Why You Need To Get Some Colloidal Oatmeal ASAP

Your skin could definitely use a little colloidal oatmeal on it!


OK, so I'm willing to bet some pretty good money that most of you are aware that oatmeal is great for your skin. At the same time, I wouldn't be shocked in the least if some of you are guilty of what I used to do—literally pouring Quaker Oats into my bathwater and then being pissed when all I ended up with was a tub of soggy mess. The problem was, I didn't take time to do the appropriate research. What I mean by that is, I wasn't supposed to be out here using raw oatmeal; I was supposed to be using colloidal oatmeal. And yes, y'all, there is a significant difference between the two.

Probably, the best way to explain what colloidal oatmeal is, is to think of oat grains—ones that contain the whole bran which typically isn't the case when it comes to the kind of oatmeal that you eat—that have been ground to the point where they are super fine. Then, after that, they are boiled to the point of becoming an extract. Once oats are in this state, they contain the kind of vitamins, minerals, oil-replenishing lipids, moisturizing beta-glucans and avenanthramides that are really great for your skin. This is colloidal oatmeal.

Now that you know what colloidal oatmeal is, you're probably wondering if you can make it yourself. The answer is yes; you can check out a DIY video here. Or, if you'd prefer to purchase some, drugstores typically carry it, although I'd recommend hopping on Amazon and getting it there (it tends to be purer). Either way, if you're looking for a way to bring out the absolute best in your skin, colloidal oatmeal is definitely a natural, healthy and totally worthwhile investment. Here are some of the reasons why.

1. It Cleanses, Exfoliates and Seals Your Skin


Did you know that we shed anywhere between 30,000-40,000 dead skin cells a minute which equates to around nine pounds a year? Still, between dirt, sweat and the products that we put on your skin, some of those cells can stick to our skin or get trapped in our pores. One way to prevent this from happening as much is to bathe with colloidal oatmeal soap. Not only does it deeply cleanse your skin, the texture of the oatmeal serves as an awesome exfoliant. Plus, colloidal oatmeal also has flavonoids in it that are able to protect your skin from harsh pollutants and chemicals, along with protective phenols to even and brighten your complexion. Oh, and colloidal oatmeal also has polysaccharide and lipid content to seal in moisture which makes it even better.

Exfoliant Tip: A great way to exfoliate your skin is to mix a half cup of colloidal oatmeal, a half cup of brown sugar (it's another great exfoliant) and three tablespoons of olive oil (it's loaded with antioxidants). Apply it to clean damp skin, all the while gently massaging the solution. Then rinse.

2. It Relieves Eczema and Psoriasis

Although the true cause of eczema is a mystery, I do find it interesting that it tends to occur in families that have a history of allergies, asthma or both. This is the type of skin condition that is pretty much always going to itch; then, if you scratch it, you're only going to make it worse as it oftentimes creates a scaly rash that oozes and then crusts over.

The reason why colloidal oatmeal is an effective treatment for skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis (a condition that causes your skin cells to multiply 10 times faster than normal) is because first, it cleanses the infected area. Then, the oatmeal literally binds to your skin in order to create a protective barrier that not only soothes inflammation but traps in healthy moisture so that your skin feels less dry or irritating.

Eczema and Psoriasis Tip: If you put two cups of colloidal oatmeal, along with one-half cup of baking soda (its antibacterial properties reduces symptoms), into a tub of warm water and soak in it for 20 minutes, it can relieve itching and irritation by as much as 67 percent.

3. It Heals Acne


There is a certain kind of bacteria (propionibacterium acnes) that leads to acne breakouts. One thing that colloidal oatmeal does is remove that bacteria so that it doesn't clog up your pores. Another cool thing about this particular kind of oatmeal is, if you've got naturally oily skin, it absorbs excess moisture. Not only that, but it has a remarkable way of maintaining a healthy pH balance. That's why colloidal oatmeal can work in your favor if you use it as a facial mask or even a pimple spot treatment.

Acne Tip: One teaspoon of colloidal oatmeal, a half teaspoon of sweet almond oil (it removes excess oil), along with three drops of tea tree essential oil (it's a powerful antibacterial oil) and lavender oil (it soothes inflammation and heals damaged skin) as a spot treatment. Wash your face, apply it directly onto your pimples for 15 minutes, then rinse with cool water.

4. It Reverses Aging Signs

Colloidal oatmeal also has proteins, fatty acids, Vitamin E and antioxidants like quinones, flavones, favonols, and anthocyanidines in it. All of these things work together to protect your skin from free radicals and sun damage. Colloidal oatmeal is also one of the best all-natural anti-aging treatments because it contains beta glucans. Long story short, those are natural sugars that are found on the cell walls of things like bacteria, fungi, yeasts, algae, lichens, and plants. They are oftentimes given to people during surgery in order to prevent an infection. As a bonus, the properties in them have been proven to soften the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Anti-Aging Tip: Combine two tablespoons of colloidal oatmeal, one tablespoon of manuka honey (it's a wonderful humectant) and one teaspoon of lemon juice (it's loaded with antioxidants that help to trigger collagen production). Apply it to a clean face and neck. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes, rinse and moisturize.

5. It Is Great for Sensitive Skin


If your skin happens to be super sensitive, that's just one more reason to give colloidal oatmeal a try. Something else that the oatmeal contains is a chemical compound called saponins; they work to deeply cleanse the skin without irritating it in the process. In fact, colloidal oatmeal is considered to be a powerful cleanser while still being considerably gentler than soap is. That's what makes it a winner in keeping sensitive skin clean and comfortable.

Sensitive Skin Tip: Make your skin feel amazing, every time you wash it, by making your own colloidal soap. Click here for a DIY recipe.

6. It Soothes Itchy Skin

Something else that colloidal oatmeal has in it is phenolic alkaloids known as avenanthramides. The reason why these are relevant is because they contain properties that help to significantly reduce any hypersensitivity or inflammation that may cause your skin to feel itchy and irritated.

Matter of fact, if you or your child happen to come down with chickenpox, soaking in a tub that has colloidal oatmeal in it can provide instant relief.

Itchy Skin Tip: One way to create immediate relief to itching skin is to make your own colloidal oatmeal lotion. You can find a fairly easy-to-make recipe here.

7. It Soothes an Itchy Scalp Too


There are all sorts of things that can lead to an itchy scalp. Product build-up. Dandruff. An inflammatory condition known as seborrheic dermatitis. Scalp psoriasis. Irritation from chemical treatments. The list goes on and on. Something that can bring major relief to any itchiness that is caused by these conditions is colloidal oatmeal. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties will reduce the irritation as the oatmeal seals in moisture to reduce excessive dryness and scalp flaking.

Scalp Tip: Combine a half cup of colloidal oatmeal with a tablespoon of lemon juice (it deep cleanses your scalp), a tablespoon of olive oil (it reduces bacteria while increasing blood circulation to your hair follicles) and a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (it contains alpha-hydroxy acid which exfoliates your scalp). Apply the mixture to freshly washed hair. Massage it gently into your scalp, let it sit for 10 minutes, then rinse and style as usual.

So, there you have it—seven really good reasons to either make or pick up some colloidal oatmeal. It's one of the best things that you could ever do for your skin. That is a promise.

Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.


We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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