What Is Urea in Pores and skin Treatment? A Dermatologist Clarifies

  • Urea is a skin-treatment component that can be identified in experience lotions, lotions, and serums.

  • Urea has two major skin-care benefits: exfoliation and hydration.

  • Forward, a skin doctor solutions widespread issues about urea and how to use it.

Anybody who’s at any time attempted to read the components listing on the packaging of pores and skin-care products knows just how baffling the activity can be. There are some components that are far more commonplace and consequently a lot easier to understand – like hyaluronic acid, salicylic acid, and ceramides – but then there are substances like urea that can go away you scratching your head wondering: what is urea?

If you are stumped by this ingredient, enable us to drop some mild on what urea is, its pores and skin-care advantages, and how to use it in your routine. Ahead, a skin doctor responses all of your questions.

What Is Urea?

To commence, let’s set up what urea is in the context of splendor. “Your skin has a pure moisturizing component (NMF), which will help the pores and skin hold on to h2o and remain plump and hydrated,” Shereene Idriss, MD, a board-certified skin doctor and the founder of Idriss Dermatology in New York Metropolis, tells POPSUGAR. “Urea can make up 7 per cent of your NMF.” The relaxation of your all-natural moisturizing factor is built up of amino acids, lactic acid, and pyrrolidone carboxylic acid.

The pores and skin is just not the only area to come across it. “[It] can be identified naturally in pee,” states Dr. Idriss. But have no anxiety, that is not the exact same form of urea which is in your elegance items. “In industrial cosmetics, urea is designed synthetically in the lab and is commonly extra back even into baked goods and wine that we eat fortunately.”

What Are the Gains of Urea?

Each and every component has a function and purpose for being provided in a product. Urea has two principal added benefits: “[It] functions as an agent that assists to split up lifeless pores and skin cells,” Dr. Idriss suggests. “It also has moisturizing motion.” This means you will uncover urea in both equally hydrating and exfoliating products and solutions.

Urea is a humectant, just like hyaluronic acid, and attracts dampness from the ecosystem (like the air) and the pores and skin alone to hydrate. It really is also a keratolytic agent, which is how it receives its exfoliating qualities. It operates by breaking down protein keratin in the pores and skin, effectively having rid of flakes and dry patches.

Dr. Idriss recommends that if you’re hoping to experience the gain of exfoliation from urea, you really should look for products and solutions with a urea concentration bigger than 10 percent.

How Urea Is Employed in Skin Treatment

You’ll uncover urea in skin-treatment solutions starting off at a focus of just two % and ranging up to 40 p.c. “If it truly is a lot less than 10 %, it really is largely employed as a moisturizer,” she claims. “If it is previously mentioned 10 p.c and up to 20 percent, it can be used to treat skin circumstances like tough skin patches, calluses, cracked heels, and keratosis pilaris.” This would make it good to use on the body wherever skin is thicker and can tolerate heavier exfoliation, like on fingers and ft.

Opportunity Side Effects of Urea

The listing of probable facet outcomes of urea is brief. “As with something, it may perhaps trigger some very gentle skin irritation,” Dr. Idriss says. “If you acquire any indicators like stinging, itching, [and] burning, you could have an allergic reaction.”

On the bright facet, urea can also support enhance the absorption of other pores and skin-treatment elements in your program. This can make them even far more effective, but it can also make them more irritating.

Substances You Shouldn’t Combine With Urea

Some ingredients play nice jointly, while others will not. In basic, urea is rather easy to include into your regime – you can expect to just want to use caution when combining it with other exfoliating substances, like salicylic acid, glycolic acid, lactic acid, and retinoids, as it might “render it much more strong” and direct to discomfort, in accordance to Dr. Idriss. It is greatest to stick to a single exfoliant at a time.