Does oatmeal remove hair?
Does oatmeal remove hair?

I love Pinterest a whole lot. I like its many healthy and photogenic salmon recipes, and I respect that it is a site that hosts both food-based “miracle” face masks and memes that still use Impact font in equal quantities. I do not, however, understand many of the things it has to offer all that well–for example, a pin I found the other day that promised to remove unwanted hair forever simply by using a paste made of oatmeal, lemon juice, and honey. It sounded so crazy that I obviously had to try it out myself. Wouldn’t you?

As far as DIYs go, this one is absurdly easy. Its premise is that you mix a tablespoon of honey, half a tablespoon of oatmeal, and a few drops of fresh lemon juice, apply the mixture like a mask, and let it sit for about ten minutes. When you rinse it off, your hair is supposed to come with it. A lofty promise! If this ended up being a magical mixture that would get rid of my body hair, I would take it.

Now, I have angsty, temperamental skin that becomes inflamed and irritated if I put anything that’s not directly approved by my dermatologist on it, so I figured that testing it on my face would be a no-go. I decided, instead, to go for the hair on my arms, which I have been lucky enough to inherit in great quantity from my Eastern European ancestors.

Now, much like the saran body wrap, I tried last week, none of the pins offer much in the way of scientific explanation as to why this mixture is supposed to remove one’s body hair. Someone on a Quora forum on the subject I looked at suggested that the natural exfoliating qualities of oatmeal can contribute to hair removal, which seems logical enough, though they list only “home remedies for life” and “my own knowledge and experience” as their sources, so, you know. Take that with a grain of salt.

Anyway, the actual process was pretty easy! The supplies are not hard to get.

Do you have a blender? A food processor? If so, that is great, and I am very happy for you. You will have no difficulty making this mixture into an actual paste, which turned out to be my only roadblock. I do not currently own either of those things, so grinding up the oatmeal turned out to be fairly difficult. I tried to cut it with a knife, then mash it with a spoon. Neither of those worked, so I just applied it whole. The logical next step would have been to bake it so it would get more mushy, but you’re supposed to use it uncooked, so that wasn’t an option.

In addition to letting the paste/mixture sit, many websites also recommend rubbing it against the grain of the hair.

So. I cannot in good conscience recommend this as a hair removal system because, as you can see, it did not work at all. I do not necessarily condemn it, however, as a practice in and of itself. My skin felt considerably softer afterwards, and, for what it’s worth, it smells delicious. So, oatmeal as a depilatory agent? Not really effective. You can try it as a scrub, though!

Would you ever try this? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments!

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