Oats have been hailed as a breakfast superhero ever since I could crawl. They’ve been dubbed one of the heart-friendliest foods around. They’ve also gained much fame over the years as a soothing bath treatment for itchiness. Now oats are also getting the praise they deserve as a naturally wholesome ingredient chock full of benefits for your skin and hair!
We love oats for how unique and well-rounded they are. It’s not your ordinary grain because it has certain phytochemicals you won’t find in many other grains. Whether you’re eating it, putting it on your skin, or working it into your mane, this super cereal has something to offer everyone.
Read on to find out more about this incredible grain and how you can use it all the ways for your best health, skin and hair.
Eating Oats for Better Health
Since as far back as I can remember, oats have been known as a healthy heart helper. And research has continued to support that fact. This benefit is mainly due to a specific type of fiber called beta-glucan. Beta-glucan is a soluble fiber responsible for lowering cholesterol, slowing digestion, and making you feel full. It’s not found in too many other foods, except mushrooms and barley, which is one of the reasons oats are unique.
But oats are healthy and nutritious in lots of other ways too.
For one, oats are jam-packed with high amounts of many nutrients, like vitamin B, zinc, iron, phosphorous, copper and magnesium. It’s also an abundant source of good quality protein and healthy carbs your body needs for long-lasting energy.
Eating oats is nutritious for your body, which also translates into huge benefits for your skin and hair. All those delicious nutrients feed your skin and hair everything they need to thrive.
Benefits of Eating Oats
1. Nutrient dense
Oats are full of protein, fat, vitamins and minerals, making them a well-rounded breakfast meal that's great for overall health.
2. Lower blood pressure
Studies show oats can help reduce hypertension, and the many antioxidants in the grain contribute to this effect.
3. Lowers LDL cholesterol
According to this review, research supports that the high fiber content in oats can lower cholesterol levels, which reduces the risk of heart disease.
4. Lowers blood sugar
Thanks to the soluble fiber beta-glucan, oats are excellent for lowering blood sugar.
5. Feeling full
Oats keep you feeling full longer and can be helpful when you're trying to lose weight or control your appetite.
Oats for Skin
With all the nutrients found in oats, they make an excellent addition to anyone’s skincare routine. You may be most familiar with oats in the form of colloidal oatmeal. Colloidal oatmeal is finely ground oat kernels that are boiled to extract the soothing compounds from it. It’s said to be a more absorbable form of oats and is used to calm itchy skin from conditions like eczema, dermatitis or psoriasis.
But you still get plenty of skin benefits from using oats in other forms, like ground oats, oat oil or oat extract!
In fact, oats have something to offer every skin type due to their many skin-loving properties. These properties are partly due to another unique nutrient found in oats called avenanthramides. These bioactive compounds have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powers that can do wonders for your skin.
Here’s a list of what oats can do for skin:
1. Protect skin from damage
Antioxidants like avenanthramides and flavonoids help prevent and heal the damage caused by the sun and other environmental pollutants.
2. Soothe skin
Anti-inflammatory properties make oats a powerful ingredient to combat issues like acne and eczema, and they can calm sensitive skin types.
3. Cleanse and purify
Saponins in oats give them the power to clear out dirt and debris and detoxify pores.
Oats can help remove dead skin cells and are more gentle than chemical exfoliants.
5. Lock in moisture
With help from vitamin E, oats hydrate your skin by repairing the protective skin barrier and sealing in moisture.
Oats for Hair
Oats are less well known for their wonderful hair benefits. But the unique combination of nutrients in oats makes them a fabulous addition to your hair regimen too. They’re especially beneficial for dry hair that’s damaged, deflated and dull. That’s primarily because of their high protein and fat content that add strength and resilience to your mane.
And since oats are great for soothing skin dryness and irritation, they’re also excellent for treating a dry, itchy scalp. Plus, all the fabulous nutrients in the oat grain work together to keep any scalp healthy and happy.
Here are the benefits of oats for amazing hair:
1. Hair growth
Because oats are so effective at cleansing and exfoliating skin, your scalp will also reap these rewards. And with a cleaner, healthier scalp, hair will grow quicker.
2. Hair thickness
Oats contain plenty of omega-6 fatty acids to help repair split ends and damage and moisturize strands, making them feel softer and fuller. Protein in oats also helps add thickness to each strand.
3. Improved elasticity
Oats also make hair more elastic so they can withstand brushing and pulling much better without breakage.
4. Dandruff and dry scalp
Oats' exfoliating and cleansing power helps control dandruff by sloughing off dry flakes, and omegas and other fats add moisture to a dry scalp.
Oat extract is particularly effective for nourishing hair follicles and adds a generous amount of volume to your locks.
How can I use oats for my skin and hair?
There are so many ways to use oats at home to give your skin and hair a healthy boost. You can find various skin and hair care products containing oat ingredients. We use oat ingredients in many of our products ranging from our most popular Vita C Face Cream to our body wash, volumizing shampoo and all-natural bars of soap. (Check them out here!)
Oats can also be made into a variety of do-it-yourself treatments that are safe, effective and much less expensive than any spa treatment. You can use whole oats or ground them up to a powder to get even more goodies out of them. Plus, you can mix the oats with other ingredients from your kitchen to make different recipes for cleansing, exfoliating or moisturizing, depending on your skin type.
Here’s a basic oat mask recipe for all skin types:
2 tbsp finely ground oats
1 tsp honey, melted coconut oil or yogurt
Warm water to thin to a paste
Just mix the ingredients together and apply the paste to your face. Leave on for 10-15 minutes, then rinse off and apply your moisturizer.
Oats are simply one of the most nutritious and versatile foods you can eat. And now you know there are so many more uses for oats that go beyond breakfast. Whether you have oily skin, dry skin, normal or sensitive skin, the benefits of using oats and oat ingredients are extraordinary. And don’t forget that your hair will love them too!