Capsules: Moisturizing Skin with Oat Oil

Newsbreaks in herb research: Use oat oil to moisturize skin without irritation.

| July/August 1997

  • Photo by Bill Ebbesen/Courtesy Wikimedia Commons:

Oatmeal has long been used as a poultice for treating eczema and other troublesome skin conditions. In more recent times, oats (Avena sativa) have been used to make a bath oil for geriatric patients. One recent study shows that oat oil poses no danger to skin and is an effective moisturizer.

Oat oil contains several components that help skin stay soft and supple, including vitamin E, protein, and lipids. Researchers tested the safety of oat oil in a double-blind study involving 116 participants ranging in age from seventeen to seventy-three. They concluded that oat oil produces no significant skin irritation and that it does not sensitize the skin.

Oat oil has a stabilizing effect on emulsions and acts as an emulsifier. The viscous oil also is versatile enough to be effective in a dry form, thereby allowing its use in powder cosmetics, sunscreens, bath oil beads, moisturizing creams, shampoos, and conditioners. (1, 2)


(1) Meister, B. “A Bath Oil High in Phospholipid Content.” Journal of the American Geriatric Society 1963, 11:789–791.
(2) Dull, B. J. “Oat Oil for Personal-Care Products.” Cosmetics and Toiletries 1997, 112:77–81.



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