Oat Extract Skin Benefits
Dec 25, 2020

What is Avena Sativa (Oat) Extract?

Avena Sativa (Oat) kernel flour is the flour produced from the seeds of the Avena Sativa plant and otherwise known as the oat plant.

Wild oats were used for skin care purposed by the Egyptians and the Arabs since at least 2000 BC. More recently oatmeal baths have often been used to treat skin inflammatory conditions.

Oat bran is a good source of B complex vitamins, vitamin E, protein, fat, and minerals. Additionally, it is rich in beta-glucan which is heart-healthy soluble fiber in particular.

Today’s the formulations of colloidal oatmeal are offered in various forms such as bath treatments, cleansing bars, body washes, shampoos, lotions, creams, and shaving gels1.

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How is Avena Sativa (Oat) Extract good for my skin?

Avena Sativa (Oat) meal

Oatmeal possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and its administration is effective on a variety of dermatologic inflammatory diseases such as pruritus, atopic dermatitis, acneiform eruptions, and viral infections2. Additionally, oatmeal plays a role in cosmetics preparations and skin protection against ultraviolet rays.

Oatmeal possesses different types of phenols which exert the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. Avenanthramides are phenolic compounds present in oats at approximately 300 parts per million (ppm) and exhibit antioxidant activity in various cell types. They are responsible for the potent anti-inflammatory effect of oatmeal that appears to mediate the anti-irritant effects of oats1.

Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract is generally applied topically to the skin as a colloidal extract. It offers the following benefits to our skin2.

Anti-itch activity

Oatmeal has been used for centuries to decrease itching in a variety of xerotic dermatoses3. It has been illustrated that avenanthramides reduce oxazolone-induced contact hypersensitivity, resiniferatoxin-induced neurogenic inflammation, and compound 48/80-induced, histamine-mediated itch. Another in vitro study has shown that avenanthramides caused a considerable reduction in histamine release from mast cells stimulated by substance4. Another study evaluated the efficacy of liquid paraffin with 5% colloidal oatmeal in comparison with other contained liquid paraffin in the management of patients with burn injuries. They reported that product contains liquid paraffin with 5% colloidal oatmeal significantly decreased itching and patients requested significantly less antihistamine5.

Atopic dermatitis

Colloidal grain suspensions of oatmeal are considered as adjuncts in atopic dermatitis therapy, especially in the United States. On the other hand, many young children have been treated with colloidal grains in Italy6. Studies have demonstrated that topical formulation of natural colloidal oatmeal, particularly avenanthramide, alleviates symptoms by restoring the cutaneous barrier. Additionally, it may play a crucial role in decreasing the use of corticosteroids and calcineurin inhibitors in atopic dermatitis7, 4 ,8.

In a double-blinded, randomized patch study, Pigatto and colleagues showed that topical colloidal grains could be used as an adjunct in the management of mild atopic dermatitis in children under 2 years of age. Furthermore, no sensitivity to topical colloidal grains reported in the patients7. In contrary, another study demonstrated that oat sensitization for allergy testing is higher than expected in atopic dermatitis children. It is possibly due to repeated applications of cosmetics with oats on an impaired epidermal barrier9.


Psoriasis is a chronic, recurring inflammatory disease that affects 1%-3% of the population worldwide. Psoriasis is considered a psychosocial and medically debilitating disorder10. It is hypothesized that colloidal oatmeal can be effective in the treatment of psoriasis due to its anti-inflammatory properties11.

Acneiform eruptions

It has been illustrated that treatment with colloidal oatmeal lotion is effective in controlling the acneiform eruptions associated with epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFR) inhibitor drugs such as cetuximab, erlotinib, panitumumab, sorafenib, and multiple tyrosine-kinase inhibitors. As such, it increases patients’ compliance with antineoplastic therapy12.


It has been found that avenanthramides show antigenotoxic activities that are comparable to those of ascorbic acid, which have the potential to exert beneficial physiological effects13.

Antiviral activity

The dramatic antiviral properties of an oatmeal extract are likely due to inhibitory effects on eicosanoid formation, expression of cytosolic phospholipase A2 (PLA2), and arachidonic acid mobilization in human keratinocytes14. In an open trial study conducted by, Safa et al, patients with molluscum contagiosum were treated successfully with a zinc oxide cream containing colloidal oatmeal15.

Antifungal activity

Oat seed extracts show a high degree of antifungal activity and can be applied directly on rye bread to prevent the formation of P. roqueforti colonies16.

Skin protection

Ultraviolet A (UVA) in the range of 320-370 nm is absorbed by flavonoids in oats. The use of colloidal oatmeal as a skin protectant is regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) according to the Over-The-Counter Final Monograph for Skin Protectant Drug Products issued in June 20031.

Skin Moisturizing

Today, colloidal oatmeal is available in the form of moisturizing creams. The high concentration of starches and beta-glucans in oat are responsible for its protective and water-holding functions. The hydration of the skin is one of the most important agents involved in preserving the integrity of the stratum corneum barrier. Oatmeal is a good option for moisturizing of dry or sensitive skin1.


Avenacins are another class of phenolic esters in oats which structurally belong to saponins. A large lipophilic region and a short chain of sugar residues, which interact with non-lipid components are characteristic of avenacins. Saponins have a soap-like action for this structure. Accordingly; saponins are mostly responsible for the cleansing activity of oat. A variety of functional properties make colloidal oatmeal as a cleanser, buffer, as well as a soothing agent. Additionally, colloidal oatmeal can be used in shampoos and shaving gels1, 15.

Some recent studies have shown that treatment with oatmeal colloidal formulations offers new and innovative treatments for dermatitis and other inflammatory skin conditions17. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds found in oats were found beneficial in the treatment of xerosis and dermatitis18.

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8 Skin-Loving Benefits of Colloidal Oatmeal

There are multiple skin-loving benefits of oatmeal for your skin, and an even greater amount of proven anti-aging and reparative tokens of using products with colloidal oatmeal. In fact, it’s such a trust-worthy ingredient that it’s recognized by the FDA as a skin protectant, and is used for over-the-counter preparations to treat these conditions. You can check out the best oatmeal benefits for skin below, and learn how to use it in your daily beauty routine!

#1: Dry skin quencher

Rich in proteins and lipids, oatmeal has potent emollient properties, making it a great moisturizer. It also contains anti-inflammatory vitamin E, along with phenols and starches to aid in moisturization.

#2: Itchy skin reliever

Oatmeal contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that helps treat itching associated with dry, irritated skin. Remember those oatmeal baths you had to take when you got chicken pox as a kid? All for good reason!

#3: Gentle exfoliator

Oats act as a natural cleanser and exfoliator by removing dead skin cells to reveal smoother, brighter complexions. For added spa-like glow all over the skin, check out our fav DIY body scrubs. It only takes 3 ingredients to create an indulgent treat at home!

#4: Moisture locker

Known for its moisturizing qualities, oatmeal keeps skin hydrated by forming a protective barrier that holds water against the skin. Why not seal in the goodness with our Vitamin C Mask to leave your skin hydrated and glowing?

#5: Skin protectant

Oatmeal contains flavonoids, which help to absorb damaging ultraviolet-A (UVA) rays. Flavonoids can even protect your skin from harsh pollutants and chemicals.

#6: Deeply cleansing

We all love a good cleanse, and oats – owing to their saponin content – work as a terrific natural skin cleanser. Throw the new Pore Detox Cleanser into your routine to thoroughly wash away impurities, and re-mineralize the skin without stripping or dehydrating.

#7: Suits all skin types

Due to its skin-friendly properties, oatmeal is suited for all skin types. This includes even the most sensitive skin types who suffer from symptoms like acne, eczema, and psoriasis.

#8: Improves the complexion

Oatmeal’s antioxidant properties are owed to the presence of different types of protective phenols in oat’s natural composition. These skin-beneficial UV-fighters include ferulic and caffeic acids.

Those benefits are just the tip of the ol’ oat husk! If you’re wanting to find out more that this magic grain can do for your skin, check out the additional benefits of colloidal oatmeal and why you’ll want this beneficial ingredient in your skin care.


Oatmeal is a natural product which has an excellent safety record and a long history in the treatment of dermatologic disorders. Oatmeal possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Colloidal oatmeal produced by finely grinding the oat and boiling it to extract the colloidal material and became available in 1945. It is noteworthy that many clinical properties of colloidal oatmeal result from its chemical polymorphism. Oatmeal possesses different types of phenols which exert the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. Avenanthramides are phenolic compounds present in oats and they are responsible for the potent anti-inflammatory effect of oatmeal that appears to mediate the anti-irritant effects of oats.


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