Know Your Ingredients: Stearyl Alcohol

stearyl alcohol

What it is
Stearyl Alcohol is a fatty alcohol derived from stearic acid, vegetable fatty acids, or coconut oil.

What it does
Stearyl Alcohol is an emulsifier. It prevents the separation of the oil and liquid parts of a formulation.
It is also an emollient that can make skin and hair soft and smooth.

Side effects
Stearyl Alcohol is usually considered to be safe.


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.