What Is Colloidal Oatmeal And What Are Its Benefits?

Colloidal oatmeal has become popular as a suitable ingredient to take care of the health of the skin. Due to its composition, it is a good complement for some dermatological conditions. 

Colloidal oatmeal is a naturally-derived ingredient that has become popular for its skin health benefits. According to a review article published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology , it is a calming product that is regulated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) due to its pharmacological uses.

In fact, it is currently available in various forms ranging from shower powders to shampoos, shaving gels and moisturizers. Why is it beneficial? What are the principal uses? We will detail it in the following space.

What is colloidal oatmeal?

Colloidal oatmeal is the product obtained after grinding oat grains ( Avena sativa ) into a fine powder. Today it is used in the cosmetic industry in the formulation of a wide range of personal care products, especially with regard to the skin.

A study released through Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology states that its chemical composition is complex, as it concentrates polysaccharides, lipids, proteins, flavonoids, minerals and vitamins. In addition, it is an ingredient that is valued for its moisturizing capacity and its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant action.

Bowl of colloidal oatmeal.

Benefits of colloidal oatmeal

The nutritional composition of colloidal oatmeal gives it various benefits, especially when treating dermatological conditions. Due to its anti-inflammatory and emollient properties, it helps to repair the skin barrier and favors the relief of disorders such as the following:

  • Rashes.
  • Erythema.
  • Itching and eczema.
  • Dry Skin.
  • Atopic dermatitis.
  • Burns.
  • Diaper rash.

Emollients are substances that have the ability to soften and hydrate the skin to reduce symptoms such as itching and flaking. Although there are them in many presentations, colloidal oatmeal stands out for being suitable for all skin types.

Now, studies suggest that this oatmeal is also useful to combat the symptoms of xerosis or excessively dry skin. In general, it is considered safe, is well tolerated, and can reduce dependence on topical corticosteroids and their potential adverse effects.

Of course, it is convenient to clarify that it is not a first-line treatment against skin diseases. In case of burns, acne and dermatitis, it is essential to go to the dermatologist to learn about other therapeutic options. Oatmeal will often be an adjunct to soothe discomfort.

How is this ingredient used?

The most common way to use colloidal oatmeal for your skin is by incorporating the fine powder into your shower water. However, as we have discussed, it is also available in gels, moisturizers, ointments and a variety of other products. 

It is essential to use it according to the indications that come on the label of the chosen product. In addition, in case of doubts, you must first consult your doctor or pharmacist. Usually colloidal oatmeal creams are applied to the affected areas of the skin as needed. In case of dry hands, it is advisable to use it every time they are washed.

The application in diaper rash should be done after proper cleaning of the affected area. In any case, care must be taken with sensitive areas such  as the eyes, the inside of the mouth, the nose and the genital area. Caution should also be exercised in case of broken, cracked or scraped skin.

Is this product safe to use?

Colloidal oatmeal is safe for most people. In fact, to date there is no information on relevant side effects when using this product.

Still, its application is discouraged if you have a known allergy to oats. It is also suggested to suspend its use in case of burning or rash after applying it.

How to prepare colloidal oatmeal at home?

While it is possible to purchase ready-to-use colloidal oatmeal, it can also be made at home in simple steps. The product obtained is ideal to add to the tub or to prepare natural masks.

You need

  • 1/2 cup of whole oats (125 grams).
  • A food processor or blender.


  • To start, add the raw whole oats to the food processor.
  • Light to a fine, off-white powder.
  • Then, mix it with a little water to see if it is ground in sufficient quantity. If the water turns milky white it is because it is ready.
Preparation of oatmeal for the skin.

Colloidal oatmeal is a gentle ingredient for the skin

There are many reasons to use colloidal oatmeal as a skincare adjunct. It is a mild ingredient that even people with sensitivity can use. Due to its composition, it helps protect the skin barrier and fights dryness.

The most interesting thing is that it is available in many presentations and can be prepared at home from whole oats. Do you dare to try it? Remember to solve all your doubts with the dermatologist.

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