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Skin Science

7 Reasons oats for dry, itchy skin are nature's best kept secret

A young woman sits at a table and prepares a mask with oats for dry skin.
Liz Thompson
Liz Thompson May, 14, 2019

Freelance writer, green beauty expert, coffee drinker, beach bum wannabe

When dry skin is making you wish it was socially acceptable to wear a moisturizing mask to work, it's probably not just the flaking and peeling that bums you out. Redness and irritation can make dry skin not just annoying but downright uncomfortable! If all the skin balms in the world aren't making a difference, it's time to take serious steps toward wrangling these skin issues.


Meet your new beauty bestie: oats.


For centuries, people have used oats for dry, itchy skin as well as a variety of other skin conditions, including eczema and rashes. There's a good reason for this — the grain works well on all skin types, and it's gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin. Whether you choose products that contain oats or use oats straight from your kitchen, you can tap into a long list of benefits your skin will love.


7 Advantages of Using Oats for Dry, Itchy Skin


Oats aren't just for breakfast! Here are seven benefits that oats provide when it comes to dry skin conditions.


1. Keeps You Moisturized


Moisturizing dry skin can't be skipped — and oats are all-stars at this game. The starches and beta-glucan in oats attract water to the skin and form a protective barrier that helps maintain a healthy moisture level, ultimately diminishing dryness and the irritation it causes. Lotions for the face and body that contain oats are perfect for those with dry or sensitive skin!


2. Provides Antioxidizing Benefits


Oats contain polyphenols called avenanthramides that have natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Accordingly, research shows that lotions containing oats significantly improve dry skin. Some of those polyphenols even appear to provide a bit of UV protection to keep skin healthy and youthful. What's not to love?


3. Helps Calm Itching


You know the frustrating, relentless itching that comes with dry skin. Thankfully, oats can help with that, too! Whether you opt for a soak in the tub or use a lotion or cream that contains oats for dry skin, the avenanthramides mentioned above can help to diminish feelings of itchiness and discomfort. Ahhh, sweet relief.


4. Soothes Frustrating Irritation


More good news on avenanthramides: Along with reducing inflammation and itching, these polyphenols are great skin soothers! Using oats for dry skin can help lessen feelings of irritation. Scout out an oat-containing balm to take on irritated conditions like bug bites, windburn and sunburn.


young woman sitting in armchair and applying moisturizer cream on leg and feet in her bedroom

5. Diminishes Redness


Where there's redness, there may be inflammation. Whether your redness is caused by dryness, a skin condition or an acne breakout, oats can help! Once inflammation and irritation are out of the picture, redness usually improves. As for redness that's paired with acne, the saponins contained within oats have a cleansing quality that can help to clear pores and diminish breakouts.


6. Supports Exfoliation Efforts


Dry skin can form a flaky top layer that traps dirt and oil beneath, often leading to blemishes and a dull complexion. When exfoliating sensitive or upset skin, you don't want just any ingredient cozying up to your face — fortunately, oats are perfect for the job. The cleansing saponins in oats gently slough away dry, dead skin cells on their own. No need for scrubbing (and irritating) that sensitive skin! Try using a facial cleanser or body wash made with oats for super smooth-feeling skin.


7. Encourages Softening


Not only do oats soothe irritation, they're also a great solution for rough, scaly skin. Try adding oats to a warm bath to get in on all the skin softening goodness this ingredient has to offer! This is perfect for addressing hard, dry skin on feet and uncomfortable issues like eczema or a rash.


There's no need to struggle through dry skin conditions and let irritation, redness and discomfort take over you life. Let your skin soak in the benefits of oats for dry skin — while you soak up the compliments!


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