Our body naturally produces urea. But the, scientists are also capable of producing urea in the laboratories and have named it synthetic urea.
A wide range of different types of beauty products, we mean cosmetic and skincare products, contain this synthetic urea because of its moisturizing properties.
Here, we will talk about some of the major benefits of urea products. Before jumping into the main topic, let’s know what urea actually is.
What Is Urea?
The liver is responsible for making urea that is also known as carbamide. It is basically a waste product that is produced after breaking down proteins in the body. While urea is found in urine, it is also an organic compound that is naturally present in healthy skin.
You might be surprised to know that urea can actually act as a humectant. It works by drawing water into the skin for helping the skin stay smooth along with moisturization. Humectant plays a crucial role in preserving skin hydration and keeping it healthy.
Benefits Of Urea Skin Care Products
Now, as you have got the idea about what urea actually is, it is time to look at the benefits it has to offer our skin.
- Moisturizing skin cells.
- Breaking down the outer layer of the skin for promoting new cell growth.
- Increasing product penetration in the skin deeply.
- Soothing irritation.
Urea is also a useful additive for products that are designed to counter the effects of aging. Research shows that urea is capable of improving the signs of UV radiation exposure or photodamage on the skin.
Urea Concentration And The Benefits
Different products come with different urea concentrations. The concentration can vary between 3% to 40% and also deliver a number of benefits. Let’s have a look at them.
- Creams with 10% urea concentration help in dehydrating the skin.
- Skin products with 20% to 30% urea content can break down keratin, reduce itching, and improve scaly skin conditions like ichthyosis. Decrease the thickness of the skin’s outermost layer.
- Products that have around 40% of urea concentration are proteolytic, which means they will break down proteins.
You also can use a 40% concentrated urea product for dissolving or peeling dystrophic nails. These types of nails have thickened or become deformed or discolored.
Uses Of Urea In Skincare
In skincare, urea has a number of different uses. In skincare products, manufacturers use synthetic urea in the following skincare products.
An article was published in 2014 that has explained that the creams that treat a different range of nail and skin conditions contain Urea. These conditions include the following.
- Dry skin.
- Radiation dermatitis.
- Contact dermatitis.
- Fungal nail infections.
- Athlete’s foot or tinea pedis.
- Ingrown nails.
- Itchy skin.
- Corns and calluses.
- Eczema or atopic dermatitis.
Uses For Dry Skin And Feet
A study was conducted in 2017 that explored different types of moisturizers, which are most effective when it comes to treating dry skin on the feet. This condition is known as xerosis. The study concluded that urea is the most common ingredient in creams.
A lot of research is also being conducted to check the effectiveness and the concentration of urea that can treat this skin condition.
Uses For Nail Conditions
An article of 2019 examined the use of urea for improving and treating nail conditions, like a fungal infection. This condition can be treated successfully by a wide range of antifungal medications.
But the 2019 study concluded that utilizing topical urea is capable of enhancing the effectiveness of topical or oral antifungal treatments. Due to the properties of penetration enhancers, this is possible.
Safety Precautions While Using Urea
Several studies show that urea is indeed a safe additive, which most people can tolerate well. Most individuals who use products that contain urea usually do not face any negative consequences.
Still, it is always advised not to apply urea around sensitive areas, such as lips and eyes, because it might cause irritation. Some individuals who are using products with urea might experience the following consequences.
Here we must say that all these side effects are usually mild, rare, and temporary.