Medically reviewed by Minimalist Health Specialist - Written by Viddhi Patel (Journalist) on 19th Feb 2021
Supercharge Your Skin With Colloidal Oatmeal
While oats have made it to our breakfast tables in no time due to their specific benefits for our bodies, there is still something that you might have missed out on when it comes to oats. I am talking about colloidal oatmeal! Has dry, itchy skin shaken your faith? Now, you do not need to give up on your dry, itchy skin, just not yet. Colloidal oatmeal might prove to be the ingredient that shoos away your discomfort.
Although the ingredient might sound familiar, chances are you are as much in the dark about colloidal oatmeal as someone who has not heard of it. If you have been treating your dry, flaky, itchy skin for some time, your products will likely contain this superfood ingredient. Colloidal oatmeal is loaded with nutrients(but obvious), lipids, saponins, and antioxidants, and this makes colloidal oatmeal a protector, soother, nourisher, cleanser, and moisturizer.
Colloidal oatmeal has been around for centuries relieving itching and irritation. The soothing superfood has some real skin-treating powers. It not only soothes dry skin by locking in moisture but also forms a protective film on your skin when combined with water or oil.
Formed from very wholesome grain, oats, colloidal oatmeal has been effectively helpful with eczema and other dry, sensitive skin conditions by forming a barrier when your skin is unable to do so. The ingredient is worth treasuring since it also helps treat acne by soaking up the extra oil, and the saponins in oats exfoliate your skin gently.
The instant beauty staple is everything you ever needed to relieve that itch, but hold on. Take a step back and know the essentials before stocking up on this.
So what is colloidal oatmeal?
If you are a fitness geek, you come across this skincare ingredient every day! Since Colloidal oatmeal is essentially ground oatmeal, Avena Sativa (scientific and fancy). It has to go through a process to be effective on your skin and work. The ground oats are placed in a liquid to be applied easily and absorbed by the skin. Finely-ground oat has fats, proteins, minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients that make colloidal oatmeal a moisturizer, an emollient, to be more specific. They all come together to soothe, moisturize and protect your skin. The skin softener has antioxidants that make it an FDA-approved skin protectant.
You cannot mill the bowl of oats you took out to eat in your breakfast because they differ from colloidal oatmeal in the sense that colloidal oatmeal has a cosmetic essence to it. After all, it is processed with whole bran. The bran has actives that soothe the skin, and that's what makes colloidal oatmeal valuable.
The mega-star ingredient in skincare is available in various forms, from powders to moisturizers and from gels to shampoos.
How exactly does colloidal oatmeal help your skin?
We referred to the actives of oil-replenishing lipids, beta-glucans that moisturize, antioxidants - avenanthramides, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory plant chemicals unique to oatmeal that boosts your skin's health.
Avenanthramides diminish cytokines (proteins that cause inflammation). This makes oatmeal a potential fighter against inflammation and itching. The presence of antioxidants also means that the ingredient also fights free radicals in your skin and prevents wrinkles. The result? A smooth and supple skin.
Colloidal oatmeal has been an active participant in the fight against eczema for a while now. The itchy, scaly skin that eczema or dermatitis leads to can be healed with colloidal oatmeal in various ways, with baths or moisturizers that contain the ingredient.
Radiation treatments for cancer often lead to skin irritation and dryness, so calming the skin down colloidal oatmeal proves to be quite effective.
As I said, it calms the itch for you, soothes and moisturizes the area to make your life easy and your skin smooth.
Now that itch can be due to a skin condition like psoriasis, dermatitis, xerosis(severely dry skin), chickenpox, or some wounds, burns, and bites. Studies also point out that xerosis-affected skin benefited greatly from the ingredient and has significantly improved moisture.
The benefits of colloidal oatmeal: a hearty meal for your skin!
Since everyone has been opting for a better, healthy life, there'd be hardly anyone who doesn't know how beneficial oats are for our body! But for our skin? Now that's some magical madness we need to ponder and learn more about.
The nutritious breakfast meal for your body, oatmeal, proves to be quite nutritious for your skin.
More power to your skin's shield
The skin's shield, the skin's barrier function, is a protective layer that keeps the environmental aggressors at bay. The layer doesn't let the pathogens, free radicals, and all that gunk get to your body and skin while keeping the water and moisture in. But the barrier is often compromised thanks to UV exposure, weather, pollution, etc.
The layer gets strengthened, and voila! The skin under the protection does not experience dryness any longer.
Doesn't let the drought wreck your skin
Colloidal oatmeal prevents transepidermal water loss (TEWL) by creating a barrier over the skin's top layer. The barrier does not allow the essential and natural moisture to escape. Studies point out that the water lost showed improvement after using colloidal oatmeal.
Summing up, the ingredient provides you hydrated and healthy skin. Hydrated skin means less itching and a calm and serene environment on your skin.
A soothing calm on your violent skin
Research suggests that oatmeal has anti-inflammatory effects as it contains phenols and vitamin E, meaning it prevents redness and calms down irritated skin and inflammation.
The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties combined give a wholesome relief from itching associated with dry, irritated skin. Hence, people with eczema are often recommended colloidal oatmeal.
Colloidal oatmeal works as an emollient, moisturizes the skin, keeps it soft, and does not allow itching to bother you.
Absorbs unwelcome UV radiation
Research suggests that colloidal oatmeal has potential compounds that can help absorb and protect your delicate skin from harmful UV exposure. However, do not skip your sunscreen (SPF 30 or above).
The caring gardener to your dry roses
The proteins, lipids, phenols, starches make colloidal oatmeal a moisturizer that keeps your skin smooth, moisturized, and content.
Cleanse with love
The saponin content in colloidal oatmeal gives you a good, natural cleanse. The ingredient removes dead skin cells and what stays back is a smooth, bright complexion.
A versatile player
The wholegrain that is creating a stir is a skin-friendly compound that can cater to even the most sensitive skin types. This also includes people with acne, eczema, psoriasis, ichthyosis. Although very beneficial for dry skin types, this oatmeal avatar can be used by all skin types.
How exactly can you get started with colloidal oatmeal?
Okay, if you are convinced (I am sure that you are) that colloidal oatmeal can bring you great benefits, hold your breath! Now let me announce something hassle-free. Since all you need to do is properly blend oats! Yes, DIY colloidal oatmeal is a great way to get started. The mini oat flakes will do you real good.
If the powder is ready, take some and add it to water. If the water turns milky white, voila! Your colloidal oatmeal is ready. If not, grind further.
And there are still ways you can opt for depending on your needs since this ingredient is available in many forms:
- You can very well take an oat-filled bath for a good 15-20 minutes to soothe irritation. Pat dry and moisturize.
- Opt for a moisturizer that has colloidal oatmeal to moisturize that dry skin immensely. It will also work well for oily, acne-prone skin since oatmeal will absorb the excess oil and relieve you of acne. For instance, a special 3%+ oat moisturizer is great for oily skin as it soothes, hydrates, and softens your skin.
- Exfoliate! Oats are grainy and make an excellent scrub to get rid of all the dead skin cells and empty the pores while moisturizing your skin.
The frequency of use depends on your skin type. People with sensitive and extremely dry skin can use it two times a day. And if you are suffering from eczema, use it every day for relief from itching.
How safe is this no-nonsense, quick skin savior?
Very. Yes, very safe. Since it is safe for most people, although there are chances for allergic reactions, it is also safe for children but keep a check for allergies.
Conduct a patch test, always. If you see any redness or a rash after using oatmeal, don't use it.
Advice By Minimalist
Although safe, do not skip the patch test.
If you are allergic to oats, do not use colloidal oats-based products.
Do not sit in the bath for too long. It will further dry out your skin, worsening the itching.
Oatmeal is safe to use with any ingredients and even irritating ones to reduce the irritation and make up for the disruption of the skin's barrier.
Colloidal oatmeal has been around since the ancient Romans' era and has relieved people from itching, dryness, and skin irritation.
Research has shown impressive results regarding the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and protective abilities of colloidal oatmeal.
Most common beauty products, too, have added the goodness of oatmeal in them by grinding oats. DIY colloidal oatmeal recipes have also gained popularity.
Sprinkle it in your bath or scrub away the dirt with those mini-flakes. It is yours to choose and love.