Colloidal Oatmeal (Avena Sativa) Improves Skin Barrier Through Multi-Therapy Activity

June 2016 | Volume 15 | Issue 6 | Original Article | 684 | Copyright © June 2016

Olha Ilnytska PhD, Simarna Kaur PhD, Suhyoun Chon PhD, Kurt A. Reynertson PhD, Judith Nebus MBA,
Michelle Garay MS, Khalid Mahmood PhD, and Michael D. Southall PhD

Johnson & Johnson Skin Research Center, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. Skillman, NJ

table 6
Dry skin is a common condition on the legs, particularly developed during winter and is often correlated with impaired barrier, decreased stratum corneum hydration and increased TEWL.20 Our clinical study demonstrated that treatment of individuals with moderate to severely dry skin with the colloidal oatmeal protectant lotion was effective in significantly restoring the skin barrier, improving visual dryness and moisturization of dry skin. In addition, skin benefit continued for up to 13 days after the last application in the regression phase of the study. Clinical evaluations of skin dryness showed significant improvements (P<0.05) at all time points during the treatment and regression period, including 13 days after the last application. Skin was significantly more hydrated (P<0.05) at all time periods measured during both the treatment and regression period. At the end of the regression phase (2 weeks no treatment) mean moisturization values were still significantly higher than baseline. All these changes were accompanied by significantly improved TEWL values at all time points during the treatment period and up to day 9 of the regression (no treatment) phase of the study indicating that the colloidal oat treatment was effective in restoring the skin barrier.
The acid-mantle in skin of individuals with atopic dermatitis or compromised skin has been found to be disrupted, resulting in an elevated skin pH in those individuals.21-23 Previous studies have demonstrated that colloidal oats can buffer skin pH in subjects with either dry skin dermatitis or individuals with atopic dermatitiss.4 The pH-buffering capacity of colloidal oat fractions demonstrated that the water fraction (WCO) which is rich in water-soluble oat proteins (globulins and prolamines) and carbohydrates, demonstrated very effective pH buffering activity (Table 2). These findings support the notion that oat proteins may directly contribute to the skin barrier benefits of colloidal oatmeal. The use of colloidal oats for skin irritation and compromised skin barrier has been well documented. Only recently studies have determined the mechanisms of action of how colloidal oatmeal can reduce inflammation and restore skin barrier.7 The current study demonstrates in vitro that the colloidal oatmeal increased expression of genes for skin barrier protein and skin lipid, which could contribute to improved skin barrier. And finally a colloidal oatmeal skin protectant lotion yielded significant clinical improvements in visual skin dryness, skin moisture, decreased TEWL and therefore improved the skin barrier, suggesting that colloidal oatmeal can exert beneficial effects on skin barrier through the enhancement of barrier homeostasis. Taken together, these results demonstrate that oatmeal-containing lotions can restore skin barrier thereby providing benefits for dry and compromised skin.


Funding sources: Studies were supported by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc. Skillman, New Jersey, USA.