Oat Kernel Extract: Nurturing Postnatal Skin with Avena Sativa
The use of oat in skin remedies goes back to Egypt in 2,000 BC, when it was used to treat skin irritations and eczema. In ancient Rome, the poet, Ovid, wrote ‘Medicamina Faciei Femineae’ (Cosmetics for the Female Face) providing an insight into Roman dermatology. In this, he recommended oatmeal for skincare. In the first century AD, Dioscorides, a Greek physician in the Roman army, wrote ‘Materia Medica’, characterising oat as a healing agent.
In the 19th century, oat baths were used to treat many skin conditions and inflammation. In the 1930s, interest in oat skincare was rekindled when literature was published, providing evidence of its cleansing properties and ability to relieve itching and protect the skin. In 2003, the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved oatmeal as a “skin protectant” - allowing it to be listed as an active ingredient on skincare products. This was a significant marker. It also proved that the ancient Egyptians were correct all along!
Harvested while the plant is still green, oat extract is obtained by grinding the kernels into a fine meal. Gentle enough for infants, this extract is ideal for dry, itchy skin or eczema-prone skin - making it the perfect calming ingredient for leave-on or wash-off baby skincare formulations:
- It binds moisture to the skin and is highly emollient; a wonderful moisturiser for little one, that helps to maintain their skin’s natural pH balance
- Its anti-inflammatory properties soothe baby’s dry, itchy and sensitive skin
- It contains a type of antibiotic, called avenanthramides, which acts as an anti-oxidant and protects the skin from environmental stressors
- It supports baby’s natural skin barrier and helps to shield their skin against irritants
At Little Butterfly London, we include oat kernel extract in the following baby products: