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Colloidal Oatmeal - What is it?

Posted on April 01 2020

Oats before they become colloidal oatmeal

Maybe you and your kids love a big bowl of healthy oatmeal to start the day off right. Mmm...yummy! But you might be confused if you’ve heard about colloidal oatmeal and how you can use it for your skin.

No worries. Here at Babo Botanicals, we love colloidal oatmeal and all the great benefits it provides for your skin. So, we’re here to tell you all about it!

We’ll explain what colloidal oatmeal is and what it does for your skin as well as cover a few ways you can take advantage of colloidal oatmeal to keep your family’s skin soothed and healthy.

What is Colloidal Oatmeal?

fresh colloidal oatmeal

If you eat oatmeal for breakfast, you know what it is. OK, even if you don’t eat it for breakfast, you probably know what it is! But, what does “colloidal” mean?

Without revisiting your high school chemistry class too much, just know that colloidal is a chemistry term for the mixture that results when you combine two substances. Yes, it’s much more complicated than that, but we don’t need to get into it.

For our purposes, all you need to know is that when oatmeal has been ground and then suspended in liquid, it’s known as colloidal oatmeal.

This method allows the oatmeal to be more easily absorbed into the skin, which helps it to become even more effective at protecting and soothing.

Colloidal oatmeal can be used by itself on your skin (in a bath, for example), or you can purchase products that already contain it.

That brings us to the next question: what are the benefits of colloidal oatmeal for your skin?

What Are The Skin Benefits Of Colloidal Oatmeal?

mom and child getting ready for a colloidal oatmeal treatment

It turns out that colloidal oatmeal is pretty much all it’s cracked up to be! It’s calming and hydrating and the jack-of-all-trades when it comes to skin care —it's an all-natural skin soothing solution for eczema, bug bites, sunburns, poison ivy and other itchy and other inflamed skin conditions.

Soothing Eczema And Sensitive Skin

“Colloidal oatmeal is a natural anti-inflammatory and rarely causes allergy,” says Dr. Rachel Nazarian, a dermatologist in New York City. “Those with incredibly sensitive skin such as eczema and atopic dermatitis can usually find relief and calm their skin by applying colloidal oatmeal lotion or taking baths that contain oatmeal.”

What makes it effective at soothing the skin is the cellulose and fiber from the oats.These create a skin-softening emollient that works again st irritation and redness from conditions such as eczema and rosacea.

Then, when skin is soothed, the itching usually is relieved as well. Ahhh, so nice!

Moisturizing

Colloidal oatmeal is very moisturizing to your thirsty skin! When applied, it works by attracting moisture to the skin and locking it in by forming a protective barrier.

Colloidal oatmeal also strengthens your skin’s natural barrier, which not only protects your skin but also traps hydration in.

Other Benefits

The ingredients in colloidal oatmeal contain avenacins compounds, which have antifungal properties; saponins, which can help in cleansing; and flavonoids, which might help with absorbing ultraviolet-A (UVA) rays.

That’s great news when it comes to preventing sun damage and sunburn!

Colloidal oatmeal also includes vitamin E, which is an anti-inflammatory, along with phenols and starches to help in moisturizing.

woman admiring the benefits colloidal oatmeal has on her skin

All that information is good news, but it doesn’t do you much good to know about colloidal oatmeal without knowing how to use it or where to find it! Don’t worry; that’s what we’re covering next.

How To Use Colloidal Oatmeal For Your Family

Colloidal oatmeal can be used for the whole family — babies, kids, parents, and everyone in-between.

Let’s look at how you can turn the oatmeal in your pantry into a skin-soothing solution. We’ll also tell you about some great products that contain colloidal oatmeal.

Take an Oatmeal Bath

woman taking a colloidal oatmeal bath

An oatmeal bath helps to comfort compromised skin. But what makes oatmeal so healing for irritated skin?

Oats can naturally hold a lot of water, thanks to the abundance of starches and beta glucans found in oatmeal. Oatmeal has a natural anti-inflammatory effect on the skin and can naturally soften the skin as well due to the phenols that are found in the oats.

Making The Oats

An oatmeal bath is a totally easy DIY skincare routine. All you need is oats (the regular kind from the grocery store will work) and something to grind the oats into colloidal oatmeal.

The oats should be finely ground so that they can absorb water. To do so, process the oats in a blender or coffee grinder.

Then test it out to make sure the particles don’t sink to the bottom when you put the ground oats in water. If they sink, process them a bit more. The oatmeal should absorb water quickly and give it a milky look.

The oats don’t sink to the bottom because of the colloid action of the tiny particles, which disperse throughout the water. This helps it to coat your skin and makes colloidal oatmeal effective as a treatment for skin conditions.

Preparing The Bath

To prepare the bath, fill the tub with lukewarm water — not too cool and not too hot. Then add several large scoops or cupfuls of the ground oats to the water. That’s it!

Soak in the mixture for at least 10 minutes, and then get out and gently pat your skin dry without rubbing it.

An oatmeal bath can be taken three times a day to achieve optimum results. If your skin is too sticky, you can rinse off afterward with clean, lukewarm water.

Other Bath Time Tips

baby taking a colloidal oatmeal bath

Don’t negate the soothing effects of a colloidal oatmeal bath by turning around and using chemical-filled products that could irritate your or your child’s skin!

Opt for an EWG VERIFIED™ product like Babo Botanicals’s Sensitive Baby Shampoo & Wash. If your little one loves bubble baths, look no further than our hypoallergenic Moisturizing Baby Bubble Bath & Wash!

Add Colloidal Oatmeal To The Diaper-Changing Routine

As we said, colloidal oatmeal is for the whole family, even down to your littlest one!

Whether you’re doing the normal diaper-change routine or treating diaper rash, opt for a natural, soothing diaper rash ointment free of sulfates, parabens, synthetic fragrances, and the like.

clean baby after a colloidal oatmeal bath

Babo Botanicals’s Soothing Diaper Cream is pediatrician-approved and formulated to create an optimal moisture barrier for your baby's bottom. And, yep, it contains our star ingredient: colloidal oatmilk!

Every baby has delicate skin, but if your little one has extra-sensitive skin, go with our fragrance-free Sensitive Baby Zinc Diaper Cream. It’s cloth-diaper friendly and made with a high content of 25% non-nano zinc oxide. This is a parent must-have!

Treat Eczema

If you or anyone in your family deals with eczema, you’ll want to be especially careful to look for skin care products that contain colloidal oatmeal! They’re perfect for your sensitive, easily irritated skin.

Babo Botanicals’s Sensitive Skin Fragrance Free Daily Hydra Therapy Lotion is an eczema lotion created specifically for adults with very sensitive, dry, or eczema-prone skin.

It contains 2% colloidal oatmeal to help relieve, soothe, and heal your skin. But it doesn’t stop there! We also use natural shea butter and sea buckthorn oil to deeply moisturize.

For even more intense healing and hydration, go with our Sensitive Skin All Natural Healing Ointment. Made with colloidal oatmeal, shea, and cocoa butter, this 100% natural ointment is perfect for chapped hands, lips, and feet.

Babo botanicals sensitive skin healing ointment

It also helps relieve eczema, dry skin, dry spots, itchiness, and redness. You can even use it on bug bites and poison ivy! With all those uses, it’s sure to become a staple in your home!

Soothe Sensitive Skin

We’ve just talked about eczema, but you don’t have to suffer from eczema to benefit from colloidal oatmeal! Since it’s so soothing and non-irritating, anyone with run-of-the-mill sensitive skin will be a big fan.

If you’re part of the sensitive-skin club, you’ll know that even your scalp can react to the wrong shampoo or conditioner.

You can’t be too careful when it comes to choosing the right hair products that will make your skin happy and healthy!

For example, Babo Botanicals’s Moisturizing Conditioner is extra gentle and specially formulated for your sensitive scalp. Organic calendula and colloidal oatmeal nourish, hydrate, and condition your luscious locks, plus organic virgin coconut oil leaves your hair soft, smooth, and extra shiny.

babo botanicals moisturizing conditioner with oatmilk

You can also treat your face to colloidal oatmeal with Miracle Moisturizing Face Cream. This rich cream helps soothe and protect dry, chafed skin and is perfect for adults with sensitive skin.

Care For Your Baby’s Skin

The benefits of colloidal oatmeal aren’t reserved only for adult skin or your baby’s bottom. Cover them from their precious head to their tiny toes with Moisturizing Baby Lotion.

In addition to colloidal oatmeal, it contains a gentle blend of nourishing botanicals to soothe and protect sensitive or dry skin. You can also use this lotion to give your baby a massage.

Studies have shown that baby massage reduces fussiness, helps to relax your baby, and can relieve constipation and colic. Plus, your baby’s skin will benefit from the soothing lotion. Sounds like a no-brainer to us!

For more details on baby massage, check out our full article here.

mom drying up baby after colloidal oatmeal bath

Happy, Healthy Family

It’s easy to see how your whole family can use and enjoy colloidal oatmeal every single day! Whether you’re changing your baby’s diaper, treating eczema, or moisturizing your and your little one’s sensitive skin, colloidal oatmeal is for you.

Follow our instructions to make your own oatmeal bath and enjoy a relaxing, skin-healthy soak. Also, stock up on products like Sensitive Skin Fragrance Free Daily Hydra Therapy Lotion and Soothing Diaper Cream so you never have to go without the skin-soothing goodness of oats.

Your skin will thank you for it!

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