Make your own 'colloidal oatmeal' for a fraction of the cost

Soapmaking Forum

Help Support Soapmaking Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

Savage Daughter

Formerly known as Quasi Quadrant
Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2023
Messages
626
Reaction score
1,496
Location
Turtle Island
I'm quite surprised to hear of people buying expensive colloidal oatmeal for use in their soaps. There is a better, much cheaper way, which I wished to share. Hopefully it'll save somebody some money.

1) Throw some whole oats - not instant oatmeal or anything like that - into a coffee grinder or even a decent quality food processor, blender, vitamix, whatever you have. Grind until it seems like most is powder. You'll have some chunks, Don't worry about it.

2) Run this through a very fine-meshed sieve which you've set over a bowl. Fine, but not so fine that the powdered oats can't get through the mesh. Use a spoon to stir the ground oats around in the sieve, encouraging it to fall through.

3) Put whatever is caught in the sieve back into the coffee grinder & top up with more oats.

4) Repeat the process until you have as much oat powder as you need.

You will have some pieces of scratchy stuff left in the sieve at the end. Throw it in a sauce for thickening purposes (any kind of sauce), add it to something you're baking or into your smoothies (no you won't notice it and it's a nutritional boost), feed it to your pets / chickens etc, or throw it in your compost or dig it into your garden soil.

Don't make a massive batch as once they're ground, the oats won't stay fresh as long as in their whole form. Store in a very tightly sealed bag & put that bag into an airtight container in a cool place, or better yet, in your freezer. You can also throw some of those silica gel packs into the powder (the ones you find in vitamin bottles & other products) to keep it extra dry & fluffy. I save all of my silica gel packs for keeping my herbs good & dry.

This can be used in any cold process soap, or hot process or melt & pour for that matter. You can also add other nutrients / additives to this, like powdered sunflower lecithin, calamine powder, clays, milk powder of whatever type, finely ground herbs, you name it. Use your imagination :)

The same can be done with herbs that you find are making your soaps unpleasantly scratchy, rice (try cooking it first, dehydrating the cooked rice in a warm oven, then grinding). I lived in Indonesia for 10 years & the locals would often put their leftover rice out in the sun to dry it, which kinda turned it into a rice crispies type of texture. I'm thinking that if you ran this through a sieve after grinding, you'd get a decent rice powder for use in soap. It's worth a shot :)
 
Ground oats is not colloidal oatmeal.

It may not be *exactly* the same, however, the soothing properties of the oats are still very much active, which is what is important.

If someone really wants to go the extra step, they can always do this: Colloidal oatmeal: history, chemistry and clinical properties - PubMed

EDIT:
I have been using oats on my skin - facial & otherwise - since I was 13 years old. I had severe acne growing up, which pushed me to find a solution via my grandmother's many books related to natural healing. She had some amazing reads. a lot which were published long before I was born - 1968.

In that book, a woman instructed people to use raw oats on their skin for all sorts of skin inflammation.

I tried it, many times, and it worked, It still does. I use oats on my face to this day & have zero scarring from acne. No pits, no spots, nothing. Like it wasn't even there.

My granddaughter is now beginning to have acne at 10 years old, beautiful girl. I have made her the same mask I make for myself using very finely ground oats, amongst several other ingredients, employing the simple technique I explained above. It's clearing her skin, along with the milk thistle facial oil I make for her & myself.

It also works for dry, patchy, scaly skin, eczema, and very effectively.

My point is, people can save themselves a great deal of money doing this at home, at the same time increasing their profit margin on the soaps they sell, and it will still work for soothing, healing & clearing inflammation from the skin (which is usually an issue coming from the liver & hormones, but that is a different topic altogether).
 
Last edited:
Thanks for sharing your experience. How awesome that it works so well for you. 🥰

However. Ahem. 😊 One should never call home-ground oat powder “colloidal oats,” bc those are two very different products. To call home-ground oat powder “colloidal” would be deceptive advertising under the law (lawyer speaking here). Better to call the homemade product “fine oat flour” or “fine oat powder” to avoid liability for false or misleading advertising, and potential injury to users.

You no doubt know this, as do many other members here. However, I’m reiterating that information for the benefit of those who don’t know the difference and might not understand the consequences of using home-ground oat powder and calling it “colloidal.”

True colloidal oats are far more finely ground any home grinder + sieve can achieve. But that’s not all. The oat powder is then soaked in water, and that water is then dehydrated. The product left after dehydration is fully dissolvable with zero exfoliating bits - and those are true colloidal oats.

Homemade oat powder, on the other hand, no matter how finely ground, will not fully dissolve in soap batter or in lotions. The undissolved bits - even if ground and sieved- will be exfoliating in soap, and will grow nasties in lotions and creams, even with good preservatives in place. The mold and bacterial growth will be there long before you are able to see them.

Some people cannot use any exfoliation at all, and none of us want to slather bacteria or mold on our skin. Either situation would be a liability for those who are selling or giving away product incorrectly labeled as “colloidal.” Hurting someone, having to refund a sale, dealing with negative reviews, or paying a fine to the government - all of those will cost money, not save it.

You are legally responsible to correctly identify your ingredients, and customers are entitled to rely on your labels and your statements to them. Your oat powder works well; why stretch the truth by calling it something legally false? Instead, explain to soap customers or mask customers how you are saving on costs by using “hand-crafted” oat powder, which may be a tad exfoliating but has all the other benefits of expensive colloidal oats. And don’t use it in lotions at all.

I do love colloidal oats for skin-soothing effects in soap. I also love home-ground oat powder for making facial masks. A caution is that some are allergic to oats, so any form of oats used in any product definitely needs to be disclosed on the label. :)
 
Last edited:
Thanks for sharing your experience. How awesome that it works so well for you. 🥰

You no doubt know this, as do many other members here. However, I’m reiterating that information for the benefit of those who don’t know the difference and might not understand the consequences of using home-ground oat powder and calling it “colloidal.”

True colloidal oats are far more finely ground any home grinder + sieve can achieve. But that’s not all. The oat powder is then soaked in water, and that water is then dehydrated. The product left after dehydration is fully dissolvable with zero exfoliating bits - and those are true colloidal oats.

Homemade oat powder, on the other hand, no matter how finely ground, will not fully dissolve in soap batter or in lotions. The undissolved bits - even if ground and sieved- will be exfoliating in soap, and will grow nasties in lotions and creams, even with good preservatives in place. The mold and bacterial growth will be there long before you are able to see them.

I do love colloidal oats for skin-soothing effects in soap. I also love home-ground oat powder for making facial masks. A caution is that some are allergic to oats, so any form of oats used in any product definitely needs to be disclosed on the label. :)
Thanks @AliOop - I had no idea what the difference was. This is a clear explanation, and I appreciate the details. I am happy I understand now, and maybe I’ll get some colloidal oats and try them in a small batch. 🌸
 
I don’t believe the OP ever said their method was a way to produce colloidal oats. Just finely ground oats.
It was in the thread title. However, since both products come from grinding oat kernels, I don't see much difference in the final product. I agree with not advertising the soap as containing colloidal oats.
 
Haven't had much time for any forums in the past few days with my added outdoor responsibilities, but I'd like to respond:

1) Regarding so-called 'nasties': I see this as ridiculous because people are putting ground rice, pant material & all sorts of other ingredients into their soaps & I see nobody getting into a tizzy over this. I will continue to use ground oats in my soaps, as well as many other products.

Regarding what I mentioned in reference to natural skin care products such as masks using oats (and other botanicals): there are a whole host a very effective natural preservatives now on the market which many bigger named companies are using in combination as their preservatives. In fact, I have contacted the manufacturers of these natural preservatives & we've discussed these preservatives' many possible uses in natural skin care products. I have also downloaded all of their information regarding how to use these preservatives safely. But back to ground oats in soap....

2) Oats contain natural saponins, which make them great for cleansing the skin & the entire body. SAPONINS.....I look at this as something which incorporates into soap very well & which would be SAPONIFIED quite well. So I will continue using ground oats in my soaps without any fear of 'nasties'. I began this journey in the mid 90s & have never had an issue with ground oats in my soaps. I have also come across large companies, including soap making supply companies & others, which use ground oats in their soaps with no issues.

3) I never said at all anything about mislabeling products.

4) The process used for making commercial colloidal oats could easily be employed at home, using a dehydrator, if someone so chose to do so. All it takes is a little bit of research on the actual manufacturing process & some common sense, not to mention experimenting.

5) Consider my post title amended to read 'COLLOIDAL OATS' with quotes.

I sincerely hope people will test this out for themselves & not simply go along with group-think / popular opinion, or even what I have said. Try these things for yourself & come to your own logical conclusions, and make your own common sense decisions.
 
No one was getting in a tizzy about using food items in soaps, just pointing out that there would be differences between actual colloidal oats and the very finely ground oats produced using your method.

No one is saying not to do it, but just letting people know that it's not actually going to replace colloidal oats exactly, which is what your original title and post suggested
 
It may not be *exactly* the same, however, the soothing properties of the oats are still very much active, which is what is important.

If someone really wants to go the extra step, they can always do this: Colloidal oatmeal: history, chemistry and clinical properties - PubMed

EDIT:
I have been using oats on my skin - facial & otherwise - since I was 13 years old. I had severe acne growing up, which pushed me to find a solution via my grandmother's many books related to natural healing. She had some amazing reads. a lot which were published long before I was born - 1968.

In that book, a woman instructed people to use raw oats on their skin for all sorts of skin inflammation.

I tried it, many times, and it worked, It still does. I use oats on my face to this day & have zero scarring from acne. No pits, no spots, nothing. Like it wasn't even there.

My granddaughter is now beginning to have acne at 10 years old, beautiful girl. I have made her the same mask I make for myself using very finely ground oats, amongst several other ingredients, employing the simple technique I explained above. It's clearing her skin, along with the milk thistle facial oil I make for her & myself.

It also works for dry, patchy, scaly skin, eczema, and very effectively.

My point is, people can save themselves a great deal of money doing this at home, at the same time increasing their profit margin on the soaps they sell, and it will still work for soothing, healing & clearing inflammation from the skin (which is usually an issue coming from the liver & hormones, but that is a different topic altogether).
Once again, ground oats are NOT colloidal oats. It's already been explained to you by a lawyer what the difference is and the legal problems associated with calling it something it isn't. Colloidal oatmeal and ground oats are two different things. You may feel they are the same but, just because they are from oats, doesn't make them the same.
 
IMO and IME colloidal oats and homemade powdered colloidal oats as @QuasiQuadrant described serve the same purpose and have the same result as it relates to soap and other B & B products. The only significant difference is the colloidal oats bought online are expensive compared to the homemade. :thumbs:

FWIW: I use oat flour, purchased from the grocery store.
1 tablespoon PPO -- in my Honey, Oats & Goat Milk Castile. It's far less expensive than colloidal oats and far less labor-intensive than the homemade.:nodding:
 
It's always good to have some potential substitutions in your back pocket and I believe that is the true point of @QuasiQuadrant 's post. I agree we need to list the correct ingredients on the label as @AliOop points out. I really like the convenience of the colloidal oatmeal versus making an oat powder, but now know a good substitute should I need one. I currently only use colloidal oatmeal in soap and the cost of the amount used is a small fraction of the total cost of my soap, so unless it really goes up in price I'd rather use my time to do other things than make oat powder. I keep the unused portion in the freezer, so it will keep longer. However I do appreciate options and backup plans for substitutions when needed.
 
I actually use a fair amount of oat flour in cooking, so I just take my powdered organic oats out of my kitchen stash & use them in masks, soaps etc. It's a truly beautiful flour to cook with! It gives such a nice, moist crumb to everything & has more nutritional value than bleached or unbleached wheat flour. I don't have a lot of 'me time' as it is living where I do, so I like to do things in larger batches whenever possible, and all at once, rather than farting around on a per-batch basis for food or soap making purposes.

It's also possible to use a good blender to do this, especially something like a vitamix. I assume a grain mill - not many people have these anymore unfortunately - might also work to crank out larger amounts.

Yes, oat flour can also be bought, but be aware that anything which is purchased already powdered, including spices, milks & more, have a far higher likelihood of being loaded with cheap fillers & other garbage. That's where the true 'nasties' are & people unquestioningly put them in their body all the time.
 
Yes, oat flour can also be bought, but be aware that anything which is purchased already powdered, including spices, milks & more, have a far higher likelihood of being loaded with cheap fillers & other garbage. That's where the true 'nasties' are & people unquestioningly put them in their body all the time.
Good advice! :thumbs:
 
I actually use a fair amount of oat flour in cooking, so I just take my powdered organic oats out of my kitchen stash & use them in masks, soaps etc. It's a truly beautiful flour to cook with! It gives such a nice, moist crumb to everything & has more nutritional value than bleached or unbleached wheat flour. I don't have a lot of 'me time' as it is living where I do, so I like to do things in larger batches whenever possible, and all at once, rather than farting around on a per-batch basis for food or soap making purposes.

It's also possible to use a good blender to do this, especially something like a vitamix. I assume a grain mill - not many people have these anymore unfortunately - might also work to crank out larger amounts.

Yes, oat flour can also be bought, but be aware that anything which is purchased already powdered, including spices, milks & more, have a far higher likelihood of being loaded with cheap fillers & other garbage. That's where the true 'nasties' are & people unquestioningly put them in their body all the time.
I buy organic oat flour right from the mill where it is processed. They include information on the farm where the oats were grown. Most of the flour I purchase goes into baking, but I do dip into the bag for some of my soaps! It gives a lovely light exfoliation; my husband loves it as do I.
I REALLY appreciate @AliOop’s explanation of the difference between colloidal oats and oat flour. I’m highly aware of my ignorance about so many soaping ingredients And reluctant to use anything if I don’t know the source. My sister just gifted me a bit of “dragons blood resin” to powder and use to colour soap and I’m very reluctant to use it as I can’t tell where it came from (I’ve read some may be adulterated and I’m very wary of anything that may have been sourced through Amazon).
 
@janesathome I also love some oat flour for exfoliation in soap - it's so gentle, and it feels to me that the oat-y goodness survives saponification to sooth the skin, too. Maybe it's all in my head, but that's ok - there's a lot of stuff rattling around in there anyway. 😁

For my lotions, I tend use hydrolized oat protein for a silky, soothing feel without all the spoilage concerns. Lotions are so finicky - I'm thankful that soap is much more forgiving!
 
I buy organic oat flour right from the mill where it is processed. They include information on the farm where the oats were grown. Most of the flour I purchase goes into baking, but I do dip into the bag for some of my soaps! It gives a lovely light exfoliation; my husband loves it as do I.
I REALLY appreciate @AliOop’s explanation of the difference between colloidal oats and oat flour. I’m highly aware of my ignorance about so many soaping ingredients And reluctant to use anything if I don’t know the source. My sister just gifted me a bit of “dragons blood resin” to powder and use to colour soap and I’m very reluctant to use it as I can’t tell where it came from (I’ve read some may be adulterated and I’m very wary of anything that may have been sourced through Amazon).

You are very fortunate to have that as a source for your oats / oat flour. I buy my organic oats in 50 lb bags & go from there. Far cheaper per lb that way. Very much a multi-use product. Really great for poultices for irritated skin, as well as soap, masks etc. Oat flour also makes a great, gentle, healing, anti-inflammatory face wash just on its own for those dealing with acne, dry skin, facial eczema etc. Very gentle, cleansing due to the natural saponins, and they leave the skin incredibly soft.

Amazon is definitely not a source I use for soap making ingredients, for any reason. Some molds possibly, some packaging yes....but food & soap making ingredients, absolutely not. I do have some high quality dragon's blood resin I bought several years back, which I normally burn as incense. Had not considered using it in soap, but might.

One of my next soap tests is with banana skins, coconut milk & ground oats. The brown skins (the browner the better) apparently are very high in amino acids, similar to tussah silk, and make a very hard bar. That combined with very finely ground oats & coconut milk will make a spectacular soap, I'm guessing.
 

Latest posts

Back
Top