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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

Aqua Care Lotion With 10% Urea Balneum Balneum Cream Dermasence Adtop Plus 40 Flexitol Heel Balm Galderma Brasil Nutraplus® Ureia 10% Creme Genom Ureskin Creme De Ureia 10%. Isana Bade-Perlen Herzens Zeit Isana Urea-Badesalz Kleine Auszeit Isispharma Urelia 50 Rohto Mentholatum AD Milky Lotion SVR Xerial 50 Extreme Crème Pieds Shiseido 10% Urea Hand & Legs Cream TIS farmaceutic Urea Cream 30% Uremol 10 Urea 10% Skin Relief Moisturizing Lotion Urisec 10% Urea Cream Hand & Body Treatment Cream For Dry Skin Conditions Urisec 12% Urea Lotion Urisec 22% Urea Cream 1st Care Heel Balm ARDENE Moisturising Lotion Accufix Cosmetics Carbamide Intensive Hydration Cream Auxilium Cura Innovatio Footmender All In One Auxilium Cura Innovatio Footmender All In One Diabetic Avene Akérat 30 Crème Zones Localisées Babaria Crema Manos Urea Anti-Grietas Balea Augencreme Urea Balea Bodylotion Urea Balea Eyecream Urea Balea Fusscreme Urea Balea Handcreme Urea (2021) Balea Med 2in1 Body Milk 15% Urea Balea Med Bodylotion Urea 15 % Bielenda Coarse-Grain Scrub Diamond Microdermabrasion Effect Bielenda Happy End Foot And Heel Urea Cream Biotrade Keratolin Bioturm Naturkosmetik Hydrating Lotion N°2 CCS Cracked Heel SOS Carbaderm Hudkrem 10% Karbamid Carmed Hand Cream Carmed Ultimate Essence Moisturizing Lotion Caron Bump Eraiser Triple Action Lotion Caviahue Crema Emoliente Ps CeraVe SA Smoothing Cream CeraVe SA Smoothing Cream With Salicylic Acid CeraVe Sa Smoothing Cream With Salicylic Acid Cerkoderm30 30% Krem Mocznikowy Z AHA Dermadrate Dry Skin Treatment 10% Urea Cream Dermal Therapy Alpha Hydroxy Lotion Dermal Therapy Extra Strength Body Lotion Dermal Therapy Heel Balm Platinum Dermal Therapy Very Dry Skin Cream