In most cases, the more natural its ingredients, the more beneficial a product will be for your health. Occasionally that rule of thumb backfires, though. Some natural soaps and shampoos have accrued a reputation for not really cleaning skin, but oatmeal bar soap does—and it rejuvenates too. Rather than some natural products that replace the essential elements of soap, bars containing oatmeal only use it as a complimentary force. With so many inherent benefits, oatmeal has been used on humans for centuries, and in soap it continues to work as an effective treatment for all types of skin.
Anyone who’s had chicken pox knows that oatmeal can reduce itch: countless mothers have submerged sick children in a warm water and rolled oats bath. Oatmeal has other qualities, though, just as soothing to the skin. All skin has a protective acid mantle, and because its pH levels vary, some products can disrupt the balance; oatmeal bar soap acts as a buffer, even regulating proper levels. Because it’s so soft and its particles so tiny, oatmeal works well at exfoliating sensitive skin, and unlike some additives it doesn’t interfere with the work of the soap; it actually has inherent cleansing properties itself.
Oatmeal bar soap may not look differently than other soaps, because the most effective products use colloidal oatmeal. Buying a bar with large oats dispersed throughout looks pretty and natural, but it’s the bars with oatmeal evenly distributed throughout that really help the skin. A colloid is any homogenous substance with larger molecules (in this case, oatmeal) evenly dispersed throughout a second substance (soap). To achieve that with oatmeal bar soap, oats must be thinly ground, so that every time you bathe your skin it encounters the same beneficial elements.