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  5. Colloidal Oatmeal: The Soothing Ingredient Every Skin Needs

Are you on the verge of giving up on your dry, flaky and itchy skin? If yes, you probably haven’t tried colloidal oatmeal yet!

Widely used in skincare products, colloidal oatmeal is considered a boon for its safety, moisturizing effect and several other benefits. In fact, it has proved to be an effective remedy for eczema!

Let's take you through everything it can do, and how you can use it.

What Is Colloidal Oatmeal?

Colloidal oatmeal is finely-ground oats. It contains fats, proteins and other nutrients that make it work like an emollient (skin softener). (1) (2)

The FDA has approved colloidal oatmeal as a safe skin protectant (3). The ingredient has both moisturizing and antioxidant properties, which means it fights free radicals in your skin, prevents the development of wrinkles and keeps it smooth and supple.

Colloidal oatmeal can prevent inflammation caused by a group of proteins in your body that are known as cytokines. It possesses this ability because of the presence of avenanthramides (4). Thus, it is used as a treatment for dermatitis and other inflammatory dry skin conditions. It is also used to relieve itchiness caused by radiation treatments for cancer patients (5) (6).

Benefits Of Colloidal Oatmeal

 colloidal oatmeal for treatment

1. Strengthens Skin Barrier Function

Your skin is made-up of a protective layer, also called the skin barrier. This layer is vital to protect your skin from environmental aggressors. It also prevents water loss. However, sometimes due to internal and external factors like UV damage, genes and the weather, this layer may get eradicated. This is where colloidal oatmeal can benefit your skin. It strengthens your skin’s barrier, preventing it from losing water and feeling dry.

2. Soothes Irritated Skin

Colloidal oatmeal works as an emollient by adding moisture to the skin. It keeps the skin soft and prevents it from feeling itchy. It can also give relief to irritated skin as it has anti-inflammatory properties that prevent redness and inflammation. This is because of the fibres and cellulose it contains. Thus, it is also recommended for people with eczema.

3. Prevents Transepidermal Water Loss

Colloidal oatmeal is an ingredient that creates a barrier over your skin’s topmost layer. This prevents your skin from losing its natural water and moisture, which means smooth, hydrated and healthy skin is all yours.

Side-Effects Of Colloidal Oatmeal

Colloidal oatmeal has been registered and app3roved as a safe treatment that very rarely causes redness or allergic reactions. One study found that 4,45,820 people reported zero allergic reactions after using colloidal-oatmeal based personal care products within a span of 3 years.

Another study that was conducted on 2,291 people showed that some of them experienced mild irritation after using a colloidal oatmeal patch for a day. They also noticed that their skin stayed moisturized for a few weeks after that.

Colloidal oatmeal very rarely causes side-effects. However, burning, redness and irritation may occur if you are allergic to this ingredient. If you are allergic to oatmeal specifically, do not use colloidal oatmeal.

Make it a point to check the ingredients of the product you’re using for other possible allergens. You should also make sure to conduct a patch-test if your skin is very sensitive. Apply some of the product at the back of your hand. Let it get absorbed into your skin and sit for 24 hours. If your skin doesn’t react, it is safe for you to use.

Can You Use Colloidal Oatmeal Everyday?

If you have very dry and sensitive skin, it is recommended that you use colloidal oatmeal two times a day. If you have oily skin, it may feel greasy. So once in two days should be fine to use on oily skin. However, if you have eczema, using colloidal oatmeal everyday will provide you relief from the itching. Colloidal oatmeal is used in 1 percent concentrations to reduce atopic dermatitis symptoms.

Colloidal Oatmeal Interactions

Colloidal oatmeal used topically is considered to be safe. However, if you are using it in combination with any topical treatments or other medication, talk to your doctor about it.

There is no known nutrient or drug interaction with colloidal oatmeal. If you are allergic to gluten, you should be careful when you use oatmeal in your bath. This is because products containing oatmeal may also develop traces of gluten. This may also happen when it is being processed.

You can get certified gluten-free oatmeal at any store.

Precautions To Take When Using Colloidal Oatmeal

Before you use any product containing colloidal oatmeal, check the ingredients. If the product contains other ingredients that you are allergic to, refrain from using it.

Make sure to tell your doctor about any medication you’re on to avoid any interactions. If your skin is acne-prone, look for a non-comedogenic product containing colloidal oatmeal.

How To Use Colloidal Oatmeal?

1. In Your Bath

young woman is smiling and using shampoo while taking shower

Adding a few cups of colloidal oatmeal to your bathtub can soothe irritation. Soak yourself in the tub for about 18-20 minutes.

2. In Your Moisturizer

You can use moisturizers that contain colloidal oatmeal two times a day. Some doctors recommend that you use it as often as you like. However, using it twice should be ideal if you have dry skin.

3. As An Exfoliator

The grainy texture of colloidal oatmeal makes it an excellent scrub to remove dead skin cells. It is also a gentle way of exfoliating your skin, along with adding a good amount of moisture to it.

How To Make Your Own Colloidal Oatmeal?

  • 65g water
  • 1g colloidal oatmeal
  • 15g carrier oil
  • 10g shea butter
  • Few drops of an essential oil (if you aren’t allergic)

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Use it everyday as part of your skincare regimen.


You should not make too much paste at once. Oatmeal ferments and you may expose it to bacteria if you leave it unused. Make your paste based on how much is required for you that day.

Who Should Use Colloidal Oatmeal?

Colloidal oatmeal is safe for everyone, especially those with dry skin. It is considered to be one of the safest emollients in skin care. However, if you are specifically allergic to oats, using colloidal oatmeal-based products can result in side-effects like redness.

Available Forms Of Colloidal Oatmeal

Today, colloidal oatmeal is used in many skincare products. It is mainly used in products to soothe dry and irritated skin. Body washes, moisturizers, lotions, cleansing bars and also shaving gels contain colloidal oatmeal. The SkinKraft Moisturizing Face Cleanser uses colloidal oatmeal as a primary ingredient. The product is part of SkinKraft's customized skin care regimen, suggested after you take the skin analysis questionnaire.

Wrapping Up

Colloidal oatmeal is a safe ingredient used in a number of skin care products. It is also used as a treatment for inflammatory dry skin conditions. The ingredient helps in strengthening your skin barrier and also adds moisture to it. If you are allergic to oats, you should avoid using colloidal oatmeal-based products.

Begin By Knowing Your Skin

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