Who knew oatmeal could do so many things?!
Why Use Oatmeal?
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Chances are you took an oatmeal bath as a kid to soothe itchy skin (hello, chickenpox), but you may not realize all the perks it can have in your adult skin-care routine—especially come winter. "Oatmeal has anti-inflammatory properties that help relieve irritation and itch from the skin," says Kristina Goldenberg, M.D., a New York City-based dermatologist. "Oats can also function as an effective, natural moisturizer for those with dry skin." Plus oatmeal can help absorb excess oil, making it a great ingredient both for acne and for minimizing an oily scalp.
Basically, it's the winter superhero ingredient that you need to start using, stat. Ahead, 12 oatmeal beauty products you'll love.
Photo: cksisson / Shutterstock
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Instant Oatmeal Mask
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This plant-based mask is a must-have for preventing (and concealing) signs of aging. Its high levels of shea butter leave your skin super supple and hydrated, and its blend of colloidal oatmeal and avena sativa oat bran smooths out redness and fine lines. What is colloidal oatmeal? "It's simply the whole oat kernels that have been finely milled and processed," explains Sandy Skotnicki, M.D., a Toronto-based dermatologist. "The oils in colloidal oatmeal contain linoleic acid, which helps repair very dry, cracked skin."
Photo: First Aid Beauty
L'Occitane: Shea Butter Ultra Rich Hand & Body Wash
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Make this delectable multi-use foaming cream part of your daily bathing and handwashing routine. Its lovely combination of shea milk and oat milk softens and protects your skin without drying it out. For extra-supple skin softness, use in tandem with the brand's Shea Butter Extra-Gentle Lotion, which is also infused with oat milk.
Related: What Is Oat Milk and Is It Healthy?
La Roche-Posay Lipikar Eczema Soothing Relief Cream
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Oats have been used to treat irritated and itchy skin for centuries, says Dr. Goldenberg. Suffer from eczema? This fragrance-free body cream has you covered from head to toe—literally. This cream's active ingredient is, of course, colloidal oatmeal, but this anti-itch beauty must-have also contains shea butter, vitamin E, and rapeseed oil to soothe itchy bumps, redness, and dryness.
Photo: La Roche-Posay
Klorane Shampoo with Oat Milk
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Because of the high level of sugars, lipids (fatty acid compounds), and vitamins in oats, studies have shown that they can protect and soothe hair, says Dr. Goldenberg. "It functions as a moisturizer that helps keep the hair shaft smooth and shiny, and it can help minimize an oily scalp." This oat milk shampoo from Klorane (which has an array of hair products that contain oat extract) can help balance the pH levels of your scalp for healthier hair.
Kate Somerville EradiKate Mask
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If you're looking to unclog pores without drying out the skin in the process, oats might just be the answer. "Oats can be used to treat acne by helping clear the skin of excess oils," says Dr. Goldenberg. This magical mask (which contains natural oat extract, plus a soothing blend of honey extract and rice bran extract) exfoliates and eliminates dirt, sweat, and makeup from your skin to deep cleanse and to reduce blackheads.
Photo: Kate Somerville
Aveeno Repairing Cica Foot Mask
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Colloidal oatmeal has another perk: "It acts as a prebiotic, which means that it promotes growth of good bacteria on the skin," says New York City–based dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, M.D. Part of the brand's new therapeutic collection, Cica, these foot masks are made with soothing prebiotic oat and shea butter to provide long-lasting moisture to jazz up your blah, dry winter feet after just 10 minutes of wear (there's a pair of booties in each package).
Kiehl's Deluxe Hand & Body Lotion with Aloe Vera & Oatmeal
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This lightweight hand and body lotion contains oatmeal extract as well as aloe vera to hydrate and soothe, without leaving a greasy residue behind. Apply after your shower or bath when your skin is still slightly damp and needs a little kick of moisture. Bonus: It's available in three different, gentle scents—lavender, coriander, and grapefruit.
Ethique Oaty Delicious Shampoo Bar
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Environmentally friendly shampoo bars are all the rage lately. This option from Ethique (French for "Ethical") is really for kids, but it's a great mild option for adults, too. Made with oats and infused with coconut oil and lavender oil, this shampoo bar smells sweet, produces suds/foam, and is gentle. Just rub the wet bar into your wet hair a few times, from root to tip, and lather.
Tatcha Indigo Cream Soothing Skin Protectant
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One of the main ingredients in this fragrance-free moisturizer is nourishing colloidal oatmeal, which locks in your skin's natural moisture to provide instant hydration for all skin types, including sensitive skin, damaged skin, and skin battling eczema and rosacea. Additional key ingredients include extract of Sophora japonica, which improves skin's elasticity, the antioxidant-rich uji green tea, and natural Japanese indigo—a legendary botanical that, according to the brand, was favored by geishas in their skin-care routine.
Caudalie Gentle Cleansing Milk
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This milky, no-rinse cleanser packs a lot of punch when it comes to good-for-the-skin ingredients. Aside from oat extract, it also contains a natural blend of sweet almond oil, grape seed oil, and cornflower. Fantastic for all skin types, including sensitive skin, this product gently removes makeup (even eye makeup—it's both dermatologist and ophthalmologist tested), while simultaneously cleansing and soothing the skin. Just apply to skin with a cotton pad morning and evening, no rinsing necessary.
Carmex Comfort Care Balm
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Winter equals chapped lips. Thankfully, lip balm powerhouse Carmex has a product line called Comfort Care that's formulated with colloidal oatmeal, resulting in hydrated, super-soft lips. Balm flavors include watermelon, sugar plum, and natural mixed berry, so you'll feel like a kid again.
Asutra* Bubbly Ever After Soap Bar
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Oatmeal-infused body bar soaps are really popular exfoliators for sensitive skin. What we love about this one is that it's paraben-free, and made with shea butter, honey, and, of course, organic oats. It's soothing, odorless, and helps hydrate your dry skin patches, making it the ultimate evening shower pick-me-up.