Our Oat and Zinc Bath Powder contains three key ingredients that are all excellent for healing, soothing and moisturising the skin. It has been formulated to be used either as a bath soak, or as a soothing paste and is gentle enough to be used both on your face and body.
Read on to see exactly why we chose each ingredient and how each one is going to help your skin...
Colloidal oatmeal is a fine powder, that comes from grinding and processing whole oat grains. When these small particles are dispersed in water, a barrier on the skin can form and protect the skin from external threats. As well as being used for eczema, colloidal oatmeal is often used for other skin rashes, erythema, burns and general itch. The use of oats topically dates back throughout history. (Ilnytska et al., 2016)
Oatmeal is known to be moisturising, protective, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, soothing, buffering and also has cleansing properties. Thanks to its humectant activity and emollient effects, it provides water retention in the stratum corneum (the top layer of your skin) - which helps with itching, as well as improving skin barrier and moisture levels in the skin. (Fowler, Nebus, Wallo & Eichenfield, 2012)
The anti-inflammatory action of oat extracts are linked to a number of antioxidants found within oats, including avenanthramides, vitamin E and ferric acid. Avenathramides have particularly potent anti-inflammatory properties and studies have shown that they inhibit the release of pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-8, as well as decreasing the activation of the NF-kB pathway. (Fowler, Nebus, Wallo & Eichenfield, 2012)
Bicarbonate soda is often used in baking to make batters lighter and fluffier, but did you know it has lots of other benefits that can help your skin? Often someone with eczema scratches their skin so much that it breaks, resulting in an open wound that is prone to infection - making everything worse! Due to it’s antibacterial actions, baking soda may help reduce symptoms in eczema sufferers.
Sodium bicarbonate has been found to inhibit the growth of both bacteria and yeast, and the bicarbonate ion in particular has been identified as the probable cause of inhibition of the tested bacteria and yeast. In addition to this, pH elevation due to the use of bicarbonate soda played a roll in some cases. (Corral, Post & Montville, 2006).
Topical preparations of zinc, including zinc oxide, have been used for many years as soothing agents for a number of skin conditions, including eczema. The anti-inflammatory properties of zinc oxide increases the rate of reepithelialization, which is why it is commonly used. A zinc oxide paste is also a popular option for treating nappy rash in babies due to these effects. It has been found to be a beneficial anti-itch agent, due to its soothing activity. Statistically significant improvements have been observed in double-blind clinical trials when a cream containing zinc sulphate was used on patients with chronic hand eczema. (Gupta, Mahajan, Mehta & Chauhan, 2014).
Zinc oxide has also been found to have strong antioxidant and antibacterial action and has been used to treat impaired skin barrier function, increased oxidative cellular stress and bacterial colonisation. (Gupta, Mahajan, Mehta & Chauhan, 2014).
Calamine lotion - which you may remember using as a child when you had chicken pox - contains zinc oxide and is commonly used as an anti-itch remedy due to it’s soothing properties. The zinc inhibits mast cell degranulation and therefore reduces the secretion of histamine - resulting in less itch for the patient. (Gupta, Mahajan, Mehta & Chauhan, 2014).
In addition to being used for itchy skin conditions, zinc oxide is also often used for other skin conditions, including acne, rosacea, psoriasis, ulcers/wounds and warts. (Gupta, Mahajan, Mehta & Chauhan, 2014).
At Eczema Life, we recommend nutritionist Karen Fischer's low food chemical program (The Eczema Detox) along with additive-free supplements for skin health and wellbeing. Click on the images to view more details:
Ilnytska, Olha & Kaur, Simarna & Chon, Suhyoun & Reynertson, Kurt & Nebus, Judith & Garay, Michelle & Mahmood, Khalid & Southall, Michael. (2016). Colloidal Oatmeal (Avena Sativa) Improves Skin Barrier Through Multi-Therapy Activity. Journal of drugs in dermatology : JDD. 15. 684-690.
Fowler, Joseph F., Judith Nebus, Warren Wallo and Lawrence F Eichenfield. (2012). Colloidal oatmeal formulations as adjunct treatments in atopic dermatitis. Journal of drugs in dermatology: 804-7 .
Corral, Laura & Post, Laurie & MONTVILLE, THOMAS. (2006). Antimicrobial Activity of Sodium Bicarbonate. Journal of Food Science. 53. 981 - 982. 10.1111/j.1365-2621.1988.tb09005.x.
Gupta, M., Mahajan, V. K., Mehta, K. S., & Chauhan, P. S. (2014). Zinc therapy in dermatology: a review. Dermatology research and practice, 2014, 709152. doi:10.1155/2014/709152