Oats: you’ve heard of their use as a home remedy for itchy, inflamed skin, and you’ve seen them highlighted as active ingredients in various soothing creams and lotions. But are oats, that common pantry ingredient, really a good choice for healthy skin? Let’s take a look at the info on oats, for you and your clients.
Oat Skin Benefits
Oats, often labeled avena sativa, contain an impressive array of natural compounds that make them particularly soothing for irritated skin. Their content of sticky polysaccharide fibers called beta glucans help soothe skin by creating a protective layer on the skin’s surface, where the natural skin barrier may be otherwise compromised. Beta glucans can even support faster wound healing, and they have humectant properties, meaning that they draw in moisture that also aids skin that’s dry and inflamed. Oats also contain proteins that increase the skin’s production of filaggrin, a compound that further supports skin barrier function. And on the redness-reducing front, antioxidant avenanthramides in oats are known to reduce redness and UV irritation. Finally, saponins in oats gently cleanse skin and keep reduce dirt on the skin’s surface
Colloidal oats, which are oats that have been finely ground and then suspended in a solution that enables them to be spread evenly over the skin, are well-known and even FDA-approved as a treatment for irritated skin. In 2003, the FDA officially approved colloidal oatmeal as an ingredient to treat skin conditions including eczema, rashes, and psoriasis.
If you’re interested in testing and observing the skin benefits of oats at home, you can grind oats into a fine powder to be used in baths, facial masks, and scalp treatments, where it can quell itch.
Oats and Gluten Free Skincare
If you’re sensitive to gluten in your diet, while it’s less likely that gluten-containing ingredients will affect you topically, we believe it’s better to be safe than sorry. Avoid gluten-containing ingredients if you can. And among that list of commonly gluten-contaminated ingredients are oats, which themselves don’t contain gluten but are often processed with wheat and other gluten-containing grains. If you avoid gluten in your skincare products, know that unless a skincare products with oats specifies that it’s gluten-free, it may be gluten contaminated. Look for ingredient names like colloidal oatmeal, avena sativa, oat hydrolysate, lactobacillus/oat ferment filtrate, and sodium cocoyl hydrolyzed oat protein when searching for oat ingredients on a product label, to always be aware. And most importantly, watch how oats affect your skin and the skin of your clients in the event that there is a gluten reaction.
We want to hear from you!
Have you successfully used oats to soothe skin in your own routine, or a routine of one of your clients?
Do you prefer to use gluten-free oats for sensitive skin types?