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Ingredient Spotlight: Colloidal Oatmeal

Ingredient Spotlight: Colloidal Oatmeal

This is a guest post by Graydon Moffatt, creator of Graydon Skincare. It originally appeared on the Graydon blog. We're proud to carry this Canadian skin care brand at ShopEco. Click here to view their products.

What it is: antioxidantanti-inflammatoryemollient and skin conditioning

Oats are a type of whole-grain cereal that are a staple food source for many people and animals due to their abundance of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and high fibre content. They're mainly grown in North America and Europe and are known as a superfood thanks to their many health benefits, including helping to lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels. 

What makes colloidal oatmeal such a wonderful skincare ingredient? 

Colloidal oatmeal is an ingredient with a long record of use in dermatology as a therapeutic skin protectant. Oats are actually loaded with beta-glucans, which are polysaccharide compounds that have the phenomenal ability to soothe and calm the skin. They also help the skin to retain moisture. 

Oats also contain an abundance of lipids, including omega-3 and 6 fatty acids and unsaturated triglycerides, that are extremely nourishing for the skin barrier. Since they're so rich in unsaturated fatty acids, they're an incredible source of antioxidants such as ferulic acid, caffeic acid and vitamin E to name a few. This means that they help to combat free radicals, which are known to cause hyperpigmentation of the skin, fine lines and wrinkles.

Have I also mentioned that colloidal oatmeal is also pH-friendly and incredibly gentle on the skin?!

What makes this ingredient truly unique is that it contains avenanthramides. These compounds have an anti-inflammatory effect and work by blocking inflammatory pathways. As a result, they help to calm red, itchy skin.

Who is it good for?

If your skin becomes easily red, irritated or inflamed, you might find colloidal oatmeal beneficial for your skin. If none of the above applies to you, your skin will still benefit from this ingredient's antioxidant properties.

Look for this superstar ingredient in The Putty moisturizer, which doubles as a face mask (apply a thick layer to damp skin and cover with a wet cloth for 10-20 minutes, then rinse). Superfood Serum contains oat oil making it particularly nourishing in addition to all the other benefits that oats offer.


Lisante TA, Nunez C, Zhang P, Mathes BM. A 1% Colloidal Oatmeal Cream Alone is Effective in Reducing Symptoms of Mild to Moderate Atopic Dermatitis: Results from Two Clinical Studies. J Drugs Dermatol. 2017 Jul 1;16(7):671-676. PMID: 28697218.

Pazyar N, Yaghoobi R, Kazerouni A, Feily A. Oatmeal in dermatology: a brief review. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2012 Mar-Apr;78(2):142-5. doi: 10.4103/0378-6323.93629. PMID: 22421643.

Reynertson KA, Garay M, Nebus J, Chon S, Kaur S, Mahmood K, Kizoulis M, Southall MD. Anti-inflammatory activities of colloidal oatmeal (Avena sativa) contribute to the effectiveness of oats in treatment of itch associated with dry, irritated skin. J Drugs Dermatol. 2015 Jan;14(1):43-8. PMID: 25607907.

Sur R, Nigam A, Grote D, Liebel F, Southall MD. Avenanthramides, polyphenols from oats, exhibit anti-inflammatory and anti-itch activity. Arch Dermatol Res. 2008 Nov;300(10):569-74. doi: 10.1007/s00403-008-0858-x. Epub 2008 May 7. PMID: 18461339.

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