Is Urea used in Skincare?
Our body naturally makes urea, but scientists can also make it in a laboratory and call it as synthetic urea. A range of skin care and cosmetic products contain this type of urea due to its moisturizing properties.
What is urea?
Our liver makes urea, also known as carbamide, which is a waste product after breaking down proteins in the body.
While urine contains urea, it is also an organic compound naturally present in healthy skin.
Urea can act as a humectant. It work by drawing water into the skin to help the skin stay smooth and moisturized. It plays an important in preserving skin hydration and health.
Benefits to skin
Urea can have the following benefits for a person’s skin:
• breaking down the outer layer of skin to promote new cell growth
• moisturizing skin cells
• soothing irritation
• increasing how deeply products penetrate the skin
Urea can also be a useful additive for products designed to counter the effects of aging. ResearchersTrusted Source have found that urea can help improve signs of UV radiation exposure — photodamage — on the skin.
Uses in skin care
Urea has several different uses in skin care. Manufacturers use synthetic urea in skin care products, like:
Uses for dry skin on feet
In 2017 scientists explored the types of moisturizers that are most effective for treating dry skin on the feet, a condition known as xerosis. It found that urea was the most commonly included ingredient in the creams.
Many studies show that urea is safe to use that most people tolerate well.
Most people who use products containing urea do not experience negative side effects. However, people should not use urea around sensitive areas such as the eyes and lips, as it may cause irritation.
Some people who use products with urea may experience:
These side effects are generally rare, mild, and temporary.
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