For many of us, our skin feels and looks its best when it’s clear and bright. Many consumers turn to skincare products for whitening and brightening skin, but urea may also be effective in this endeavor. The compound was first synthesized in 1897 by German chemist Otto Freundlich, who named it uric acid. Urea is a colorless, odorless compound that is a component of proteins and is present in most body tissues, including skin, hair, nails, and eyes. Urea is also found in cosmetic products, such as makeup, moisturizers, and cleansers.
Benefits Of Urea
The benefits of urea in skincare are numerous, so it’s no surprise that it’s often used in skincare products. Urea is a naturally occurring substance in our bodies and is, for the most part, considered a safe ingredient. However, it’s important to note its potential for causing unwanted side effects.
Everyone needs a little moisture boost from time to time. Fortunately, there are plenty of moisturizers on the market to bring moisture back to our skin. But what if you want to boost your moisture levels with something that’s as natural as can be? That’s where an all-natural moisturizer infused with urea can come in handy. Urea moisturizes our skin, making it soft, hydrated, and looking healthy.
Acts As a Humectant
Urea is a nitrogen-based compound found in all living cells. It is colorless and odorless and is found naturally in urine, blood, and tears, and is made from the amino acid glycine. Urea works as an antibacterial agent and helps the skin retain moisture. In skincare products urea can act as an antibacterial and hygroscopic (moist and sponge-like) agent.
May Improve Skin Barrier Function
Urea has been found in many skin care products for its moisturizing and hydrating effects, but recent studies have shown that urea may enhance skin barrier function too. When our skin barrier function is compromised, we are more likely to experience some of the typical discomforts of dry skin, like itching, cracking, or irritation. Treating the skin barrier with topical urea may help improve skin barrier function, according to a study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology.
Works As an Excellent Exfoliant
If your skin is in need of good exfoliation, then urea is the perfect solution. Urea, a form of nitrogen, is a great exfoliator that, when used in skincare, not only works to exfoliate the skin but helps to remove dead skin cells. This, in turn, promotes healthy-looking skin as it prevents the skin from looking dull and clogged.
Are There Any Side Effects or Risks from Using Urea?
Urea is a compound found naturally in almost every living thing. Your body produces urea naturally, but you can also get urea in skincare products. In fact, urea is often used as a component of most skincare products and it is the main ingredient in soap. Urea in the skincare realm is harmless, but it can cause skin irritation or allergies in some people.
According to dermatologists, urea can have potential health risks, most notably as a carcinogen. If used too much, it could cause dryness, irritation, or even allergic reactions. Although urea isn’t generally considered dangerous, some skin experts are concerned it could damage sensitive areas, like your eyes.