Oatmeal (Avena sativa)
You may be surprised to learn that oatmeal; yes that wonderful cereal we enjoy for breakfast, (or maybe not!), is one of the best natural treatments for dry skin. Plain rolled oats, can be used to make a gentle and very effective natural skin cleanser, facial scrub, and soothing facial mask. An excellent multi-purpose skin care treatment, oatmeal helps to relieve dryness, restoring natural moisture balance to aid in healing minor irritations due to the many causes and sources of skin sensitivities. Minor skin irritations can be caused by sensitivities to the ingredients in skin care products, exposure to chemicals found in household cleaning products, exfoliation with the wrong product, excessive scrubbing or rubbing during the exfoliation process, and many other factors. Cleansing the face with oatmeal helps to soothe skin irritation and reduce discomfort.
Oatmeal, when used as a skin cleanser, actually absorbs and removes surface dirt and impurities while providing very gentle exfoliation, leaving skin smooth, soft, and clean, without soap. As a facial mask, oatmeal deep cleanses pores without irritating and drying out skin. And as a facial scrub, oatmeal gently but effectively removes dead skin cells, to reveal softer, smoother looking skin. In addition, cleansing and exfoliating with oatmeal provides the bonus of a natural, healthy glow.
Colloidal oatmeal, also known by its Genus Species name, Avena sativa L., is simply oats ground into an extremely fine powder.
The power of oats in skin care is amazing! This raw material has 5% Beta Glucans which helps to promote the skin's own immune functions.
Reducing irritation associated with alpha hydroxy acids.
Reducing sunburn cell formation upon skin exposure to UVA radiation.
Revitalizes and rejuvenates.
Repairing the epidermal skin barrier.
Inhibiting free radical formation associated with photo-aging of the skin.
Stimulating collagen growth as an aid to wrinkle reduction.
Excellent Film Former.
Well known propensity as an anti-inflammatory ingredient.
Outstanding Moisturizing and humectant properties.
Helpful in relieving irritation and redness caused by exposure to harsh weather or certain skin conditions such as general skin rash.
Excellent emollient attributes.
Helpful in treating skin itching, particularly psoriasis and seborrhea.
Soothing effect on individuals with sensitive skin.
Assists in relieving itching due to eczema eruptions.
Acts as soap-free cleanser.
Helpful in treating topical concerns in infants, such as diaper rash.
Oat beta-glucan's anti-wrinkle promise
Everybody knows that "it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. " Everybody in the cosmetic industry knows that it is almost as hard to make large biopolymers, like proteins or glucosaminoglycans, penetrate deeply into the skin when applied in a cream. In fact, transdermal delivery of growth factors and other large, highly specific actives is as close to the Holy Grail of skin care as a topical treatment can get.
Surprisingly, preliminary research indicates that a biopolymer from oat called beta-glucan may be capable of both penetrating deep into the skin and delivering significant skin benefits. Beta-glucan is a linear polymer consisting of glucose molecules linked together in a particular fashion. It has a long history of safe use in skin care and dermatology as a long-lasting, film-forming moisturizer. It has also been shown to work as anti-irritant and to speed up healing of shallow abrasions and partial thickness burns. Beta-glucan appears to enhance wound healing through several mechanisms including the stimulation of collagen deposition, activation of immune cells and so forth. Beta-glucans are found in various natural sources, such as cereals and yeast; oat beta-glucan being the most active.
While the utility of beta-glucan in moisturizing and healing minor wounds and burns has been fairly well established, the evidence of its anti-wrinkle effects on the intact skin has emerged only recently. In a 2005 study published in the magazine of International Federation of Societies of Cosmetic Chemists, Dr Pillai and colleagues investigated skin penetration and anti-aging effects of topical oat beta-glucan. In a penetration experiment on isolated skin sections, the researchers found that beta-glucan penetrated the epidermis and reached the dermis by passing in the gaps between cells. After 8 hours of treatment with 0.5% beta-glucan solution, 28% of the applied beta-glucan entered the skin and as much as 4% reached the dermis (i.e. the layer where wrinkles form). Unfortunately, the validity of this experiment remains in question because the skin sections used in the experiment were frozen and then treated with gamma radiation, which may have altered their permeability. Dr Pillai and colleagues also treated 27 subjects with 0.1 % topical beta-glucan or placebo twice daily for eight weeks, assigned randomly, using a half-face design. By the end of the study, beta-glucan treated areas fared significantly better than placebo, with wrinkles and roughness diminishing by about 10-15%. Skin firmness (tensile strength) also increased.
The evidence of beta-glucan's effects on the intact skin is encouraging but a number of questions remain. Will these results be confirmed by other researchers and via different methods? Is such skin firming sustainable in the long term with or without continued use? Assuming beta-glucan indeed stimulates collagen deposition in the intact skin, what is the mechanism of this effect? Dr Pillai and colleagues theorize that beta-glucan stimulates collagen by inducing the release of immune/inflammatory mediators, such as IL-1 and NFkB. If true, stimulating inflammatory response may not be the optimal way to strengthen the collagen network because inflammation may have negative side effects. Also, the ratio of collagen types deposited in response to inflammation may not be optimal in the long term. On the other hand, oat beta-glucan has a long history of safe use. Furthermore, many skin rejuvenation methods, including skin peels, dermabrasion, laser treatments and others work via controlled skin damage, which induces inflammation and subsequent collagen deposition and skin remodeling.
What does all this mean for practical skin care? The most prudent approach is to wait for more research on beta-glucan. This may take a long time though. Skin care research has low profile in terms of funding and beta-glucan formulations are hard to patent because it is a natural ingredient. On the other hand, oat beta-glucan has a long history of safe use in skin care and may be worth a try even before definitive research is available. The simplest way to give it a try is to use a moisturizer containing colloidal oatmeal such as Aveeno. Unfortunately, it is unclear whether products with colloidal oatmeal contain sufficient amounts of oat beta-glucan to match those used in the study. Also, when beta-glucan is mostly trapped inside colloidal oatmeal particles, its capacity to penetrate the skin, if any, may be reduced. Nonetheless, colloidal oatmeal is an effective and long-lasting moisturizing ingredient and anti-irritant. People with dry skin may want to try a colloidal oatmeal product for the sake of skin hydration and soothing if nothing else.
Colloidal Oat Starch
Oat Starch is a white, free-flowing powder that has the combined attributes of talc and the soothing, anti-irritating attributes of oats. It has a high protein content, and it has exceptional fragrance retention
Oat oil is a clear, lightly colored oil with a mild natural odor that is rich in phospholipids and glycolipids, also called polar lipids, and free of trans fatty acids. It has a stabilizing property in emulsions and oils and is extracted from a proprietary oat species of Avena Sativa. Oat oil has excellent shelf-life stability due to the high content of antioxidants unique to oats including Vitamin E. It is rich in unsaturated fatty acids. Due to the extraction process used, Ceapro oat oil is a solvent-free product.
Powerful emollient (skin smoothener and softener)
Strong skin hydrating and moisturizing properties
Deep antioxidant activity
Crude oat oil contains a very high level of antioxidants, more than every major oilseed, grain, or grain by-product except wheat germ.
Disclaimer: The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.