Oatmeal with spoon

Colloidal Oatmeal: Bringing Calm to Your Skin

If you had chickenpox as a child, you might remember taking an oatmeal bath. Oatmeal is an effective way to soothe irritated and itchy skin. But colloidal oatmeal has even more applications due to its ability to calm irritated skin.

If you’ve been wondering what colloidal oatmeal is and how it can help you, keep reading. We’ll discuss the benefits, possible side effects, and how to choose a colloidal oatmeal product that works for you.

Related: Home Remedies for Dry Skin: Lifestyle Changes for Prevention

What is Colloidal Oatmeal?

Colloidal oatmeal is similar to the oatmeal you eat for breakfast. However, it’s in a different form, making it more effective as a skin care product. The oatmeal is ground down to a fine powder, then combined with a liquid to form a white paste or liquid. In many cases, it looks similar to oat milk.

In theory, you can make colloidal oatmeal at home. However, this may not be as good as commercially available options. Manufactured colloidal oatmeal has the coarse whole-oat flour removed before it is milled. In addition, it’s ground to a size specified by the United States Pharmacopeia. This results in a smooth, calming salve that does not have any clumping.

The Benefits of Colloidal Oatmeal for Your Skin

Colloidal oatmeal has several benefits for your skin. When applied, it forms a protective film on your skin’s surface that calms, moisturizes, and protects your skin.

A Protective Barrier

Your skin’s outer layer serves as a barrier that seals in moisture while keeping irritants and potential pathogens out. These irritants and exposure to the environment can dry out your skin and cause it to become irritated. 

If you have dry or sensitive skin or a condition like eczema, your skin’s natural protective barrier may not be able to do its job. Washing with a harsh cleanser or exposure to dry weather can weaken skin’s natural barrier.

Luckily, colloidal oatmeal can repair and strengthen this protective barrier. This will help your skin heal and remain healthy.

Calms Irritation

Colloidal oatmeal contains contains polysaccharides, proteins, and lipids that have emollient properties. If you have eczema, psoriasis, acne, itchy skin or even a sunburn, colloidal oatmeal can help calm your skin’s irritation.

Reduces Transdermal Water Loss

The barrier formed by colloidal oatmeal prevents water loss, which helps your skin stay hydrated. Colloidal oatmeal contains high levels of starches, which help bind water to the skin. 

Studies have shown that using colloidal oatmeal reduces the amount of water lost by skin, and improves skin’s overall level of hydration.

Cleanses Skin

Colloidal oatmeal contains saponins and avenacins. This combination can help keep your skin clean and clear. 

Saponins have cleansing properties. These play a big part in removing material that would damage your skin. Meanwhile, avenacins impart anti-fungal properties. Keeping your skin free of fungus is crucial for rather obvious reasons. 


Person touching their leg

Absorbs UV


UV radiation has a significant impact on skin health. Excess exposure to UV radiation damages skin cells, ages skin, and may even lead to health problems. Because of this, minimizing UV exposure is essential. 

Colloidal oatmeal contains phenols. These can help absorb UV radiation and prevent it from reaching your skin cells. Ultimately, this helps to protect your delicate skin from sun damage.


A lot of skin treatments have the potential to irritate the skin. Something that works for one person may produce an adverse reaction for another person. Luckily, in most cases, colloidal oatmeal is non-irritating. This means people with any skin type can use it without fear of irritation.

Colloidal oatmeal tends to work well with other skincare ingredients. You can even use it with other ingredients that tend to be more irritating to your skin. For example, pair it with alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids or retinoids to minimize irritation.

Related: How to Fix Dry Skin From Harsh Acne Treatments

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

The phenols in colloidal oatmeal produce another benefit: they give colloidal oatmeal its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties as well. 

These anti-inflammatory properties make colloidal oatmeal ideal for treating contact dermatitis, chickenpox, and insect bites naturally.

Available Over the Counter

With skincare products, it is often helpful to try products out before deciding whether that product is right for you. However, some skincare products require a prescription, making it annoying, or difficult even, to try them, not to mention use them for an extended period of time.

However, colloidal oatmeal products are available over the counter. This makes it easy for anyone to give colloidal oatmeal a shot without worrying about any hassle. It is a widely accessible and natural yet incredibly effective treatment. 

Need extra gentle eczema relief for you or your little one? Check out our BÉBÉ SKIN: Extra-Gentle pH Balancing Treatment!

Who Should Use Colloidal Oatmeal

Because of its benefits and gentleness, anyone looking to hydrate and moisturize their skin should consider colloidal oatmeal. However, it can be even more beneficial if you have dry skin or a skin condition such as eczema.

Colloidal oatmeal works perfectly for these skin types due to its ability to hydrate and calm irritation. Plus, it is unlikely to cause an adverse reaction in even the most sensitive of skin.

Side Effects  

Most people do not experience side effects from colloidal oatmeal, though side effects can sometimes occur. Burning, stinging, redness, and irritation are the most common side effects. You may also experience blotchy, itchy, and irritated skin if you have an oat allergy.

As with all skincare products, check the ingredients if you have sensitivities and patch test before using new ingredients on a larger scale.

Skincare Products with Colloidal Oatmeal

As previously mentioned, you can make your own colloidal oatmeal. However, this has a few downsides, and you are much better off using a commercially formulated and tested product. We recommend products such as Soteri Skin’s NO MORE ROUGH PATCHES.

We recommend using this product twice daily, so you can experience the benefits throughout the day. It restores your skin’s pH levels for 12 hours and can help fight irritation. With the addition of niacinamide, you can brighten your skin while reducing scarring and dark spots.

NO MORE ROUGH PATCHES benefits those with eczema, though it can be beneficial for anyone. It reduces flare-ups and, over time, can reduce sensitivity.

Related: Your Sensitive Skin New BFF: PH/Lock™


Person applying lotion to their hands

To Summarize Colloidal Oatmeal


Colloidal oatmeal is an effective skin protectant as it protects and soothes the skin while preventing water loss. You should use a commercially available product such as NO MORE ROUGH PATCHES twice a day in the morning and evening. 

Bring Calm to Your Skin with Colloidal Oatmeal

With its gentleness and ability to protect and soothe skin, colloidal oatmeal is the perfect addition to any skincare routine. You can restore your skin and moisture barrier while thoroughly hydrating your skin.

Looking for a daily cream to soothe rough, dry skin? Try Soteri Skin’s NO MORE ROUGH PATCHES today!