Do you, like me, feel a little embarrassed asking your barista, “Um, do you have oat milk?” Here’s something that might help: the oat milk skincare movement has arrived. Now, instead of worrying that my proclivity for the coconut, almond, hemp, soy, rice, and skim milk alternative (among others) seems pretentious, I confidently ask for oat. I mean, it's not for me — it's for my skin.
There aren’t any studies directly linking oat milk to glowing skin yet, which is understandable; oat milk is relatively new on the scene. That being said, topical oats are famously soothing; and like plenty of other natural skincare ingredients — turmeric, saffron, gotu kola — there’s reason to believe they work from the inside out, too. “Oats are packed with fiber, plant-based protein, B vitamins, and minerals,” Royce Pinkwater, the founder of OATH, a company that makes protein-infused oat milk, tells The Zoe Report. “Oat milk is great for gut health and aids digestion — two things that are reflected in how you feel and look.” She’s not wrong: Dermatologists have sung the praises of fiber for skin health and vitamin B for skin health in the past, though, again, not necessarily within the context of drinking oat milk. The same could be said for protein, which Pinkwater claims can “maintain the skin’s natural barrier” and make skin feel “soft and smooth.” Collagen and elastin, the two substances responsible for keeping your face plump and youthful, are proteins. Food for thought.
“Oat milk may also have a positive impact on blood glucose levels,” Jill Therese, the founder of Heal Your Face With Food, tells TZR. “As a result, it may clear up troublesome acne spots — because high blood sugar levels and acne are deeply linked.” Oat milk is lactose-, nut-, soy-, and (mostly) gluten-free, too, so “unlike many plant-based milks, oat milk is a great option for people with allergies,” Pinkwater says. Allergies, or even mild sensitivities, can often manifest as skin issues, so that’s a win all around.
Perhaps the biggest way oat milk can impact your complexion, though, is if you swap it out for your usual dairy-based coffee creamer. “Dairy can increase inflammation in the skin and body and may lead to acne breakouts in some people,” Dr. Devika Icecreamwala, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist with Icecreamwala Dermatology, tells The Zoe Report. “By avoiding dairy and using oat milk as a substitute, you may notice an improvement in your skin issues.” Research supports this. “There have been a few studies done on the dairy-acne link, showing that removing milk may have a positive impact on acne,” Therese says. It’s thought that the added hormones in dairy could have something to do with that (as if your hormonal acne needs any outside help).
But why limit your oat milk intake to coffee breaks? The foamy, slight-sweet drink is a treat in its own right — especially in flavors of Indian Rose and Golden Turmeric, courtesy of OATH (available in-store at places like Westside Market and Health Nuts). “If you have a serious case of celiac disease, check with your doctor before you drink OATH,” the founder says. Otherwise, oat your heart out, if only for the sake of your skin.