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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

ACO Canoderm 5% Creme karbamid Ajanta Pharma Ltd Aqurea 20 Moisturizing Urea Cream Aqua Care Lotion With 10% Urea Balea Eternal Summer Badeperlen Balneum Balneum Cream Balneum Intensiv Cream Dermasence Adtop Plus 40 Dermik Crema Humectante Ellocy Urea 42% Gel + Salicylic & Hyaluronic Acid Flexitol Heel Balm Galderma Brasil Nutraplus® Ureia 10% Creme Genom Ureskin Creme De Ureia 10%. ISDIN Ureadin Ultra 40 Isana Bade-Perlen Herzens Zeit Isana Urea-Badesalz Kleine Auszeit Isispharma Urelia 50 Moisturex Cream Pentamedical Penta U30 Pharmacy select Urea 10% Cream PurOrganica Urea 40% Foot Cream REJUSURE Urea Gel With 1 Salicylic Acid + Coconut Oil + Tea Tree Oil For Face, Body & Foot Rohto Mentholatum AD Milky Lotion SVR Xerial 50 Extreme Crème Pieds Shiseido 10% Urea Hand & Legs Cream Shiseido Medicated Hand Cream Simond's Dermo Cream Hidratación Urea 10% Simond's Gel Syndet Dermocream Urea TIS farmaceutic Dermotis Urea 30% Cream TIS farmaceutic Urea Cream 30% Uremol 10 Urea 10% Skin Relief Moisturizing Lotion Uremol Intense Relief Moisturizing Cream Uremol Urea 10% Cream Urisec 10% Urea Cream Hand & Body Treatment Cream For Dry Skin Conditions Urisec 12% Urea Lotion Urisec 22% Urea Cream needs Creme De Uréia 10% 1st Care Heel Balm 3W Clinic Enrich Foot Treatment ARDENE Moisturising Lotion ARGANICARE Repairing Treatment Foot Cream Accufix Cosmetics Carbamide Intensive Hydration Cream Ajanta Pharma Ltd Sorilast Cream Alcina Cashmere Handbalm Altruist Moisturizing Body Lotion 6% Urea Amélie Monnier Dermacalm SOS Therapy Anti Age 27 5% Urea Repair Cream For Dry Skin Aquarea Moisturising Cream Australian bodycare Heel Repair Auxilium Cura Innovatio Footmender All In One Auxilium Cura Innovatio Footmender All In One Diabetic