Colloidal oatmeal is made by grinding oats into a very fine powder. (Not to be confused with breakfast cereal.) When it’s added to bath water, it creates a creamy liquid and the oatmeal is suspended for a time before it settles to the bottom. The silky mixture soothes, moisturizes and softens the skin.
Colloidal oatmeal is a quick home remedy that can help relieve sunburns, eczema, psoriasis, bug bites, etc. Itchy and irritated skin often has a high pH level, but the oatmeal restores pH balance and relieves the urge to scratch. It’s often one of the first lines of relieve for rashes caused by heat, chafing, chicken pox, poison ivy, etc.
In addition to bath products, colloidal oatmeal can also appear in skin care, soaps and detergents. Its role varies from the soothing function described here and can also function as an abrasive, absorbent or bulking agent in different products.