Oats have been used for thousands of years as a way to soothe and treat the skin topically. The use of oats and the extracts made from them first became popular as a cosmetic ingredient during the 1930s when their power to relieve itching and protect the skin became widely known.
The cultivation of oats as a food crop started in Europe around the Bronze Age and then spread throughout the world. Used widely as animal feed, they are also a highly nutritious food source for us humans. Oat grain in its natural state takes a long time to cook and oat flakes, which are rolled, flattened and flaked to make them more convenient to prepare, are now very popular. Rolled oats infused in water produce a cooling and calming liquid known as oat milk – which we also use in our products.
Oats are a source of calcium, iron and vitamin B1. They are high in carbohydrates and contain more protein and lipids (fat) than other grains. They also contain polysaccharides which become gelatinous when mixed with water and leave a protective film on the skin. Oats also contain avenanthramides, a type of antibiotic produced by the plant, which acts as an antioxidant and may contribute to the topical soothing effect of the grain.
We buy our oatmeal from a UK oat milling company based in Cheshire, who have been milling oats for more than four hundred years.