7 Reasons Why Colloidal Oats Are A Must Have For Dry Itchy Skin
One of the wonderful thing about plants, is that there are many healthy kitchen staples that work amazingly well for your skin too. One such superfood that has been used since Roman times for its skincare benefits is oatmeal.
Scientifically known as Avena sativa, this grain has been well-researched for its ability to soothe dry, red, scaly and irritated skin. So if you are having a tough time keeping your skin happy, it's time to give colloidal oats a place in your skincare routine.
What is Colloidal Oatmeal?
While regular oat flour and colloidal oat flour look similar, they are slightly different. The regular oat flour on your grocery aisle is made by simply grinding oat grain (without the bran) into a coarse powder. This powder can be used in cosmetics as well, but it lacks some of the beneficial compounds that are found in the bran. In addition to this, if used in a lotion, you would likely feel some course grittiness.
Colloidal oat flour on the other hand is made by grinding the entire grain (including the bran) down to a super fine particle size. The particle size is so small, it is something that can only be accomplished by an industrial fine powder grinder. And as previously mentioned, It is the oat bran that is choked full of skin-soothing nutrients. And hence colloidal oatmeal is much more beneficial for your skin when compared to oat flour. The powder is also so fine, that it completely dissolves into creams and lotions resulting in a smooth skin feel.
What Makes Oats So Helpful?
Colloidal oat flour is rich in starches and beta-glucan, a fiber that helps it retain water. It is also rich in phenols like ferulic acid, phytic acid, sinapic acid, and avenathramides which give oats powerful antioxidant properties.
Among these phenolic compounds, avenathramides are unique to oats and responsible for its amazing abilities to treat irritated skin.
Colloidal oat flour also has some flavonoids and several minerals and vitamins like a variety of B vitamins, Vitamin E, iron, manganese, zinc, copper selenium, etc. All of which help to nourish your skin.
7 Skincare Benefits of Using Colloidal Oats
1. Soothes Itchy Skin
The best benefit of colloidal oat flour for skin is its ability to provide relief from itchiness. The avenathramides reduce histamines released by your body which are responsible for the itchy sensation. Hence, colloidal oats are well-suited to treat skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema and even atopic dermatitis.
2. Moisturizes Skin
If you have dry skin, the emollient properties of colloidal oats will improve hydration levels in your skin. The beta-glucans in it help it retain water within the skin preventing Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL). So pick a moisturizer or lotion with colloidal oats (like our Rose Water & Aloe Body Lotion) to keep your skin well-moisturized all day long.
3. Cleanses Skin Well
Did you know oats are a natural source of saponins making them a terrific cleansing agent? And when compared to other surfactants, oats are way more skin-friendly as they do not strip away moisture from your skin. This is why it is one of the ingredients in our Activated Charcoal & Jojoba Beads Face Wash.
You can also make a DIY oatmeal scrub at home to get rid of dead skin cell buildup. Try grinding up some dry oats in a coffee grinder and adding them to your favorite facial cleanser.
4. Improves Barrier Function
The outermost layer of epidermis (skin) acts as a physical barrier to protect your skin from pathogens. But frequent use of harsh ingredients weakens this barrier function making your skin sensitive and susceptible to skin infections like acne, eczema, dermatitis etc.
In such cases, oats can be used to strengthen your skin's barrier function once again. A study conducted on 50 women with dry skin found colloidal oatmeal lotion improved dryness, moisturization as well as a healthy skin barrier.
5. Protect Skin from Sun Damage
The FDA has classified colloidal oatmeal as an active ingredient for skin protection. The flavonoids present in oats absorb some UVA rays emitted by the sun. While it is not strong enough to protect your from extended exposure to the sun, the antioxidants in oatmeal will fight free radical damage inflicted by the sun rays and environmental pollutants.
6. Calms Inflammation
Thanks to the presence of antioxidants, starches, and beta-glucan, colloidal oats have astonishing anti-inflammatory properties. Along with reducing itching, topical application of oats will also calm down redness and irritation caused by sunburns, acne, eczema, rosacea etc. Have you ever heard of an oatmeal bath? Well next time you spend too much time in the sun or fall into a bed of poison ivy, make sure you get yourself some colloidal oat flour on the way home. You will be really glad you did.
As you age, your skin starts developing fine lines and wrinkles due to lack of moisture and collagen damage. And since colloidal oatmeal improves hydration levels, repairs barrier function, offers protection from UV rays and harmful free radicals, it will help you maintain supple, firm and glowing skin.
How To Use Colloidal Oatmeal in Your Routine?
There are several cleansers, body lotions, soaps and creams available in the market that help cleanse, moisturize and treat your skin. It is also found in dusting powders to treat heat rashes and skin irritations.
You can also opt for an easy DIY remedy at home to treat itching or dryness by preparing an oatmeal bath every day. Mix 1 cup of colloidal oats in lukewarm bath water to soothe itchiness and calm down inflammation.
It is extremely uncommon to have an adverse reaction to colloidal oats. You would have to have an actual allergy to the oats themselves. Therefore, colloidal oatmeal is no doubt a holy-grail ingredient for a variety of skin conditions including sensitive skin.