Baby-care is an area within the beauty and personal care market that I often talk about in relation to our Oat ingredients, such as Colloidal Oatmeal, but it is something that I have had very little first-hand experience with…until now. Having become a father for the first time in the middle of June, I now feel suitably qualified to comment on the trials and tribulations that babies and their parents go through during the early months and how certain practices can make life easier for all concerned!
A new born baby will have its nappy changed on average 8 times every 24 hours, I won’t go into the gory details, but the process is a simple one of washing with lukewarm water and then drying with cotton wool – you are not allowed to use baby powder at this stage because the baby’s lungs are sensitive and still developing. Modern nappies are very good at locking away moisture from the skin but nevertheless this amount of washing can cause the skin to become red and sore, a condition known as nappy rash. It is a similar problem to the one that we are seeing with doctors and hospital workers who are constantly washing their hands – once the skin becomes aggravated it takes longer to heal, yet it doesn’t get the time to do so because cleanliness is a constant.
So is there a solution? On a recent trip to the doctor’s we were told of an old wives tale of using water that had had oats soaking in it, well having had first-hand experience of the benefit of Colloidal Oatmeal, thanks to my work on our flagship ingredient, Oat COM, I knew that we could go one better and the reasons behind why Oats are so good at solving skin irritation issues.
Colloidal Oatmeal, unlike some websites would have you believe, isn’t simply ground oats! To produce a true Colloidal Oatmeal the raw oats need to go through a very technical process which requires getting the correct pressure and heat at various stages – a complex, and as with Oat COM, and often patented process. For maximum effectiveness, you need to start with oats that have been specially grown for cosmetics – Oat Cosmetics uses a special Finnish oat variety which has much higher levels of skin friendly molecules, such as beta glucan and avenanthramides than standard food oats.
It is the presence of these skin friendly molecules that make oats ideal for skincare. Colloidal Oatmeal has been proven to reduce redness and acts as a skin soother, furthermore it forms a barrier on the skin preventing trans epidermal water loss – one of the causes of dry, irritated skin. What I now do is add a small amount of Colloidal Oatmeal to the water before changing the baby, give it a mix around to allow the colloidal suspension to form, before continuing the normal process. The results are great – minimal redness and a smiley baby!