Does your skin need a break from inflammation? Try oatmeal for eczema!Posted on January 5, 2022 Written by: 100% PURE®
Some of us grew up calling it “hot cereal,” while some of us aptly called it “porridge”. But perhaps most of all, we know that breakfast from our childhood as oatmeal, and our parents usually gave it to us when we really wanted Lucky Charms.
With its fairly neutral flavor and often-mushy texture, oatmeal might not be a favorite meal from our childhood, but it’s one we come to appreciate as we get older. Why? Because it’s good for you! Oatmeal is one of the most nutritious breakfasts out there, and it’s ideal for giving you the energy you need to take on the day.
But did you know that you can use oatmeal for eczema? In light of National Oatmeal Month, we’re shining the spotlight on one of our favorites in natural skin care.
Known scientifically as Avena sativa, oats are a whole grain food that’s often seen in breakfast cereals, muffins, and granola bars. They make quite the journey to our breakfast tables, starting out as a tough-to-cook grain that’s typically made into rolled, steel-cut, or (the most processed version) instant oats.
Oats may be one of the most nutrient-dense grains on Earth, offering a rich source of carbs, protein, and the soluble fiber known as beta-glucan, which has benefits for reducing cholesterol and blood sugar while boosting immune health.
Oats are also rich in antioxidants, containing high doses of polyphenols and, most notably, a unique group of antioxidants called avenanthramides. These antioxidants may help lower blood pressure levels by raising the production of nitric oxide. With the numerous health benefits that oats have to offer, it might not be a surprise to learn that oats can do wonders for the skin!
For starters, oatmeal is super hydrating. With its high concentration of protein and vitamin E, you can expect oatmeal to leave your skin feeling noticeably more hydrated and soft.
Oatmeal for eczema is also known for its exfoliating benefits, which are the perfect balance of gentle and effective. That’s thanks to their faintly rough texture, which can help to lightly scrub the skin and remove dead skin.
Oats are also rich in saponins, which are a group of plant-based compounds known to help soothe and naturally cleanse the skin while clearing out pores. And as an all-natural soothing solution, oats are remarkably anti-inflammatory. That makes them fantastic for easing sensations of itching, redness, and irritation. And this, in particular, is when oats are helpful for eczema.
Whether you struggle with eczema or even dry skin, there’s no doubt that at some point in your life, someone recommended a product containing oatmeal. And for good reason! Oats might just be one of the best-researched products for eczema.
In one 2015 study, oats were found to offer anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits for skin. More recently, meanwhile, a double-blind study from 2020 showed that colloidal oatmeal had a positive effect on patients with chronic eczema on their hands.
Those with eczema can benefit from oats for a number of reasons. But their emollient properties might be one of the biggest reasons. When something is emollient, this basically means it can work wonders softening and smoothing the skin, creating a soothing effect on any irritation.
On top of that, oats help bind water to the skin, thanks to their water-binding polysaccharides and hydrocolloids. Because of this, oats don’t just moisturize your skin, they can keep your skin feeling moisturized for longer!
The wonders of oats don’t stop at their skin benefits, they’re also incredibly versatile! Oats come in a few different varieties and forms. Ultimately, you can’t go wrong with any of them, as long as the product only contains oats and no other additives.
But if you’re not sure where to start, here are 3 ways to use oatmeal for eczema.
#1: Colloidal Oatmeal
Colloidal oatmeal might be the type of product that’s most associated with oats for skin care. While it might sound like a fancy term, it’s simply oats pulverized into a powder. We go more in-depth on the benefits of colloidal oats for skin here, but let’s talk about colloidal oatmeal for eczema, specifically.
According to one 2012 study, colloidal oats can help soothe itchy, irritated skin while protecting it, and it may even keep pH in balance. With their fine, powdery texture, colloidal oats make a wonderful skin care ingredient. We even use it in some of our own products like our Lavender Oat Milk Soothing Cleanser and our Matcha Oat Milk Nourishing Mask.
#2: Oatmeal Baths
If you ever had chickenpox as a kid, there’s a good chance your mom made you sit in an oatmeal bath. And the idea of herbal baths is nothing new. In fact, they’re part of many forms of traditional folk medicine. They can do wonders for both the skin and the muscles.
You can make your own oatmeal bath at home, too!
#3: Whole Oats
Whole oats might be the simplest way to use oatmeal for eczema, but they’re still highly effective! With a greater surface area with each individual oat, you’re going to get a little bit more of an exfoliation bonus, but with just as many hydrating properties.
To use whole oatmeal for eczema, all you need is a handful of rolled oats and some warm or lukewarm water.
Hold the oats in your closed fist and hold it under a running tap, allowing the water to gradually moisten the oats until you feel them begin to clump together.
Open your hand and allow the oats to fully saturate before squeezing out the excess water. But don’t let the water go to waste! Splash it onto your skin for some extra hydrating benefits.
Massage the oats into your skin for about 60 seconds. Then, rinse off and bask in the soft suppleness of your freshly nourished skin!
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The information in this article is for educational use, and not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should not be used as such.