Colloidal oatmeal is one of the easiest home remedies for eczema to make, and also super affordable. You can give yourself a DIY skin treatment with colloidal oatmeal for under $2!

First, let’s cover the basics.

What is Colloidal Oatmeal?

Oats are a very old grain, cited in ancient Egyptian records as being used in skin treatments and anti-itch remedies. The Latin name is Avena sativa. The part of the oat commonly used for eating — whether feeding to livestock or baking in a cookie — is actually the kernel of the long, tall oat plant.


Oats Benefit more than just your skin…

  • As part of your regular diet, oats can lower ‘bad’ cholesterol levels
  • Oatmeal is a healthy, low-fat meal that can help you lose weight
  • An oatmeal mask can nourish your hair, restoring its shiny protective outer coating

Colloidal oatmeal is a blend of finely milled oats with water. The oats are so finely milled (or powdered, even) that they blend very well with a liquid base. This makes it easier for your skin to absorb the oats’ nutrients, and it’s much more pleasant than smearing a kind of lumpy, disgusting paste on your body.

Tip: Taking an oatmeal bath is a great, affordable way to get softer, smoother skin. Save your old nylons and leggings that you’d normally throw out. Put some oats inside, and tie both ends shut. Voilá! You have a bath bag pouch to hold your oats…. just squish it around a bit in the tub for the oats to release their healing nutrients in the bathwater.

The science behind colloidal oatmeal’s healing effect on skin

Oats have a special compound, called polysaccharides, which have a gelatinous or jellylike consistency when added to liquid. This jellylike substance is what leaves a protective layer on top of your skin, essentially sealing in your skin’s natural moisture. At the same time, your skin absorbs additional nutrients from the external oatmeal layer.

Here are the four main benefits of colloidal oatmeal when used externally.

1. Colloidal Oatmeal Builds a Natural Defense

Thanks to the jellylike texture, it leaves a natural extra layer on top of your skin. It’s most often the top layer of skin that gets damaged, and weakened by improper nutrition, emotional stress and other factors.

Using colloidal oatmeal in your homemade skin care products isn’t a permanent solution to eczema, psoriasis and other skin issues, but it’s certainly a relief and great help when you’re suffering.

Oatmeal face mask

2. They Even Out Skin Tone

Your face can often appear reddish and your skin tone uneven due to a number of reasons: dry skin, allergies, too much exposure to sunlight which dries out your skin, and even too much ‘heat’ in the body according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

In TCM, oats are considered to having cooling properties. When mixed with cucumber and aloe vera, colloidal oatmeal can be very cooling and soothing for your skin, which evens out your complexion.

3. Colloidal Oats Hydrate Your Skin

Due to that protective outer coating, oats can seal in your own skin’s natural moisture. Plus, they emulsify (bind together) liquids and hydrating fats that you’ve added to your DIY colloidal oatmeal skin treatment. This ensures that the hydrating nutrients don’t evaporate quickly, which gives your skin time to absorb them.

4. They Provide Natural Itchy Skin Relief

Whether for eczema, dry skin or even dandruff (which can sometimes just be itchy, dry skin on the scalp), colloidal oatmeal is the best natural treatment. Itchy skin is often the result of skin that’s too dry, and the top-most layer is damaged. In this way, the oats protect the top layer of skin and help prevent further damage, allowing it to grow repair itself, growing back healthy and strong.


Colloidal Oatmeal Recipe

Making colloidal oatmeal is the easiest and cheapest thing you can do for your skin’s health. Here’s a simple recipe and instructions:

How to make colloidal oatmeal

  1. Buy oats (organic is best) or harvest and dry oat kernels.
  2. Get a blender — even a ‘basic’ one like a Magic Bullet will do. Just make sure you don’t blend it for too long, or you’ll wear down the motor! You can also use a coffee bean grinder, spice mill or weed grinder to get the oats into a finely powdered form.
  3. Get air-tight jars for storing the ground up oats.
    It’s a good idea to wash out glass food jars, like the kind that pickles, olives, etc. are in. To get out the brine smell from the pickle jars, simply pour some vinegar and hot water into the jar and let it sit overnight.
  4. Blend, grind or mill your oats into a fine powder.
    Let the powder settle before opening the blender, so you don’t inhale oat dust! Then, put the powder into the jars, and store them for months or even years!
  5. Add 2 tablespoons of oat powder to warm water (or a different liquid base) and stir. When the oat powder has blended in, that’s your colloidal oatmeal!

Colloidal Oatmeal with Shea Butter and Coconut Oil

Instead of water, you can also add your homemade oat powder to a blend of other liquids. Try mixing it with shea butter, coconut oil and argan oil for a smooth and nutrient-rich body butter that will also protect your skin while relieving eczema and dry skin.

Related Post: How to Make All-Natural Body Butter


If you’ve made your own colloidal oatmeal, we’d love to know how you use it! Leave us a comment below, and we will personally read and respond to every comment! <3



Naví is the founder of AffordablyNatural. She grew up in Northern Minnesota, where a love of nature and water is inevitable.

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