How to Make an Oatmeal Face Mask

ingredients for oatmeal lemon face mask on black placemat

Treehugger / Alexandra Cristina Nakamura

  • Working Time: 3 - 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 - 25 minutes
  • Yield: 2 face masks
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $2 to $15

An oatmeal face mask is incredibly soothing and can work miracles on your irritated and dry skin. Rich in antioxidants and many other valuable nutrients, oatmeal has also been proven to help alleviate skin conditions such as eczema, inflammation, and atopic dermatitis.

Here is a basic oatmeal face mask recipe, though variations can be applied depending on what ingredients you have on hand.

What You'll Need


  • Food processor or blender
  • Small bowl
  • Spoon
  • Towel


  • 2 tbsp organic old fashioned rolled oatmeal
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp organic honey
  • 4 drops tea tree essential oil


  1. Prepare Your Oatmeal

    overhead view of oatmeal in food processor ground into coarse powder with wooden spoon

    Treehugger / Alexandra Cristina Nakamura

    Using a food processor or blender, pulse your oats to grind them into a fine, slightly coarse powder.

  2. Mix All Ingredients

    honey and oatmeal and oils are mixed together in wooden bowl, next to sticky honey dipper

    Treehugger / Alexandra Cristina Nakamura

    Mix together your ground oats, lemon, honey, and tea tree oil in a small bowl. If you are saving some of the mixture for later, use a bowl with a fitted lid to avoid the hassle of transferring it to another container later.

  3. Apply the Mask

    hand smears honey-oatmeal mask onto face with fingers

    Treehugger / Alexandra Cristina Nakamura

    Once your ingredients are mixed well, apply the mask to a clean, dry face.

    Leave the mask on for 10 to 15 minutes. Relax and enjoy.

  4. Wash Your Face

    woman with dark hair dries face with teal towel

    Treehugger / Alexandra Cristina Nakamura

    Wash off the mask with cold water and pat your face dry with a towel. Don't rub your face or you will irritate your skin.

  5. Store the Rest

    honey-oatmeal mask is stored in glass jar with glass sealed lid and wooden spoon

    Treehugger / Alexandra Cristina Nakamura

    If you are storing any leftover mask mixture, keep it in the fridge in an airtight container.

  6. Wear Sunscreen

    hand squeezes sunscreen from white plastic bottle into other cupped hand

    Treehugger / Alexandra Cristina Nakamura

    If you are heading out into the sun on the same day as the mask treatment, be sure to put on sunscreen. The citrus from the lemon juice can make your skin more light-sensitive immediately following the mask application.

  7. Repeat

    This mask can be used two to three times a week. If you would like to use it every day, exclude the lemon juice.

Oatmeal Face Mask Variations

honey dripped in pool of honey next to spilled rolled oats and oatmeal mask stored in glass jar

Treehugger / Alexandra Cristina Nakamura

A versatile ingredient in and out of the kitchen, oatmeal can be used for a wide variety of beauty applications. Many different face mask combos can be made using oatmeal. Here are a few other options:

  • Oatmeal and milk (for brightening)
  • Oatmeal, coconut oil, and water (to restore your skin's pH balance)
  • Oatmeal, apple cider vinegar, water, and honey (to restore your skin's pH balance)
  • Oatmeal, turmeric, olive oil, and water (for acne)
  • Oatmeal, baking soda, and water (for acne scars)
  • Oatmeal, applesauce, and honey (to hydrate skin)
  • Oatmeal partially grounded with some larger bits can be used for exfoliation in masks too.

Thanks to the soothing properties of oatmeal masks, these mixtures can be applied to other parts of the body as well. For example, try applying them to your hands if have gotten very dry from constant hand washing and hand sanitizer use. You can also place dabs on your elbows, which are prone to dryness.

How to Avoid a Skin Reaction

If you have sensitive skin, try testing the oatmeal mask topically on a small area of your body before applying it to your entire face. Apply a bit of mixture to the small of your wrist or the inside of your elbow and leave it be for up to 20 minutes. If you don't have any itching, redness, or burning during the 20 minutes, you should be able to use the homemade oatmeal face mask without side effects. This test is a good rule of thumb when trying new products.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Can you use colloidal oatmeal instead of rolled oats?

    You can use colloidal oatmeal in place of ground rolled oats in this recipe. Colloidal oats are ground into a powder finer than what most home food processors can achieve. Keep in mind that the finer the powder the less abrasive this mask will be.

  • What should you use as a vegan alternative to honey?

    Vegetable glycerin is a plant-based humectant that can replace honey in this recipe. Like honey, glycerin is also thick and slightly gummy in texture, which helps the mask stick to your face.

  • How often should you use this mask?

    Lemon is the only ingredient in this recipe that could be harsh on skin if used too frequently. With the lemon, limit your application to a two or three times per week. Without the lemon, this recipe can be used daily.

View Article Sources
  1. Raynertson, Kurt A., et al. "Anti-Inflammatory Activities of Colloidal Oatmeal (Avena sativa) Contribute to the Effectiveness of Oats in Treatment of Itch Associated With Dry, Irritated Skin." Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, vol. 14 no. 1, 2015, pp. 43-48.

  2. Fowler, Joseph F. "Colloidal Oatmeal Formulations and the Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis." Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, vol. 13, no. 10, 2014, pp. 1180-1183.