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Why Colloidal Oatmeal Is a Must-Have Skincare Ingredient

By Kiehl’s Education Team

What Is Colloidal Oatmeal?

Colloidal oatmeal, also known as Avena sativa, is prized in skincare formulations. Colloidal oatmeal is derived from the oat kernel, and is usually ground into a fine, water-soluble powder.

What Does Colloidal Oatmeal Do for Your Skin?

Colloidal oatmeal is rich in skin-friendly nutrients, including amino acids, antioxidants, and fatty acids. These properties make colloidal oatmeal a useful ingredient in topical skincare formulations.


Oatmeal Benefit #1

Colloidal Oatmeal is an Effective Skin Moisturizer

One of the best-known benefits of colloidal oatmeal for skin is its ability to help hydrate and nourish skin because of its humectant properties. Studies show that skincare products containing oatmeal can help with hydrating skin, reducing skin dryness and associated symptoms (such as itching, flaking, and tightness). This is especially true of colloidal oatmeal, which, when applied topically, forms an occlusive barrier on the skin, helping to prevent excessive water loss. Colloidal oatmeal is also found in our National Eczema Foundation-endorsed Ultra Facial Advanced Repair Barrier Cream and is known to relieve redness, dryness, and discomfort and hydrate skin up to 10 layers deep.

Oatmeal Benefit #2

Colloidal Oatmeal Can Help Soothe Skin

Because of its hydrating properties, colloidal oatmeal helps to support the skin’s natural moisture barrier and maintain hydration. The husks and the meal of colloidal oatmeal provide exfoliating properties that help with smoothing skin and removing dead surface skin cells. If you’re looking to soothe and support your skin’s barrier, look for formulas with colloidal oatmeal.


At Kiehl's, our top choices for formulas that include oatmeal are our “Ultimate Man” Body Scrub Soap and Ultra Facial Advanced Repair Barrier Cream.

"Ultimate Man" Body Scrub Soap

Oat bran and oat kernel meal both star in our "Ultimate Man" Body Scrub Soap, which also contains hydrating Glycerin. The exfoliating bar soap thoroughly cleanses the skin while helping to slough away dead skin cells, leaving the skin feeling energized and smooth. When used regularly, it also helps alleviate roughness on tough areas like the knees, elbows, and heels.

Ultra Facial Advanced Repair Barrier Cream

Our Ultra Facial Advanced Repair Barrier Cream is an intensive barrier cream with colloidal oatmeal that provides instant repair and relief for dry and sensitive skin up to 10 surface skin layers deep. Formulated with colloidal oatmeal and Beta-Glucan, this potent formula is equipped with our unique Advanced Barrier Technology that mimics skin’s lipid structure to help support the moisture barrier and visibly reduce redness caused by dryness. Clinically tested, our barrier cream with colloidal oatmeal helps to transform dry, to very dry skin that can be caused by various types of external and internal aggressors.


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