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Colloidal Oatmeal in Skin Care

Colloidal oatmeal is a skincare ingredient known for its moisturizing, soothing, and protective properties. It is obtained by steam heating oat groats for stabilization and to reduce free fatty acids. These are then flattened and pulverized to the appropriate particle size.

The resulting powder is composed of polysaccharides (60%-64%), proteins (10%-18%), lipids (3%-9%), saponins, enzymes (such as the potent antioxidant superoxide dismutase), prostaglandin-synthesis inhibitors, flavonoids, and vitamins

Colloidal oatmeal can be used in conjunction with ingredients that can be irritating to the skin, such as alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids and retinoids, to help minimize irritation and disruption of the skin barrier.

It can be found in various products such as creams, lotions, bath treatments, shower gels, and protective creams.

How Does Colloidal Oatmeal Work

The starches and beta-glucans present in colloidal oatmeal help hold on to moisture. It prevents trans-epidermal water loss by forming a film on the skin’s surface. 

It aids in the production of filaggrin, an essential component of the skin’s barrier function. It also helps the skin retain its natural emollients and protectants which protects the skin from environmental damage.

It also contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory effects on the skin. This makes colloidal oatmeal a suitable skincare ingredient to be used by people with inflammatory conditions such as eczema, ichthyosis, or itchy skin.

Colloidal oatmeal also contains phenols that may help in absorbing UV radiation. This helps prevent sunburn, dark marks, wrinkles, and other forms of sun damage.

This skincare ingredient also contains saponins that have cleansing properties. Moreover, its avenacin content helps fight off fungi and microbes.

Uses of Colloidal Oatmeal

Decreasing Symptoms of Atopic Dermatitis

Studies have shown that colloidal oatmeal helps improve skin dryness, increase moisture level, and improve the health of the skin’s barrier. Its antioxidant content also helps calm inflammation and itching.

Treating Psoriasis

Due to its inherent anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties, colloidal oatmeal can serve as a natural treatment for psoriasis.

Relieving Sunburn

Colloidal oatmeal helps calm redness, inflammation, itchiness, and pain associated with sunburn. It can be applied topically or mixed in bath water to relieve these symptoms.

Managing Rashes and Bug Bites

It acts as a buffering agent which helps return the skin’s pH back to normal levels. This helps camp the itch caused by bug bites or exposure to other irritants.

Improving Dry and irritated Skin

It helps reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines. This improves skin dryness, scaling, roughness, and itch intensity.

Treating Hives

It inhibits the release of cytokines and histamine. It can be used as a natural treatment against hives.


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