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Aveeno Calm + Restore Triple Oat Hydrating Face Serum for Sensitive Skin


Is Aveeno Calm and Restore serum really gentle enough for sensitive skin? Here’s my review on Aveeno’s Calm and Restore Triple Oat Serum.

About this item

  • 1-fluid ounce of Aveeno Calm + Restore Triple Oat Hydrating Face Serum with calming feverfew for sensitive skin to instantly smooth & fortify skin's moisture barrier to leave skin feeling soft & supple
  • Aveeno Calm + Restore designed for sensitive skin with nourishing oat goes beyond soothing & restores skin's natural moisture barrier. Serum leaves skin feeling hydrated after just one use. Plus, 92% agreed that skin felt instantly smooth
  • The gentle, fast-absorbing formula, with Triple Oat Complex & calming feverfew, effectively calms irritated, dry skin while strengthening skin's moisture barrier for healthy, more resilience skin & leaves skin feeling soft & supple
  • Ideal for sensitive skincare, the hypoallergenic & non-comedogenic oat serum is tested on sensitive skin & free of fragrances, parabens, phthalates, dyes & alcohols
  • From a dermatologist-recommended brand for over 70 years, Aveeno Calm + Restore Oat Facial Serum is clinically proven gentle on eczema prone skin. To use, apply 3 to 4 drops onto hand & massage gently on face

Product Profile

I absolutely love oat as an ingredient in skincare products. It’s my go to ingredient anytime I have inflammation as it soothes and comforts my skin instantly. What makes it AH-mazing are beta glucans. Beta glucans are sugar molecules that are found in the cell walls of plants, yeast, and fungi. I know, it sounds weird, but hear me out. They penetrate deep into the skin’s dermal layers and help soothe, heal and nourish inflamed skin. They also promote wound healing, skin renewal and collagen production. Making it great for treating acne scars, sunburn and post treatment skin.  Check out this study to learn more. 

Oat Beta Glucans For The Win

Beta-glucan from oats is my top choice as its easily accessible in its raw form. It has anti-aging properties and when paired with conditioning ingredients like glycerin, moisturizes dry skin. I like to use colloidal oatmeal which are pulverized oats that have been ground into a fine powder that dissolves in water.

However, not all colloidal oatmeal is created equal. I learned that the hard way when I bought at bag of colloidal oats  and unintentionally over-exfoliated my face. Although the oats were in powder form, the texture was not as smooth as it should have been. It took weeks for me to realize that the oats were the issue, since the texture was so soft. But, after understanding what colloidal oatmeal should feel like (a finely milled powder). I realized the other stuff was trash. I now only buy this one which I love. Each box costs about eight bucks and lasts me roughly six months. 

Product Claims

The Aveeno Calm and Restore serum is marketed to those with sensitive skin. According to their website the serum uses “the soothing, hydrating power of prebiotic oat and calming feverfew,” and is “perfect for irritated, dry, or sensitive skin”. It states that it’s” free of fragrances, dyes, and irritants, and contains hydrating glycerin to keep your skin plump and fresh. I was excited to try it because I have been making my own oat serum for many years now. But, because I make it fresh for each use, it can be a bit cumbersome. So,  I liked the idea of not having to make my own serum all the time. In addition to the fact that it would be great to have an alternate option, because your girl likes variety.


BEST FOR: Non-reactive, dry or dehydrated skin types.

SENSITIVE SKIN FRIENDLY? Questionable. In my opinion any skincare product made with botanicals in the daisy family is not truly sensitive skin friendly. However, if you have sensitive skin, but know you’re able to tolerate these ingredients. This may be a option for you.

POTENTIAL INGREDIENT TRIGGERS: Butylene Glycol, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane,Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolyme, Dimethicone, Chrysanthemum Parthenium (Feverfew), Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Dimethiconolm, Sodium Hydroxide.

FRAGRANCE-FREE: Yes. But it does have a slight non-offensive smell.

ALLERGENS: Those with allergies to acrylic, citrus, corn, coconut, petroleum, silicone, or botanicals in the daisy family should proceed with caution and patch test before use.

The Results

Unfortunately, the Aveeno Calm and Restore serum was not the solution I was looking for at the time, as it just made things worse. The serum stung so badly, I had to rinse it off. To be fair, the salicylic cleanser did a number on my face, so my skin was already really angry. But, when I put the serum on I experienced a prickly, pins and needles stinging that I only get from skincare products formulated with botanicals in the Asteraceae/Compositae family (also known as the daisy family). Somehow, when I picked this up in the store, I managed to miss the fact that it had Chrysanthemum Parthenium, also known as feverfew. 

Feverfew: My Skin’s Kryptonite

Botanicals in the daisy family like feverfew, chamomile or sunflower have always caused issues for me. Many years ago when I was experimenting with different carrier oils, I noticed that I would break out into a rash any time I used chamomile oil. I was super confused because I was always under the impression that chamomile was supposed to be soothing. As it’s marketed in skincare as an ingredient that calms inflammation.

Unfortunately I was having the exact opposite experience and I didn’t know why. Turns out chamomile, feverfew and sunflower are in the same family as ragweed, poison ivy and poison oak which are all in the category of plants that are known allergens and most likely to cause contact dermatitis or an allergic reaction.Botanicals from the daisy family are often used in skincare products. And many people are able to to use these ingredients without issues. But for people like myself, these ingredients are sensitizing and can trigger allergic reactions.

I learned this the hard way many years ago when I tried  First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads.  I broke out into a rash and couldn’t figure out why. So I stopped using them, and tried the Ultra Repair Cream to calm things down. Same results. A red itchy rash that lasted several several weeks. I started doing research on every ingredient in both products and realized that the major offender ended up being feverfew. Just to be extra sure, I tried their Pure Skin face cleanser just to see if I was mistaken. Yep, it was a no. My skin definitely does not like feverfew, especially when its irritated.

The Results Part Deux

Months later, I was clearing out old skincare products and came across the Aveeno Calm and Restore serum. I decided to give it another try. I know, crazy. But, having MCAS can spontaneous allergic reactions. So I tend to revisit products that I’ve already tried to ensure I’m not confusing an MCAS flare with a bonafide allergy or sensitivity response.

I decided to give the Aveeno Calm and Restore Triple Oat Serum another try and was pleasantly surprised…at first. It’s lightweight, moisturizing and it left my skin feeling soft and hydrated. I finished an entire bottle and bought a second one, since I was enjoying it so much. But, after a few weeks of using the second bottle, I noticed that there was some slight stinging after I applied it. The stinging was short lived and wasn’t enough to stop using the product so I pressed on.

But, unfortunately, my love affair with the serum had to come to an end. The slight stinging, turned into a prickly sensation, then burning. And products that I would normally use were now stinging my face and the only change I had made was the Aveeno serum. That familiar prickly sensation confirmed for me that it was the feverfew causing all the havoc. So with that, I had to let it go.

Much To Be Desired

I just don’t see the benefit of adding feverfew and its derivatives to formulations. I have found that it doesn’t provide the “skin soothing” qualities skincare brands claim it does. The formulation also has a few silicones in it which tend to flare up irritation and cause acne for me. A pared down version of this product with half the ingredients and a higher percentage of oat would make this a true superhero product for irritated, sensitive skin .

So, it’s not something I reach for when I’m trying to soothe or calm things down. However, it may work for those with sensitive skin who aren’t reactive to any of its ingredients. If you’re skin is sensitive, but can tolerate botanicals and silicones. This glycerine based serum that’s lightly occlusive and fortified with beta-glucans may be for you.

How I Use It

  • When I was using this serum, I used it as the second step in my routine.
  • After cleansing, I’d apply a moisturizing toner then apply the Aveeno Calm and Restore serum and top it with squalane or marula oil.
  • I found that the combination of the toner, serum and oil mad my skin feel moisturized and hydrated all day.

Smell, Texture + Consistency

  • It’s fragrance-free, but not free of fragrance. Has a slight nondescript smell.
  • It’s lightweight, has nice slip and rubs seamlessly into the skin.
  • Its thicker than a traditional water based serum and has a thin, lotion-like texture
  • It’s not tacky or sticky but does leave a light “coat” feeling after you apply it.

Cocokind’s Ceramide Barrier Repair Serum

Cocokind’s Ceramide Barrier Repair serum is similar in its moisturizing and hydrating abilities. It is a cleaner formulation and it includes ceramides, cholesterol and squalene.

If you’re unable to tolerate either serum or just looking for a much simpler, gentle solution to soothe angry skin. You can always whip up your own with colloidal oats. Just simply add water to your oats, mix, strain and apply the liquid to your face. I’ve used this method for many years and it works, beautifully. You get all the benefits of the skin-soothing benefits of beta-glucans and none of the unnecessary additives. Just remember to make a little at a time and always make it fresh. Toss any leftovers you have in the trash after each application. Since we’re not adding any preservatives, you should NEVER store it. We don’t want any bacteria in our serum.

Remember, all colloidal oats are not created equal. You should only use finely milled colloidal oats on your skin. Looking for colloidal oat oats? This is the one I use.

Is It Sensitive Skin Friendly?

  • No, if you’re truly sensitive or reactive. Especially to botanicals or silicones, I would say skip this one.
  • Yes, if you have occasional sensitive skin, with no known allergies or reactivity to the ingredients.