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Alchemy of Oats

From the breakfast bowl to the beauty aisle, this soothing grain works its magic inside and out.

By Lynne Konstantin

WebMD Feature from "Country Living" Magazine

Country Living MagazinePhotographs by Andrew McCaul

First found growing wild among barley fields in Western Europe, oats were cultivated in ancient Egypt, where they were used for food, medicine, and beauty enhancement—even as a favorite skin-care aid of the ultimate beauty queen, Cleopatra.

Here: Treat your skin to a bar of gently exfoliating Honey Oatmeal Exfoliating Soap from the Honey Oatmeal Soap Shop.

Advocates of the versatile cereal grain Avena sativa sing its praises as a health food, beneficial to the digestive system, heart, kidneys, and overall well-being. This wholesome grain also provides external nourishment for the hair and skin. Found in many forms—including oat protein, oat-derived polysaccharides, and colloidal oatmeal—the properties of oats enable it to moisturize, cleanse, exfoliate, and act as an anti-inflammatory. Look for oats among the essential ingredients of bath treatments, facial scrubs and masks, soaps, body and hand creams, and shampoos and conditioners. In home remedies and luxury beauty treatments, oats are a natural.

Oats have been used to relieve itchy, inflamed, weatherworn, hived, and chafed skin—oatmeal is even gentle enough for diaper rash. Soothe element-exposed skin with Soy & Oatmeal Mineral Bath Treatment from Get Fresh's Spa Rx (right).

Nourish Skin and Hair with Oatmeal-Based Beauty Products

Wash the day's buildup of impurities from your face with Key West Gentle Oatmeal Facial Scrub.

For soapless cleansing and skin softening, sprinkle fine-milled Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Bath with colloidal oatmeal (in dish) in the tub as you draw your bathwater.

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