Oatmeal Extract

Oatmeal Extract as a valuable ingredient for skin care

Found in my breakfast cereal bowl in the steel cut variety, and one of the ingredients that can be used to make porridge in the UK, oats have been used for centuries as a food source, and for their soothing qualities on the skin. Clinical studies have shown that oats soothe itchy, red and irritated skin.

The two species of oats that can be used for skin preparations in the US are Avena sativa or Avena byzantine. When either of these are used and contain a certain percentage of undamaged oats it is referred to as “colloidal oatmeal.”

Just like our bodies, plants are made up of different components. Plants have lipids, carbohydrates, and enzymes like humans. But they also have a different compound not found in humans called, Phenolic Compounds (PCs). PCs) are found in most plant tissues, including fruits and vegetables. PCs possess numerous bioactive properties and, although they are not nutrients, dietary intake of these may be beneficial [2].

One group of phenolic compounds is called “Avenanthramides.” These are molecules that are thought to offer skin soothing properties [1].

Uses of Oat Extract

Oat extract has cosmetic and medical purposes. The cosmetic purposes are many: oats can be used as face or body scrub (abrasive), they can be used to prevent degradation of natural ingredients (proteins, sugars, lipids) found in a cosmetic product [3], and they can act to draw water into the top layers of skin (skin conditioning agents) [1].

When it comes to medical uses, if the colloidal oatmeal is used at the designated appropriate percentage, has the appropriate “Drug Facts” label, and is manufactured at the appropriate facility, then a product may make an OTC (Over the Counter) claim that the product soothes itchy skin due to dryness, chicken pox, poison ivy/oak/sumac, and insect bites.

Happy Cappy and Avena Sativa Kernel Extract

We love this ubiquitous ingredient sourced from plants and admire its long history of soothing skin. We utilize Oatmeal Extract for its ability to draw moisture into the topmost layers of skin as a humectant. Oatmeal extract is just one more effective ingredient chosen to produce a safe baby shampoo for eczema.


  1. “Safety Assessment of Avena sativa (Oat)-Derived Ingredients as Used in Cosmetics.” Cosmetic Ingredient Review. Final Report. Release Date: January 15, 2015
  2. de la Rosa, et al. “Phenolic Compounds.” Postharvest Physiology and Biochemistry of Fruits and Vegetables. Published 2019. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/food-science/phenolic-compound . Accessed 18 April 2020
  3. “Antioxidants.” Making Cosmetics. https://www.makingcosmetics.com/Antioxidants_c_10.html . Accessed 18 April 2020.
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Dr. Eddie Valenzuela is an award winning pediatrician and the founder and CEO of Pediatric Solutions, LLC.

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