Oat kernel extract on the rise as ‘star’ prebiotic skin health active: Mintel

By Kacey Culliney contact

- Last updated on GMT

The number of new skin care products with oat kernel extract or oil is on the rise, particularly those making prebiotic claims [Getty Images]
The number of new skin care products with oat kernel extract or oil is on the rise, particularly those making prebiotic claims [Getty Images]

Related tags: Oat, prebiotic, Skin care, Skin health, cosmetic claims, Mintel, skin microbiome, microbiome

The number of new skin care product launches incorporating oat kernel extracts and oils for their prebiotic properties to make skin health claims is growing year by year, according to Mintel.

As interest in the skin microbiome continued to gain ground in beauty and personal care, wider investment had triggered a raft of promising product developments and scientific advances. But on the ingredients side, market research major Mintel said there was a particularly interesting one rising through the skin microbiome ranks: oat kernel extract.

NPD with oat extracts on the rise, particularly for prebiotic claims

According to Mintel’s Global New Products Database (GNPD), the percentage of products using oat kernel extract or oat kernel oil had continued to grow over the past five years and in 2020 1.6% of new skin care products contained oat kernel extract and 0.5% contained oat kernel oil.

Touted for its skin conditioning, soothing and antioxidant properties, oat kernel extracts and oat kernel oils were also “more commonly used”​ in new products making a prebiotic claim – an aspect also growing year by year in skin care, Mintel said. Between September 2020 and August 2021, 4.9% of the new prebiotic or probiotic skin care launches contained oat extract; more than double the 1.7% between September 2017 and August 2018, according to GNPD Mintel data.

California-based beauty brand Cocokind, for example, was using a prebiotic fermented oat and blend of oils in its ‘Oil to Milk’ cleanser to clean the skin, support its natural flora and promote pH balance. Another California-based brand Honest was also using colloidal oatmeal with a range of other oils in its ‘Soothing Therapy’ eczema cream to relive dry, irritated skin caused by eczema or rashes.

Skin care shift – oat ‘well-known’ but now being used as prebiotic

Hwa Jun Lee, senior analyst for beauty and personal care in South Korea, APAC, at Mintel, said that whilst oat had been a “well-known”​ ingredient in skin care for a long time, it was now being “re-estimated” ​for its prebiotic properties.

“Oat is known as a prebiotic with the ability to support the growth of microorganisms naturally found in the skin microbiome. And it often claims to moisture the skin leaving it soft and smooth, soothe the skin and replenish the skin barrier in skin care products,”​ Lee told CosmeticsDesign-Europe.

Moving forward, he said oat extract would continue to appeal to consumers in skin care because it was considered a “traditional active ingredient”.

“Traditional actives can be familiar and easily trusted. Oats that have already been well-known and have been used for a long time are expected to be highlighted,” ​he said.

Wellbeing movement driving skin health focus and consumer interest

Lee said interest in oat kernel extracts was also likely to grow as the wellbeing movement continued to build in beauty and personal care, fuelling increased consumer interest in skin health.

The UK and US were leading the charge with skin care products making skin health claims, he said, and whilst globally prebiotic, probiotic and microbiome claims in skin care remained “relatively niche”, ​they too were on the rise year on year, particularly those associated with “enhancing skin health”.

“For skin health in beauty products, prebiotics such as oat will play a more important role in the global beauty business,” ​Lee said.

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