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The Benefits of Oatmeal On the Skin

If you grew up with an old-school grandma or in a DIY household, you’ve likely heard that an oatmeal bath can be beneficial for the skin. But do you know why or exactly how oatmeal can help your skin?

We do. Here’s everything you need to know.

The Basics of Oatmeal In Skincare

The Benefits Of Oats for the Skin

Oatmeal has been used for thousands of years to soothe dermatitis-related itching and skin irritation. These fiber-rich grains actually have a ton of beneficial compounds and properties, including:

  • Anti-inflammatory compounds like avenanthramides, which are actually antioxidants that work like an antihistamine to reduce itching in the skin.
  • Zinc, which can reduce inflammation and kill acne-causing bacteria
  • Saponins, compounds which can naturally unclog pores
  • Lipids and proteins, which gives oats humectant, occlusive, and emollient properties
  • Beta glucan, a form of fiber that moisturizes the skin, helps with wound repair and stimulates collagen production.

All of these properties make oatmeal an excellent ingredient for moisturizing, soothing, exfoliating and protecting the skin.

Colloidal Oatmeal vs Regular Oatmeal

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If you’ve looked into oatmeal for skincare and self care, you’ve probably noticed that many make a distinction between regular oatmeal and colloidal oatmeal.What does that mean exactly?

Well, the term colloidal oatmeal, put simply, refers to whole oat kernels that are finely milledand sometimes boiled down so they can create a paste and be used as a skin protectant. Because the oats are whole, they contain all the original molecules and nutrients that can protect the skin, including lipids, beta glucan and antioxidants. If the oats are boiled down, it makes these compounds even more potent.

Since it became available in 1945, colloidal oatmealhas been used to treat

  • Atopic and contact dermatitis
  • Dry skin conditions
  • Insect bites
  • Allergic reactions to plants like poison ivy
  • Chicken pox

In food-grade oatmeal, by contrast, some of these molecules are largely removed with the oat’s bran, as the oats are actually processed out to improve the taste.

With all this in mind, let’s dive into the skincare benefits of oatmeal.

How Oatmeal Can Benefit the Skin

1. It Can Soothe Irritation and Moisturize

Oatmeal can help soothe all kinds of skin irritation, including redness, itching, and eczema. There are a few reasons for this.

First, the avenanthramides contain antibiotic and antioxidant properties, both of which help neutralize irritation and topically soothe the skin. Additionally, oatmeal often contains water-binding polysaccharides and hydrocolloids, both of which act as emollients, helping hold moisture to the surface of the skin.

This can help resolve a compromised skin barrier, which can exacerbate skin redness and irritation.

2. It Can Deeply Cleanse Skin

Oats are deeply absorbent, which means they can absorb excess oil, dirt, and grime from the surface of the skin.

In this way, they can mattify and cleanse the skin, which can help reduce bacterial build-up and irritation over time.

3. It Can Prevent Water Loss

Dry and irritated skin is often caused by trans-epidermal water loss and a weakened stratum corneum. The idea is simple: if your skin’s natural barrier is compromised and you don’t have any natural oils or sebum protecting your skin, then any water or hydration that you do introduce will quickly be lost or evaporated away.

With its emollient properties, oatmeal can help stop this transepidermal water loss in its tracks, thus helping to deeply moisturize and nourish the skin over time.

4. It Can Balance pH

In order for your skin to be at its healthiest, it needs to remain at a pH of about 5.5. When it’s balanced in this way, your skin can effectively keep nutrients in and block out toxins.

The problem? This pH is constantly disrupted throughout the day -- smoke, pollutants, harsh skincare products, it can all throw your pH off. And the more time it spends out of balance, the more it becomes vulnerable to Candida, dermatitis, acne, and other concerns.

Oatmeal can help, acting as a buffering agent that can help restore the skin’s normal pH. This can improve skin health and prevent irritation over time.

Ingredients That Work Well With Oatmeal

Shea Butter

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Shea butter is loaded with antioxidants and natural vitamins, including vitamin A, vitamin E and vitamin F. These give it the ability to smooth wrinkles, prevent scars, and even soothe eczema and skin allergies.

Goat Milk

Goat’s milk is rich in proteins, vitamins. And minerals. It’s hypoallergenic and has the same pH as our skin, so it’s easily absorbed.

It also naturally contains lactic acid, an AHA which breaks down the bonds that hold dead skin cells together, revealing healthy, fresh skin.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is rich in antioxidants, which make it an excellent anti-aging choice. It also contains oleic acid and polyphenols, both of which can improve the skin’s texture and tone.


Like oatmeal, honey is a well-known, all-natural skincare ingredient.Due to its natural antibiotic and antimicrobial properties, it can effectively fight off acne-causing bacteria and reduce inflammation. It can also effectively draw moisture in to the skin and soothe skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.

If you’re looking to soothe and nourish your skin, you should look for products that contain all of these soothing ingredients.

Find it all n Hometown Honey bar soap.