What is Black Oat Extract?
A balm for your skin (not just the backbone of your breakfast), black oat is a gentle way to incorporate ancient wisdom into your skincare routine.
In the rich history of agriculture, there are few plants that have demonstrated as much utility and benefit to humans as oats. For thousands of years, oats have been harvested not only as a source of food and livestock feed but also for therapeutic purposes. Luckily, modern science has begun to pay attention to ancient wisdom, and recent studies validate the benefits of oat as a form of skin nourishment.
At Iremia, we believe that nature provides the simple solutions that our skin requires. With black oat extract, we use a highly concentrated and proprietary combination of black oat and lecithin as a pure and gentle way to incorporate the many benefits of oat into our minimalist skincare routine.
What is black oat extract and what does it do for your skin? Sit back, draw an oat bath, and read on.
What is black oat extract?
Black oat (Avena strigosa) is a type of grass native to Europe and is largely grown for animal feed due to its high nutritional value and easy digestibility. It is one of the four cultivated species of oat, often overshadowed by the common oat (Avena sativa).
Black oat seeds ripen in late summer, between August and October. At this time the seeds are green and soft and they produce a milky substance when squeezed - this freshness is ideal for extraction, as it allows the easiest access to oats' beneficial nutrients (minerals such as magnesium and potassium, vitamin B, antioxidants, beta-glucan, and more).
Applied topically, black oat extract can calm, moisturize, protect, and heal the skin.
Though extracts are a more modern method of tapping into the soothing powers of oat, they are simply the latest variation on ancient wisdom. In fact, oat grains have been used since Roman times as a topical skin treatment, and oatmeal baths have a long history of use to calm skin inflammatory conditions
Black oat vs oat
Black oat and oat are part of the same genus, and though different species, appear to have similarities in terms of their nutritional content. Both are excellent sources of healthy fatty acids, beta-glucans and antioxidants. However, black oat is not widely grown commercially due to its relatively low grain productivity and its lack of cold tolerance, meaning it often takes a back seat to the more productive common oat.
It may be smaller in size and less productive, but don’t let that fool you. Black oat is actually more nutrient-dense: it contains 27–52% more protein, 14–27% more fat and 38–72% more polysaccharides than common oat. Further, recent research indicates that black-hulled oats contain relatively higher antioxidant levels than common oats.
Moving forward, we may begin to see more black oat on the market: it has been included in climate change discussions of alternate crops that would have a more stable yield during increased temperatures and drought, and would also be less resource-dependent than common oat.
What are the Benefits of Black Oat Extract?
Black oat, applied topically, provides the skin with all the moisturizing, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits that common oats are known for, but at much higher nutrient density. Put it in the form of an extract and it delivers these benefits in a concentrated form, making it the ideal soothing ingredient in your skincare routine.
Keeping skin properly hydrated is one of the most important parts of maintaining the skin as your first line of defence. High concentrations of water-retaining substances such as starches, polysaccharides and amino acids in black oat are responsible for its protecting and hydrating functions, as well as improving the absorption of moisture.
Another important component of black oat extract is beta-glucans, which is essential to its moisturizing capabilities. Beta-glucans is a sugar that not only helps to retain moisture in the skin but also helps to promote collagen production for stronger, more resilient skin. Not only do beta-glucans protect your skin from damage, but their ability to stimulate cell growth means they are also essential in helping your skin heal from damage.
One of black oats’ most well-known qualities is its ability to calm itchy or irritated skin. Finely-ground oatmeal has been used for centuries in baths and lotions to treat eczema and other skin irritations, and this is due to a compound in oats called avenanthramides. As an anti-inflammatory agent, avenanthramides stop itching and redness in irritated skin. Further, avenanthramides have an antihistamine effect, which means black oat can help prevent your body from reacting to allergens.
Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant
Black oat extract possesses different types of phenols (including avenanthramides) that act as antioxidants for your skin. The sun and environmental pollutants can cause permanent DNA damage in the skin, resulting in the loss of collagen, wrinkles, and dark spots. But antioxidants can stop pollution damage before it starts. Further, flavonoids in oats can absorb certain ranges of UVA rays, making black oat helpful as a skin protectant.
Recent studies have also shown that, due to anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds, topical oat treatment may help with conditions such as dermatitis and psoriasis.
Black Oat Exract at Iremia
At Iremia Skincare, we use a proprietary combination of black oat extract and lecithin. Bringing these two ingredients together support the skin’s own natural moisturizing factor (NMF). It also helps to reduce transepidermal water loss (TEWL) through its water-retaining substances (including proteins, aminoacids, and polysaccharides).
Rich in valuable vitamins (A, B1, B2, B6) as well as pantothenic acid, niacin, and biotin, the combination of black oat extract and lecithin results in a 30% more effective hydration effect than both glycerin and hyaluronic acid combined.
At Iremia, we use black oat extract in our All-Calm Face Mist - bursting with natural ingredients that work alongside black oat to soothe, hydrate, and plump up your skin, All-Calm supports your skin’s own natural moisturizing factor, helping you get more out of less product.
Black oat extract is a beautiful and concentrated way to harness the many benefits of the black oat plant, all with the goal of supporting healthy skin. One of the best skin moisturizers available, black oat is one of the many ways that nature reminds us that we are provided for and protected, inside and out.
As always, enjoy the ritual of using your natural skincare knowing that you’re making healthy and simple choices for radiant, glowing skin.