Spotlight On Colloidal Oatmeal


After a lifetime of eating just a few biscuits at breakfast, which left me starving by midmorning, oatmeal has finally found its way into my routine. It’s delicious, healthy, and gives me lots of energy. But oatmeal isn’t just a great choice for a healthy and tasty breakfast. It is also very good for your skin.

What is colloidal oatmeal?

When oatmeal is used in lotions or facial masks, it is usually called Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Meal. When it is used as a skin protectant, such as in bath products to treat skin conditions like eczema, it is called Colloidal oatmeal. Colloidal oatmeal is a very fine powder derived from the grinding and processing of whole oat grains. It contains “polysaccharides (60%-64%), proteins (10%-18%), lipids (3%-9%), saponins, enzymes (such as the potent antioxidant superoxide dismutase), prostaglandin-synthesis inhibitors, flavonoids, and vitamins” (Source).

Colloidal oatmeal has soothing properties

Colloidal oatmeal has anti-inflammatory, soothing, moisturizing, and barrier-repair properties that can alleviate the symptoms of a several skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, and atopic dermatitis. According to a 2012 study, “the daily use of moisturizers and/or cleansers containing colloidal oatmeal significantly improved many clinical outcomes of atopic dermatitis” and was “well tolerated in babies, children, and adults with AD.” In addition, colloidal oatmeal can also be used to soothe sunburn, rashes (including diaper rashes), hives, insect bites, and other pruritic conditions.

Products with Colloidal Oatmeal

Colloidal oatmeal can be found in several Aveeno produts such as Soothing Bath Treatment ($6.90). A staple of the brand, it is 100% colloidal oatmeal and suitable for short baths to soothe irritated skin. If you suffer from eczema, you can try Kate Sommerville Eczema Therapy Cream ($48.00), or, if you prefer a cheaper option, Eucerin Eczema Relief Body Creme ($11.68). For those who suffer from rosacea or whose skin is easily irritated, a good option is Paula’s Choice Clinical Instant Calm Advanced Redness Relief Treatment, a toner-like products chockfull of soothing ingredients.

The Bottom Line

Colloidal oatmeal is a wonderful soothing agent that can relieve the symptoms of a several skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and rashes. If your suffer from them, or if your skin is easily irritated, then you should consider incorporating it into your skincare routine. Your skin will thank you!

Do you use colloidal oatmeal?

Know Your Ingredients: Behentrimonium Methosulfate

behentrimomium methosulfate

What it is
Behentrimonium methosulfate is derived from rapeseed oil.

What it does
Behentrimonium methosulfate is a conditioning agent. It deposits onto the hair follicle and smooths out the cuticles, making hair soft and easy to detangle. When used in lotions, it also makes skin soft to the touch.
In addition, it is an emulsifier.

Side effects
Behentrimonium methosulfate is generally considered to be safe, even for babies.


Spotlight On Titanium Dioxide

spotlight titanium dioxide

You know that white cast you often get after applying sunscreen? Or that ghostly hue your face has in certain photos taken with the “wrong” foundation? That’s Titanium Dioxide at work. Titanium Dioxide is a naturally occurring mineral widely used for its pure white colour (it’s also used to make, among many other things, paper and paint so white).

Titanium Dioxide as a colourant

While most people may not appreciate the white cast Titanium Dioxide leaves on the skin, they still find white products appealing. Think about soaps or creams. Aren’t you more attracted to them when they’re pure white rather than some pale yellow or green hue, for example? In colour cosmetics like foundations, Titanium Dioxide is often added to create paler shades. By adjusting its amount, you can create quite a wide range that will suit most skintones. But that’s not all. Titanium Dioxide also gives products their opacity, reducing the transparency of the formula.

Titanium Dioxide as a sunscreen agent

But there’s another, more important, reason why Titanium Dioxide is so popular. Its ability to reflect light away from the skin makes it a wonderful sunscreen agent. Basically, Titanium Dioxide creates a shield on the skin. When UV rays hit it, they are reflected away. And it is gentle enough for sensitive skin too. Just don’t rely only on it for sun protection. While Titanium Dioxide can protect skin against all UVB rays, it can only block short, not long, UVA rays too.

The micronized controversy

Because of how much sunscreen you need for each application, Titanium Dioxide can leave a white cast on the skin, which makes it unpopular among consumers. To avoid this, Titanium Dioxide is often micronized. That way, its particles are so small that they will be able to protect skin without making your face look white. There is some concern that such small particles can penetrate skin and cause cancer, but a 2008 study has found that’s not the case. The results showed that “TiO2nanoparticles in vivo do not penetrate through the intact epidermal barrier.” So, just as long as you don’t apply on any open wounds, albeit minuscule, you should be fine.

The Bottom Line

Titanium Dioxide is a white mineral that gives cosmetics their white hue and opacity. It is also an effective sunscreen agent that protects you against all UVB and some UVA rays without causing irritations, which makes it suitable for those with sensitive skin too.