What is colloidal oatmeal / calendula?
Colloidal oatmeal are oat grains that have been ground down into a fine powder during the milling process. This allows the oats to be suspended in water, which is then added to stretch mark creams.
Calendula is a type of perennial flower that is characterised by their big and bright orange blossoms. It is a trusted herb that has been used for centuries by many cultures and traditions for healing purposes, including by those in the Mediterranean region, as well as Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Why are they good for the skin?
These two ingredients have been found to be extremely gentle and are reputed for their ability to reduce signs of irritation and redness. As such, many people turn to these ingredients when they are experiencing skin issues and cannot use strong synthetic ingredients. They are extremely useful for skin conditions like stretch marks, eczema, psoriasis, itch and other forms of irritation.
Colloidal oats are considered emollients (a substance that softens and soothes the skin) in skincare. Besides replenishing the skin, it is also full of proteins, vitamins, lipids, polysaccharides, minerals and other nourishing nutrients. The fact that it is ground from the whole seed means that it is able to preserve all the prebiotic goodness and deliver all of that into your skin.
Prized for its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, calendula is commonly infused into creams, oil blends and serums. This precious flower also contains exceptional antioxidant properties and is the source of several potent antioxidants including triterpenes, flavonoids, polyphenols, and carotenoids. Besides skincare, it is often brewed into tea or used as an herbal remedy.
What are they good for?
An old-age remedy for dry and irritated skin, colloidal oatmeal is often used for a variety of skin issues and conditions. These include:
- Restoring moisture to dry skin
- Preventing trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL) due to the water-binding property of starches
- Creating a protective barrier and restoring the skin microbiome by guarding against bad bacteria
- Relieving itchiness and irritation due to its high cellulose and fibre content
- Phenols in oatmeal also contain antioxidant properties that can help to reduce oxidative stress
Traditionally used to relieve irritated and compromised skin, calendula is great for a variety of skin issues. These include:
- Reducing inflammation and guarding the skin against oxidative stress, due to the high amount of flavonoids, polyphenols and carotenoids in each petal
- Helping in lipid and barrier repair, thanks to a high concentration of linoleic acid and calendic acid
- Helping the skin to retain moisture and protecting it against potential irritants like UV damage
Is it safe for sensitive skin?
Both ingredients are extremely safe to apply topically, which is why it is commonly used in skincare products used by expecting mums, babies and those with sensitive skin. However, those with a known oat allergy should take note to avoid colloidal oatmeal. You should always patch test if you know your skin is extra sensitive and reactive. If you are allergic to ragweed, daisies, marigold, or flowers in the asteraceae family, it’s probably best to skip calendula as well as it could lead to an allergic reaction.
How to use colloidal oatmeal / calendula?
As mentioned previously, these ingredients are very effective and can be found in skincare products like stretch mark creams. However if you prefer to know exactly what goes into your skincare and on your body, you can easily DIY your own soothing mask with Colloidal Oatmeal and Calendula.
DIY oat and calendula Mask
- 20g oats
- 3tsp dried calendula flowers
- 50ml water
- Place the dried flowers in a small bowl or cup and pour over 50ml of freshly boiled water and set aside to cool.
- Grind the oats to a fine powder in a food processor or using a pestle and mortar.
- Strain the cooled, calendula-infused water through a sieve into a bowl. Slowly add the oats a bit at a time, stirring until you achieve a good consistency - not too thick but not too watery.
- Apply the paste over irritated skin, avoiding the delicate eye areas.
- Leave on for 5-10 minutes and rinse off with warm water.
However if you’re not one to DIY a soothing oat and calendula mask, you can consider the S1 Stretch Mark Cream which also contains colloidal oatmeal and calendula. Blended in Japan, this cream has a light and airy feel that is suitable for those living in tropical climates and worrying about potential stretch marks during pregnancy, puberty and weight loss.