It’s a vital ingredient in many of our skincare products, but do you know what it does? Here we explain the benefits of Urea, what it can be used for and when to use it.
A chemical used in everything from agriculture to teeth whitening, Urea has been listed as one of the World Health Organisation’s Essential Medicines as one of the most important dermatological medicines for maintaining healthy skin. Produced biologically in the liver, urea has been produced in laboratories since 1828, and has become an important ingredient in many moisturising skin products.
Unlike petroleum based emollients, Urea based moisturising creams have a higher absorbency rate, meaning that you don’t need as much to receive the same benefit, making it more efficient and cost effective to use.
What does it do?
Urea containing creams help to treat and prevent mild skin conditions including corns, calluses hard nails and, dry, cracked skin, damaged nails and eczema.
Urea works by increasing the skins ability to create and hold water, treating dryness much more effectually than non-urea creams. It also helps to remove dead skin cells and accelerates the skin’s cellular renewal process, allowing the skin to work as a more effective barrier, keeping it youthful and healthy.
Urea also helps the skin by acting as an agent to allow other ingredients to penetrate the skin more easily and therefore work more effectively.
What exactly can Urea be used for?
Urea is an incredibly useful medical ingredient for tackling all kinds of conditions; Dry skin, eczema, corns, calluses, brittle nails, cracked heels and many other skin conditions can be benefitted by urea containing products. With the winter months coming up, where dry skin is more prevalent, Urea should definitely be on your list of things to look out for when it comes to skin care products.
How often should I use it?
Most Urea containing creams come in two strengths, 10% and 25%. 10% creams are designed for everyday use, to keep your skin soft, supple and moisturised. 25% Urea products are formulated
specifically for treating dry or hard skin, cracked heels, corns and calluses. 25% Urea products should only be applied until your symptoms disappear, or you could run the risk of developing side effects.
This is especially important for people with sensitive skin or diabetics who have more sensitive feet. Flexitol Platinum is also available in 30% Urea formulation which has works even faster with visible results in 24 hours. Ideal for a last-minute dash to make your feet look and feel great for a holiday or weekend date.
What Should I look out for?
Most people won’t see any side effects, but you may notice some mild irritation or itching. If this does occur you should stop using the product. Urea creams aren’t for eyes or eating, so avoid that. And remember to always read the label of your particular product.