Colloidal Oatmeal: What Is It And Top Benefits
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?
Firstly, let’s dive into what exactly colloidal oatmeal is and how it differs from regular oatmeal, like the kind you might eat for breakfast.
While both kinds of oatmeal are healthy, natural, and very good for you, they work in different ways and have different uses.
Without revisiting your high school science 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.
Processed differently than regular breakfast 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 contains a complex mix of valuable properties including lipids, flavonoids, minerals, and vitamins. These properties work together to create a gentle yet effective ingredient.
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?
It turns out that colloidal oatmeal is one of those miracle ingredients that really lives up to the hype! It’s calming, hydrating, and the jack-of-all-trades when it comes to skincare.
It’s an all-natural skin-soothing solution for eczema, bug bites, sunburn, poison ivy, and other common skin conditions.
Colloidal oatmeal can work wonders for soothing eczema and sensitive skin. It works by creating a protective barrier that stops allergens from entering and allows your skin to be healed.
“Colloidal oatmeal is a natural anti-inflammatory,” 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 against irritation and redness from conditions such as eczema and rosacea.
Then, when skin is soothed, the itching usually is relieved as well. And all without the use of any harsh chemicals!
Colloidal oatmeal is very moisturizing for 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 locks in hydration.
Regular use of colloidal oatmeal helps to prevent transepidermal water loss (TEWL) by creating a film on the outermost layer of skin.
So whether you have eczema, sensitive skin, or even normal to dry skin, adding colloidal oatmeal into your skincare routine can make a big difference in the way your skin feels.
Relieves Sun Damage
Colloidal oatmeal contains flavonoids and phenols, which can aid in sun protection by absorbing UV rays. While this is pretty impressive, don’t race out to replace your sunscreen with colloidal oatmeal alone (it doesn’t have active SPF!).
While we’re on the topic of the sun, colloidal oatmeal has also been shown to aid in soothing sun damage and sunburn, making it a great addition to your after-sun skincare routine.
Contains Antifungal And Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Colloidal oatmeal contains avenacins compounds, which have antifungal properties. It’s also known to be anti-inflammatory and packed with antioxidants.
These aspects of this multi-use ingredient mean it can fight bacteria on your skin and reduce the redness and irritation associated with a variety of skin ailments.
Treats And Prevents Acne
Thanks to the antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties we mentioned above, colloidal oatmeal may aid in treating and preventing acne.
This is because it contains saponins that help fight against nasty pollutants found in the environment.
Colloidal oatmeal works well as a cleanser and exfoliator (more on that later!) and can soak up excess oil that typically clogs pores.
Combined with its ability to reduce inflammation and kill bacteria, colloidal oatmeal may be the natural acne-fighting ingredient you’ve been looking for!
Side Effects Of Colloidal Oatmeal
After reading about all the wonderful benefits of colloidal oatmeal, you might be asking yourself why you shouldn’t use it — it seems too good to be true!
Fortunately, colloidal oatmeal rarely causes allergic reactions on the skin and is safe for regular use. This is what makes it so great for those with sensitive or eczema-prone skin — it’s usually non-irritating.
However, colloidal oatmeal may not suit everybody, and skin irritation can occur in some cases. If you know you’re allergic to oats, bran, or related products, it’s best to steer clear of using a topical version of colloidal oatmeal.
If you notice red, blotchy, or itchy skin in yourself or your family member after using products containing colloidal oatmeal, be sure to stop use immediately and give your skin a chance to calm itself.
It’s important to note that while you may think the colloidal oatmeal in your new product is the culprit of your skin woes, it may actually be a preservative or another irritating ingredient causing your issues.
For this reason, it’s always best to stick to products that contain natural ingredients — no nasty chemicals for us, thanks!
Colloidal oatmeal isn’t known to have bad reactions with other ingredients, either, which means you can use it in conjunction with just about any other skincare products currently in your routine.
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 — from babies to adults 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
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, thanks 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
This process might remind you of having chickenpox as a kid and your parents running you an oatmeal bath. They were really onto something since colloidal oatmeal is so effective at soothing itchy skin!
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
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 Sensitive Baby Shampoo & Wash. If your little one loves bubble baths, look no further than our Moisturizing Baby Bubble Bath & Wash!
For the adults in your family, lather up with Sensitive Skin Fragrance Free Hydra Therapy Face & Body Wash. This gentle soap is also EWG VERIFIED™ and made with natural, plant-based ingredients.
We recommend following up with a daily moisturizing cream, like our Sensitive Baby Fragrance Free Miracle Cream. This rich, intensive cream is perfect for hydrating the skin of every family member, from little ones to adults!
Add Colloidal Oatmeal To The Diaper-Changing Routine
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.
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 a great option for cloth-diaper and made with a high content of 25% zinc oxide.
This is a must-have for every parent of a little one!
Eczema is a common yet frustrating skin condition characterized by red, itchy patches of skin.
In little ones, it can show up on their head, face, and hands. In older children and adults, you’ll usually find eczema in the creases of elbows and knees.
While there’s no cure for eczema, there are plenty of things you can do to alleviate symptoms, and using colloidal oatmeal is one of them!
With its natural healing and soothing properties, colloidal oatmeal is a great ingredient to add into the skincare routine of those experiencing eczema.
As we know, colloidal oatmeal doesn’t cause irritation and can be used in a variety of ways.
For intense healing and hydration for eczema relief, we recommend 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.
Not only does this versatile product help relieve the redness, itchiness, and irritation of dry, eczema-prone skin, but you can also 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.
Our 3-in-1 Sensitive Baby Face, Hands & Body Wipes are the perfect addition to any sensitive skincare routine. From cleaning up little ones to taking off your makeup, these wipes are gentle enough for the whole family thanks to colloidal oatmeal!
Also, we mentioned using our Sensitive Baby Fragrance Free Miracle Cream after bath time, but it’s also great for helping soothe and comfort dry, sensitive, or eczema-prone skin any time!
Finally, 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 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.
Exfoliate Your Skin
We’ve talked a lot about how amazing colloidal oatmeal can be when it comes to soothing your skin, but did you know it’s also effective at exfoliating to remove dead skin cells?
Colloidal oatmeal in its purest form has a slightly rough texture, which makes it perfect for using as a body scrub or facial exfoliant!
Simply mix a scoop of colloidal oatmeal with some warm water to make a paste. You can also add a coarse sugar such as brown or raw sugar for extra exfoliating power, along with coconut oil or honey for extra moisture.
Then apply the paste directly to moistened skin (like during your shower or bath routine) and gently exfoliate excess skin cells and rough patches away.
You can also do the same for your face and use the paste as a face mask!
Remember: if you have particularly sensitive or eczema-prone skin, it’s important to be very gentle when trying new exfoliating products. We recommend trying a small patch test first to make sure it doesn’t irritate your eczema.
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 our Sensitive Baby Hydra Lotion.
In addition to colloidal oatmeal, it contains a gentle blend of nourishing botanicals to soothe and protect sensitive or dry skin. It’s packed with natural ingredients including calendula, chamomile, shea butter, and jojoba oil for optimum moisture.
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!
How Often To Use Colloidal Oatmeal
How often to use colloidal oatmeal depends on exactly how you’re using it.
For example, an oatmeal bath can be taken up to three times per day, whereas shampoos and body washes containing colloidal oatmeal may only need to be used once per day at the most.
With that being said, because colloidal oatmeal is a very safe ingredient, you don’t need to worry too much about overdoing it.
If you notice your skin becoming dry or itchy with frequent use, scale it back to once per day to give your skin time to adjust.
By ensuring your products containing colloidal oatmeal are natural and free from chemicals, you can rest assured that you’re not doing your or your family’s skin any harm!
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 has so many incredible uses.
Follow our simple instructions to make your own oatmeal bath and enjoy a relaxing, skin-healthy soak. Be sure to stock up on products like our Sensitive Skin All Natural Healing Ointment and Soothing Diaper Cream so you never have to go without the skin-soothing goodness of oats.
With colloidal oatmeal added to your skincare routine, you can help to prevent and repair the symptoms of sensitive, eczema-prone skin like dryness, itchiness, and redness with ease.
Give colloidal oatmeal a try today — your skin will thank you for it!