You can probably acknowledge that there is usually a lot of hype when it comes to oats and their value for a pantry staple. What you may not know is that for centuries, this hearty breakfast food has led a double life. Whether you love or hate oatmeal as a food choice, there is no denying that it serves a purpose far beyond its nutritional value. Before we had a proper skincare routine or even knew what one was, oatmeal was the gold standard of home remedies to soothe our irritated and itchy skin.
Little did we know that people were on to something before the FDA even approved of the safety and efficacy of oatmeal as the overachiever that it is. When applied topically on the skin, this emollient packs minerals, vitamins, proteins, and fats that give other ingredients a run for their money.
So how come oatmeal is such a reliable staple and trusted ingredient when it comes to soothing our skin?
Benefits of Oats in Your Skincare
As important as it is to consider the food we eat when it comes to keeping ourselves healthy, the same holds true for ingredients in our skincare. Awareness when it comes to what is in our skincare products can mean the difference between happy and healthy skin vs. skin irritations and challenges.
As our largest natural barrier to UV rays, bacteria, and many other harmful external factors, it’s important to seek out natural ingredients to help keep it healthy and balanced. Whether it's the ability to help balance our skin's delicate bacterial environment, offering moisturizing properties, or the ability to treat a plethora of minor skin conditions, oatmeal has been a long celebrated ingredient.
In 1945, a more effective way to utilize oats was discovered. By grinding the oat down into a fine powder and boiling it, the colloidal material was able to be extracted. This meant that the benefits of oats had an even farther reach by being placed in creams, shaving gels, body wash, lotions, cleansing bars, and bath treatments just to name a few. Now the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of oatmeal were even more accessible in easy-to-use forms.
How Are Oats Used in Skincare?
Studies have shown that the benefits of using colloidal oatmeal can last for up to two weeks after you’ve stopped using it. Oatmeal and oats used as an ingredient in skincare can have a tremendous impact on the appearance and overall health of your skin. It has also been proven to reduce irritation, flaky or dry skin while protecting the skin barrier.
Your skin has its own entire ecosystem working to keep your body’s barrier to the outside world as strong as possible. Oatmeal as an ingredient is able to enhance the performance of your protective outer layer of skin, relieve and cool itchiness, and help attract moisture to the surface layers of your skin.
Products that contain an oatmeal base offer a number of benefits that include:
Aids in cleaning the skin by sticking to dead skin cells and grime on your skin, which allows those things to be swept away more easily while washing.
- Helps your skin balance out and achieve ideal pH levels.
Helps to protect your skin from harmful bacteria and UV rays by aiding in creating a protective barrier.
Reduces irritation, atopic dermatitis, and dry skin by restoring moisture back into your skin and soothing roughness
It reduces the effects of irritation and itchiness by soothing sensitive skin with emollient properties.
How Can Oats Improve Skin Health?
Widely recognized as a protectant of your skin, one of the largest benefits of colloidal oatmeal is its ability to act as a skin protectant to help the skin keep moisture in. In addition to reinforcing the skin’s protective barrier, its ability to soothe skin dryness and anti-inflammatory properties offer a dream team solution for issues such as chickenpox, eczema, contact dermatitis, insect bites, and much more.
Coupled with daily use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen, colloidal oatmeal also contains properties that may help with slowing sun damage and photoaging.
5 Ways Oatmeal Benefits Skin Conditions
Used to treat a number of skin conditions, studies have shown that ingredients containing oatmeal can have a lasting positive effect. Here are five conditions that benefit from oatmeal ingredients.
Diaper Rash: Diapers that are left on too long or are wet can cause skin irritation and discomfort. The soothing and cooling properties of oats can help reduce inflammation and irritation.
Eczema: With this skin condition the epidermis is unable to retain much-needed moisture. This causes patches of inflamed and itchy skin for those that suffer from this condition. Ingredients containing oats can help reduce itchiness as well as strengthen the outer layer of your skin.
Acne: It is believed that ingredients containing oats are able to bind to the skin's natural oils allowing them to be washed away easier, potentially leading to less clogged pores. Oats act as a natural cleanser against dirt and excess oil.
Dry skin: Oatmeal ingredients aid in creating a layer that is able to hold in moisture and lessen transepidermal water loss. This gives relief to dry skin and offers a more supple and full appearance to the skin.
Psoriasis: A condition that occurs when the immune system calls for the overproduction of skin cells. Psoriasis can cause itching, dryness, and scaly patches of skin. Studies have shown that after a four-week application of 1% colloidal oatmeal lotion, symptoms improved. The symptoms that saw the most relief were peeling and itchiness of the skin. Oatmeal baths are also often recommended to reduce the amount of irritation and itching.
Oatmeal and Skin Allergies
Studies have shown that there are very few occasions where oatmeal has caused an allergic reaction. One of the biggest reasons oatmeal is beneficial is that it can be used with a low risk of allergy or skin reaction. It is gentle, effective, and is generally safe for most skin types.
Whether you are looking to treat diaper rash, sensitive skin, or a variety of skin conditions, you can feel confident knowing that oatmeal is an ingredient that poses a very low risk. Even those with extremely sensitive skin can have peace of mind knowing that there are few allergens and few side effects. An oatmeal face mask with a tablespoon of honey, a cup of milk, and oat grains can help calm a variety of skin-related symptoms.
How To Make an Oatmeal Bath
If you are ever in an itchy situation and in need of an oatmeal bath we have you covered when it comes to how to create one. Here are some steps toward a soothing oatmeal bath.
Run a lukewarm temperature bath. It is crucial to avoid hot water because it can further irritate, draw moisture from, and cause additional inflammation in your already aggravated skin.
Add approximately one cup of colloidal oatmeal to your bath under running water.
- Once you have poured in the oatmeal, be sure to mix it in the bathwater to help it dissolve.
Allow yourself to sit and soak in the milky mixture for around 10 minutes.
- Rinse any stickiness or residue with lukewarm water as needed.
Pat dry with a clean towel. Rubbing or unnecessary friction could cause further irritation.
As an added protection, make sure to apply moisturizer.
For us, oatmeal has moved far beyond a beloved breakfast treat. Your grandparents may have had more in mind than just offering you a nutritional start to your day. Ingredients that have been around for centuries and stand the test of time or rare gems indeed. In a time where there are a plethora of ingredients, we can barely pronounce it is comforting to know that there are just as many options that are natural and safe.
So what do we know about oatmeal? We know that if you are ever in a pinch colloidal oatmeal baths are very easy to replicate at home. Oatmeal that you find in your skincare is very similar to the oats in your pantry, they are just processed in a different manner. The good stuff is extracted and you have yourself a universal powerhouse of an ingredient in skincare products.
For centuries our grandparents and beyond actually knew what they were talking about when it came to using oatmeal for an itch-reliever, cleanser, protectant, moisturizer, and, yes, even a hearty breakfast.
The benefits for your skin are far and wide. Oatmeal is a beneficial ingredient for hives, bug bites, psoriasis, eczema, sunburn, and any skin challenge that deals with itchy, irritated, or dry skin.
While we trust our skin to do its job, we also know that our skin benefits from ingredients that enhance its performance. If you want to take your body’s superpower abilities to the next level it’s important to invest in skincare that can help it work more efficiently and offer it the strength and protection it needs.
At Spongellé you can always count on superior ingredients in products specifically designed to enhance your beautiful skin. We are committed to helping you have the skin you have always dreamed of while using ingredients that are safe for the planet and you!
Oatmeal benefits for the skin | Medical News Today
Safety and efficacy of personal care products containing colloidal oatmeal | NIH
(PDF) oatmeal in dermatology| Research Gate