Photo of woman with oatmeal face mask on

Oatmeal in Skincare: What is It? How Can it Help My Skin?

Learn how colloidal oatmeal, with its prebiotic goodness and abundance of proteins, lipids, enzymes, and vitamins, can effectively treat dry skin, itchiness, and conditions like eczema.

By SunsolveMD Team | 5 Min. Read

June 1, 2023

From a bowl at the breakfast table to the sophisticated formulas in the bathroom cabinet, this natural and effective skincare ingredientisn't only nutritious morning fuel, but also benefits the skin in numerous ways. Read on to explore how oats are used in skincare and their powerful effect on the skin.

What are oat ingredients in skincare?

You may know that oats have been celebrated for centuries as some of the healthiest grains on earth. In their whole-grain form, they provide a nutrient-dense source of important vitamins and minerals, such as manganese, iron, and zinc. There are two main ways to process oats for skincare products. Colloidal oatmeal is a natural ingredient made by grinding oat graininto a fine powder. In essence, it is the same oatmeal you are having for breakfast but in a finer powder. By grinding the whole seed, this process conserves all the prebiotic goodness of oats and it is packed with Proteins, Lipids, Enzymes and vitamins. It is typically used for soothing properties but it also boasts anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which makes it an ideal choice for treating eczema and other skin conditions causing dry skin and itchiness.

While Colloidal oat is found in the bran of the plant, Avena Sativa extract comes from the stems and leaves. Both are powerful natural ingredients that have been clinically proven to restore skin’s barrier, protecting the skin from environmental stressors, and reducing redness in the skin.

As board-certified dermatologist Dr. Tess Mauricio explains that “we should think of the two ingredients as siblings rather than twins. That is, colloidal oatmeal is the older, wiser sibling with a wider range of skin benefits thanks to its megadose of vitamin E, flavonoids, and phenolic acid. That’s why colloidal oatmeal is the ideal choice of the two for those with more serious skin concerns like eczema, rosacea, dermatitis, and pruritus. In contrast, Avena Sativa extract is still advantageous, but may be better suited for more general dryness or irritation.”

How does it benefit my skin?

Oats are a natural skin soother, and these mild ingredients can benefit every skin type. For centuries oats have been used as a natural remedy for intense skin-care conditions.

Oatmeal-based products work with your skin to do a number of things, including:

Soothing the skin

Oats work by creating a protective film over sensitive skin, which is key to keeping potential pollutants away. They are rich in beta-glucans and avenanthramides, compounds that help soothe inflammation and redness. When it comes to calming a sunburn, eczema, or allergic reaction, incorporating oats into your skincare can provide much-needed relief.

Retaining moisture 

Oats act as a natural humectant, attracting moisture to the skin and this makes it an ideal solution for treating dry and dehydrated skin. In addition, it has anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe skin conditions such as redness, acne, and psoriasis. 

Gentle exfoliation

You may have heard that exfoliation is key for removing dead skin cells and revealing a fresher, more radiant complexion. Oats can be used daily as a mild exfoliant thanks to their slightly grainy texture. Oatmeal is present in a number of face masks to soothe and improve skin tone.

Antioxidant protection

Oatscontaina range of antioxidant molecules like vitamin E and ferulic acid, which help protect the skin from free radicals that contribute to premature aging. These antioxidants work to neutralize oxidative stress, reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots.

How to make your own colloidal oatmeal treatments

You can easily make colloidal oatmeal at home just follow these simple steps:

1. Pulse raw oatmeal grain in a food processor, coffee grinder, or blender until it resembles a finepowder.

2. Just add some water to a small amount of powder. The water should turn milky white. If not, simply grind the oatmeal further.

Soothing Bath Soaks

Sometimes oatmeal soaked bath can be a more simple, more effective and cheaper solution to treating sore or itchy skin, and it can also alleviate the symptoms of stubborn skin care conditions such as eczema. Dermatologists recommend preparing for oatmeal by following a few simple steps.

1. Make sure the water is lukewarm

2. Add one cup of your DIY oatmeal under running water

3. Let it Soak for about 10-15 minutes

4. After the bath, apply a gentle, fragrance-free moisturizer.

DIY oatmeal mask

Oats are a versatile ingredient for anyone that enjoys creating DIY treatments. your own skincare concoctions From homemade oatmeal scrubs and masks to oat milk cleansers and soothing bath bombs, there are endless possibilities to explore. Oatmeal face masks are very soothing and gentle enough to use every day. Make sure to make the paste for the day as oats easily ferment. Simply mix 2 tbsp rolled oats with 1-2 tbsp water, and add honey, yoghurt or a few drops of lemon if you wish.

Which skincare products contain oatmeal?

As a natural skin-friendly ingredient, oatmeal is suitable for any skincare product.

Ife Rodney, M.D, a Maryland-based board-certified dermatologist points out that “you'll likely see colloidal oatmeal in creams, lotions, shampoos, cleansers, and body washes. Colloidal oatmeal is loved by people with eczema, so you'll [also] find it in products specific to treating this condition,” she says.

In fact, The FDA approves colloidal oatmeal as a "skin protectant,”. This means formulations containing oatmeal as an active ingredient must conform to the specifications outlined by the FDA for any topical treatment or personal care product.

Speaking of multiple benefits, Dr. Rodney also adds that “colloidal oatmeal can help with UV protection, meaning it can slow photoaging and sun damage — though you should never rely on it alone for sun protection.”

In other words, a broad-spectrum sunscreen should be a skincare essential for all of us.


1. Oatmeal in dermatology

2. Safety and efficacy of personal care products containing colloidal oatmeal

3. Colloidal Oatmeal Cream - Uses, Side Effects, and More

4. Eczema and Bathing

5. Safety and efficacy of personal care products containing colloidal oatmeal




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