Did you know that oats are not only a powerful superfood benefiting your body systems, but can be also effectively used in skincare to improve skin integrity and health?
And while oats are a main source of protein, fiber, and micronutrients, which may positively affect heart health, cholesterol profile, blood sugar control, digestive health, and weight management, colloidal oatmeal (whole oat kernels ground into a fine powder, then combined with emollients) may significantly improve the symptoms of various skin conditions: from relieving inflammation and irritation, to strengthening the skin barrier and supporting skin regeneration.
Furthermore, the topical use of colloidal oatmeal for dermatology purposes may enable reduced use of corticosteroids and calcineurin inhibitors, which are regularly used in the treatment of skin allergies, and inflammation. 
This article will guide you through the 5 important skin benefits of colloidal oatmeal and will explain to what extent this cosmetic ingredient is safe for your skin type.
Let’s get started!
Skin benefits of colloidal oatmeal
According to DermNet NZ, colloidal oatmeal can be used in the management of various skin conditions, including  :
- Atopic dermatitis
- Contact dermatitis
- Dry skin
- Reactions to insect bites
- Reactions to plants such as poison ivy
- Sun damage
- Relieve inflammation
According to a 2015 study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, the extracts of colloidal oatmeal (used in skin lotions) may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, reducing skin damage, itch, and recovering skin integrity. 
Protect the skin
Evidence suggests that the application of colloidal oatmeal skin protectant lotion may significantly strengthen the skin barrier, boost recovery of the epidermis (top skin layer), improve skin hydration, and minimize dryness.  Keep in mind that a strong skin barrier is directly related to reduced transepidermal water loss (TEWL) or the mechanism which makes the skin hold and lose moisture and hydration. 
A 2020 study published in the Journal of Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology suggests that 1% colloidal oatmeal cream may benefit patients with chronic irritant hand eczema by soothing, reducing inflammation, and improving skin protection. 
Besides, shampoos, soaps, shaving gels, and moisturizing lotions with oatmeal may improve the symptoms of atopic dermatitis, irritation, hypersensitivity, and other eczema-associated skin diseases. 
Topical application of cosmetics with colloidal oatmeal may improve the photoprotection of the skin, reduce photoaging signs (fine lines, wrinkles, and pigmentation), and improve skin elasticity.  Therefore, this natural ingredient may play a role in maintaining skin youth and preventing premature skin aging.
As colloidal oatmeal is finely ground oat powder, it can be used for mild, gentle exfoliation when integrated into your skin cleansing routine. When in contact with water, the powder can lather and gently cleanse the skin without causing micro-ruptures in the epidermis (unlike other harsh ingredients like sugar, ground nutshells, and fruit pits).
Is it safe to use colloidal oatmeal on sensitive skin?
Generally, topical colloidal oatmeal is considered safe for all skin types (including sensitive skin), as irritations and allergic reactions are uncommon. 
That being said, a 2007 study published in the Allergy Journal suggests that children with atopic dermatitis should avoid topical use of colloidal oatmeal, as these patients may have an increased risk of sensitivity. 
Furthermore, considering that oats are natural food products, they contain proteins that may have allergenic activity in some individuals.  However, the risk of allergenicity with colloidal oatmeal is very low.
Consult your dermatologist to get tailored advice and recommendation before using personal care products with oatmeal.
How to use colloidal oatmeal?
Colloidal oatmeal can be used in 2 main ways   :
Cosmetics with colloidal oatmeal extract: lotions, soaps, creams, cleansers, masks.
Mix oatmeal powder with water and use it for bathing/soaking.