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Also-called-like-this: Carbamide


Yes, it's the thing that can be found naturally in pee. And in the skin. It is an awesome natural moisturizing factor, aka NMF.  NMFs are important components that help the skin to hold onto water and keep it plump, elastic and hydrated. Urea makes up about 7% of NMFs next to other things such as amino acids (40%), PCA (12%) or Lactate (12%).

What makes urea special, is that it is not only a simple moisturizer, but it is thought to be a "small-molecule regulator of epidermal structure and function" meaning that it has a bunch of extra biological activities. It acts as a mild keratolytic agent (some of its moisturizing action is thought to come from urea's ability to break down bonds in the protein called filaggrin and thus freeing up amino acids in the skin), enhances antimicrobial peptide expression and improves skin barrier function

Being a mild keratolytic agent and strong moisturizer means that high-percentage (10-40%) urea treatments are found effective in a bunch of skin disorders connected to excessive dryness and malfunctioning skin barrier such as ichthyosis, xerosis, psoriasis, eczema and seborrheic dermatitis.  

Overall, just like glycerin, urea is a real oldie but a goodie, a nice ingredient in any moisturizer.

Show me some proof

  • Pan, Michael, et al. "Urea: a comprehensive review of the clinical literature." Dermatology online journal 19.11 (2013).
  • Grether-Beck, Susanne, et al. "Urea uptake enhances barrier function and antimicrobial defense in humans by regulating epidermal gene expression." Journal of Investigative Dermatology 132.6 (2012): 1561-1572.
  • Lodén, Marie. "Role of topical emollients and moisturizers in the treatment of dry skin barrier disorders." American journal of clinical dermatology 4.11 (2003): 771-788.

Products with a known amount of Urea

Other products with Urea

Dermasence Adtop Plus 40 Rohto Mentholatum AD Milky Lotion SVR Xerial 50 Extreme Crème Pieds TIS farmaceutic Urea Cream 30% Uremol 10 Urea 10% Skin Relief Moisturizing Lotion Urisec 22% Urea Cream Balea Bodylotion Urea Balea Med 2in1 Body Milk 15% Urea Bielenda Coarse-Grain Scrub Diamond Microdermabrasion Effect CeraVe SA Smoothing Cream Dermadrate Dry Skin Treatment 10% Urea Cream Dermal Therapy Heel Balm Platinum Dermal Therapy Very Dry Skin Cream Dermal Therapy Very Dry Skin Lotion Du’It Tough Hands For Her Eubos Urea 10% Körperlotion Eubos Urea 5% Face Cream Eucerin Advanced Repair Lotion Eucerin Dermocapillaire Calming Urea Scalp Treatment Eucerin Dry Skin Face Cream 5% Urea Eucerin Replenishing Face Creme 5% Urea Plus Lactate Eucerin Roughness Relief Cream Eucerin Roughness Relief Lotion Eucerin Urearepair Plus: 10% Urea Body Lotion Eveline cosmetics 15% Urea Heel Cream Evy Daily Repair Mousse Flexitol Intense Overnight Foot Cream Giuliani Kerà K2 HIRUDO DERM Аtopi Expert ICM Pharma Aqurea Moisturizing Cream Instituto Español Crema Reparadora Avanzada Urea 20% (150ml) Instituto Español Crema Reparadora Urea L300 Fresh Hydration Cleansing Toner Lynia Krem Nawilżająco-Złuszczający Z Mocznikiem Lynia Tonik Żelowy Nawilżający Z Mocznikiem Masterplast Soft Feet Heel Balm Meditamu 10% Urea Cream Mesosystem Melano Out Mask Numis med Urea 5% Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Intensive Relief Hand Cream Plunkett's Ns-8 Heel Balm Complex SVR Xerial 10 Body Lotion SVR Xerial 10 Lait Corps SVR Xerial 30 Creme SVR Xerial 40 Ongles Superdrug Cracked Heel Repair Cream UDDERLY SMOOTH Extra Care Cream With 10% Urea Urea Labs 10% Urea Cream Uriage Keratosane 30 Veet Silk & Fresh In-Shower Hair Removal Cream Sensitive Skin