The standard of beauty is constantly on the rise. With new ingredients and products buzzing on the internet, the list of suitable skincare is endless. Whether it is a cleanser or moisturiser, manufacturers are adding exotic and unheard ingredients in formulations only to give their products a niche market. Among the many wonder skincare elements, another one that is currently stealing the show online is urea.
Though this ingredient has been used in many products for several years, it slows gaining momentum amongst beauty enthusiasts who are beginning to unravel its benefits for the skin. If you're dealing with ultra-dry skin, urea might just be the solution you're looking for. Whether it is cracked heel, rough elbows, or even scaly rashes, urea is stoked with moisturising properties that surpass other ingredients like glycerin and shea butter.
This hydrating powerhouse is a skincare essential that you've underestimated till now. "Urea in and on the skin acts a humectant i.e. it absorbs moisture from the environment and draws it in the skin. Urea is hydrophilic and keeps the skin plump, smooth, and moist," says Consultant Dermatologist, Cosmetic Dermatologist & Dermato-Surgeon of The Esthetic Clinics, Dr. Rinky Kapoor.
One must know that hydration is key to healthy skin. “There is no denying the fact that proper hydration is the fountain to youth and inclusion of urea products in your skincare routine keeps the skin moisturized at tissue levels,” says Kapoor.
Is it the same urea that is found in fertilizers? “No, it does not mean the urea used in fertilizers, it is hydroxyethyl urea which is an important portion of the natural moisturizing factors (NMF) produced and needed by the body,” says Kapoor.
Here are a few things one must know about this hydrating powerhouse:
Benefits of urea
Unlike other moisturising ingredients, Urea works on the molecular level of the skin. Here are some of its benefits listed by Dr. Rinky Kapoor.
How can you find urea in a product? One has to simply turn and learn. "Urea is very easily available. If you will look at the ingredient list of any of the moisturizing lotions, creams, body washes etc. you will see urea listed as an ingredient. A low percentage of urea content is used for basic skincare and at higher percentages, it is used for cellular turnover i.e. in foot products, heavy exfoliation," says Kapoor.
Is urea only good for dry skin? No. Kapoor suggests that all skin types can use this wonder ingredient. “Urea, because of its humectant properties, is an ideal ingredient for anyone with dry and/or sensitive skin. Urea skincare is especially beneficial for the skin on elbows, feet, palms, etc. However, it is a strong product, and therefore, use it carefully and don’t overdo with the percentage and application. Ask your Dermat to recommend a ‘your ‘ skin suitable urea product for moisturizing and exfoliation.”
Dr. Debraj Shome is Director and Co founder of The Esthetic Clinics. He has been rated amongst the top surgeons in India by multiple agencies. The Esthetic Clinics patients include many international and national celebrities who prefer to opt for facial cosmetic surgery and facial plastic surgery in Mumbai because The Esthetic Clinics has its headquarters there.