There’s a reason oats are a breakfast table mainstay. They’re healthy, hearty, and jam-packed with nutrients. But what about oat straw extract?
Oat straw (Avena sativa) is a green oat grass that comes from the tops of oat plants before mature oat grains form. Its seeds are rich in iron, manganese, magnesium, and zinc, which is why it’s becoming a popular ingredient in skincare products and dietary supplements.
While there’s still not much medical research to support the possible skincare benefits of common oat straw extract, they’re similar to colloidal oats, which have been proven to help the skin in various ways. (We bet you’ve heard of oatmeal baths for soothing irritated or itchy skin, even if you’ve never taken one yourself!)
Here we’ll share what we know so far about oat straw extract’s benefits, according to the experts.
In theory, oat straw extract may promote skin health as it may have the soothing properties commonly associated with oats. It’s easy to use because it can be added to products like face and scalp masks, soaps, and many others. A few of the potential benefits include the following:
It’s soothing: Oat straw extract may be a calming agent, making it an excellent choice for sensitive skin types that are prone to frequent redness, dryness, and irritation.
It relieves itchiness: It may help to relieve skin irritation and itchiness, just like colloidal oatmeal.
It’s healing: Oats may accelerate the healing of wounds.¹
It’s anti-inflammatory: Oat straw extract may reduce inflammation in the skin, although more research is still needed.
Colloidal oats may come from a similar source as oat straw extract—but with more research to back them up. They were officially categorized as a skin protectant by the Food and Drug Administration in 2003²—and for a good reason. Not only are they an emollient, a substance that softens and soothes the skin, colloidal oatmeal’s many vitamins, and nutrients are highly beneficial to the skin.
That’s why colloidal oatmeal is in many skincare products, from facial cleansers and moisturizers to body wash and bath soaks. Oat straw extract’s sister, this ingredient has been used for many years to soothe and relieve the symptoms associated with sensitive skin, such as dryness, itchiness,³ and redness. Among its benefits:
It's moisturizing: Colloidal oatmeal helps lock in moisture.
It relieves itching: Its soothing properties make it a good choice for itch relief.
It's anti-inflammatory:⁴ Colloidal oatmeal is known to help soothe inflammation.
It’s an antioxidant: Colloidal oatmeal’s antioxidant properties help fight free radicals, which can damage the body due to oxidative stress.
Oat straw extract has not been linked to any major risk factors, but it’s important to remember that limited research on its safety has been conducted. Researchers have not studied how it may affect children and people who are pregnant or nursing. Oat straw extract may cause skin irritation, a rash, or an allergic reaction, and our dermatology providers recommend introducing it to your skincare routine slowly.
Want to introduce oat straw extract (or other oat ingredients) into your routine? Here are some skincare products you can try:
Anokha Oatmeal Cleansing Milk is a cruelty-free soothing oat and milk cleanser with a blend of exfoliating extracts to gently clean and refresh the skin. It works for all skin types.
Summer Fridays Dream Oasis Deep Hydration Serum is a gentle, lightweight, quick-absorbing jelly serum that provides hydration with glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and squalane, while also soothing skin with colloidal oatmeal, chamomile, and aloe.
Cocokind Revitalizing Eye Cream is an affordable option to help moisturize and soothe dry and puffy under-eye areas
The jury may still be out regarding the proven effectiveness of oat straw extract, but when it comes to taking the guesswork out of skincare, Curology is here to help. Founded by dermatologists in 2014, Curology offers accessible dermatology services to all for skin concerns like rosacea, acne, and signs of aging. Our licensed dermatology providers work with you to examine your skin, assess your skincare goals, and provide custom treatment options.
Signing up is easy. Just answer a few questions and snap some selfies to help us get to know your skin better. If Curology is right for you, we’ll pair you with one of our in-house licensed dermatology providers, who will create a personalized prescription formula to meet your specific skin goals.
The best part? Your first box is free* (just pay $4.95 plus tax to cover shipping and handling) and comes with any of our recommended skincare products at no additional cost.
Are you wondering about oat straw extract’s impact on men’s health? Some sources claim that oat straw extract reverses low testosterone levels, but this has not been proven when it comes to oat straw testosterone concerns.
Oat seed extract is another term for oat straw extract. It potentially soothes and heals the skin, as well as potentially boosts mental and physical performance, reduces blood sugar and cholesterol, improves blood flow, enhances mental health, and reduces inflammation.
In addition to applying skincare products like lotions and creams that contain oat straw extract, you can also take it as an oral supplement in powder, tincture, or capsule form.
Singh, R., De S, Belkheir, A., Avena sativa (Oat), a potential neutraceutical and therapeutic agent: an overview. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. (2013).
Kurtz, ES., Wallo, W., Colloidal oatmeal: history, chemistry and clinical properties. J Drugs Dermatol. (2007).
Sur, R., et al. Avenanthramides, polyphenols from oats, exhibit anti-inflammatory and anti-itch activity. Arch Dermatol Res. (2008).
Kurtz, ES., Wallo, W., Colloidal oatmeal: history, chemistry and clinical properties. Ibid.
Meredith Hartle is a board-certified Family Medicine physician at Curology. She earned her medical degree at Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, MO.
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Meredith Hartle, DO