oil was born from a recipe request from Claudia, who loves Aveeno’s Skin Relief Shower and Bath Oil. She said that it was fantastic for dry winter skin and even helped with her son’s eczema. Taking a look at the ingredients, first first one is mineral oil, so it’s not hard to understand why she’d prefer a more natural alternative (that and the $30 for 300mL/10fl oz price tag!). So, let’s make ourselves some Soothing Oat Bath and Body Oil!
The original is mostly mineral oil with added oat powder, a surfactant/emulsifier, a gelling agent (to help the oat powder stay suspended), fragrance, and silca. The mineral oil and the surfactant would work together to create a sort-of lotion with whatever water was already on the skin, helping lock in moisture and also creating an oil that can be rinsed off (as it would grab onto any water sprayed at it) and run down the drain without turning your shower into a slipping hazard. Claudia mentioned a lovely almond-like fragrance, which likely comes from the included benzyl alcohol and benzaldehyde, both of which have fragrance listed as a potential use (especially benzaldehyde, which is also known as synthetic almond essential oil). And last but not least, silica—a great naturally occurring compound that helps strengthen hair and soften skin.
The first ingredient we’ll be ditching is the mineral oil, replacing it with a blend of almond oil and sunflower oil. Both are relatively inexpensive (so there’s no heartbreak from washing some down the drain), but also lovely for your skin. Sweet almond oil is rich in vitamin D, and sunflower seed oil (USA / Canada / UK / NZ) is rich in linoleic acid (which is awesome for eczema and acne prone skin) and vitamins A, B, D and E, so the two of them are a fantastic pairing.
For emulsifiers, I went with a blend of olivem 300 and BTMS-50. Olivem 300 is a new emulsifier for me—I grabbed a bottle from Windy Point a couple months ago and have been itching to play with it. It’s a water soluble/oil dispersible emulsifier made from olive oil (pomace) (USA / Canada), and it helps make our oil blend wash off by helping it emulsify with our shower water. I included BTMS-50 for its added conditioning properties, some thickening (olivem 300 helps with that a bit, too), and even more emulsifying power. With these two added emulsifiers you can easily blend a small amount of this sooth oat bath and body oil with water and turn it into a white, creamy palmful of good-for-skin awesomeness.
To round things off we’ve got some added colloidal oatmeal (USA / Canada) (superfine, water soluble oat flour, basically) for added skin-soothing goodness, and a blend of lavender and labdanum essential oils for a final product that smells utterly divine. You could honestly use any essential oils you want (even citrus, I suppose, if you always plan on washing this oil off or using it before bed), but I love this warm, sweet blend.
And how is it? In short, it’s awesome. I used it all over mid-shower after shaving my legs, and they felt divinely smooth afterwards and for the entire following day. I also used a bit extra post-bath on my damp skin without rinsing it off, and that was great, too—non greasy, delightfully soft skin. With drier days ahead (in the Northern hemisphere, at least), I think you’ll love this Soothing Oat Bath and Body Oil. I do!
Soothing Oat Bath and Body Oil
Prepare a water bath by bringing about 3cm/1″ of water to a bare simmer in a small saucepan.
Combine the colloidal oatmeal (USA / Canada) and a wee bit of sweet almond oil (USA / Canada) (maybe a teaspoon) in a small dish, stirring and mashing to break up any clumps until you have a uniform mixture.
Weigh the sweet almond oil (USA / Canada), sunflower seed oil (USA / Canada / UK / NZ), olivem 300, and BTMS-50 into a small heat resistant glass measuring cup. Add the colloidal oatmeal (USA / Canada) mixture and place the measuring cup in the water bath to gently melt everything through; this will take 15–20 minutes. Once everything has melted, stir to combine.
Pour the melted oils into a 120mL/4oz plastic pump-top bottle (no glass—this is going in your shower!), add the essential oils, cap, and shake to combine.
To use, give the bottle a quick shake, pump out a small amount of oil, and spread it over your skin. You can do this in the shower, and rinse off any excess, or do it directly afterwards, and let it turn into an insta-lotion on your skin and leave it on. Lovely!
Shelf Life & Storage
Because this recipe contains no water it does not require a preservative (while olivem 300 is water soluble it does not contain water, much like sugar and salt). As with all water-free formulations, take care not to incorporate water into it as that will open it up to microbial spoilage.