Colloidal oatmeal, oat oil and oat extract are used in a variety of different skincare products. For centuries, those with dry, sensitive skin, or have suffered from eczema, hives, itchiness have been recommended to take an oatmeal bath. This has been clinically proven in a variety of studies that it is an effective ingredient for balancing the bacterial ecosystem on your skin and moisturizing it. Colloidal oatmeal is full of goodness. It is made up of a range of beneficial components, like:
- Saponins – absorb dirt on the skin, ideal for cleansing
- Polysaccharides – bind to skin fluids to create a protective barrier
- Carbohydrates – have hydrophilic qualities, making them perfect for moisturizing
- Proteins – moisturize and emulsify, helping to create a protective barrier for your skin
- Lipids and flavonoids – have anti-oxidant qualities that help make your skin healthier
How Does Oatmeal Impact Skincare?
As a skincare ingredient, colloidal oatmeal can have a significant impact on the health and appearance of your skin. As such, they are the perfect solution for many skin conditions and ensuring a perfect balance of your skin’s microbiome – the ecosystem of bacteria that keeps your skin healthy and glowing.
Oatmeal-based products work with your skin to do a number of things, including:
- Restoring moisture to dry skin to improve its appearance and reduce irritation
- Creating a protective barrier, known as the skin microbiome, on the surface of the skin that guards against bad bacteria and UV rays
- Helping your skin achieve optimal pH levels, particularly if this has increased
- Soothing sensitive skin and reducing the effects of itchiness and other forms of irritation
- Cleaning the skin by sticking to dirt and dead skin cells to allow them to be washed away more easily
The Benefits of Using Oatmeal to Improve Skin Health
Clinical studies have shown that products making use of oatmeal ingredients can have a positive effect when used to relieve a number of skin conditions, including:
Dry skin: Dry skin is often caused by a lack of water in the upper layers of the skin. However, oatmeal ingredients work to retain that moisture, creating a layer that traps5 water. This gives skin a fuller, more radiant appearance and reduces areas of dry skin.
Acne: Mostly seen in young adults, acne is caused by a build-up of natural oils on the skin, which clog the pores. However, it’s believed that oat ingredients bind to these oils, making them easier to wash away and reducing clogged pores.
Nappy rash: Irritation of the skin, caused by wearing nappies that are either wet or on for too long, this condition can cause discomfort to your baby and affects as many as a third of all infants. The cooling and soothing qualities of oats can help to reduce irritation in little ones.
Eczema: As well as causing dryness in the skin, eczema is a condition which can leave sufferers with patches of itchy and inflamed skin across their body. This is partially due to defects in the surface of the epidermis, which prevents it from retaining the moisture it needs. Oat ingredients are often recommended for eczema sufferers, adults and babies, to strengthen the outer barrier of your skin, as well as for the anti-inflammatory qualities that help to reduce itchiness.
Psoriasis: Usually affecting the skin on around the elbows and other joints, this condition is caused by skin regenerating too quickly. The build-up of skin cells leads to dry, scaly skin that can be itchy or sore. Oatmeal can help wash away layers of dead skin to reduce the impact of psoriasis.
Allergies and Effects of Oatmeal
One of the biggest benefits of oatmeal ingredients over other active ingredients in skincare products, is the fact that there is a very low risk of skin reactions or allergies. As a natural ingredient, oatmeal is gentle on the skin that generally doesn’t do any harm.
In addition to this, studies have found that when oatmeal is used in skincare products, there are very few instances of allergic reactions, as well as a very low risk of irritation to the skin10. This means that for those who have sensitive skin, colloidal oatmeal and oat ingredients are considered a safe product for skincare, even on babies.
If you are the DIY kinds and enjoy trying simple home remedies, here are three quick and easy ways to successfully incorporate oats into your skincare routine and reap all the benefits of their natural goodness…
- Oat Milk Bath soak: What better way to treat your skin than cleansing your skin as well as locking in moisture that can be sucked away during harsh weather!
- Ph treatments: Oats have a natural Ph and can calm and soothe any itching directly from the source. Simply soak oat milk directly onto the inflamed skin as and when an inflammation flares.
- Face care routine: Oats can provide amazing bacteria-battling properties, so combining oats into a weekly facial or using an oat milk moisturizer/lotion will allow the oats to tackle the bacteria directly at the source. To create the ultimate at-home oat mask, mix warm water, oats and honey into a paste and apply directly onto the face for the perfect at-home skin remedy.