Why Are Urea Ingredients in Some Skincare Products?

Urea is a crucial urine component responsible for its characteristic odor and composition. Its blood levels have been used to indicate kidney function, causing many people to associate it with urine.

Many people are concerned that urea, a known component of urine, is present in some skincare formulations. Understandably, they may have hesitations about using a skincare product with urea on it because of this misconception.

So, in this article, we’ll describe the science behind urea and explain the mechanisms behind the benefits it brings to the skin. We’ll also discuss its safety profile, ultimately describing how it can be a powerful addition to an effective skincare routine.

What is Urea?

Urea, a nitrogenous compound, is formed in the liver when proteins are broken down and then eliminated from the body through kidney filtration. It’s found in high concentrations in the skin, where it plays a crucial role in maintaining the skin’s natural moisture balance and barrier function.

Urea is also produced synthetically and is commonly used in many skincare products, from moisturizers and cleansers to exfoliants and treatments.

How Your Patient’s Skin Can Benefit from Urea as a Skincare Ingredient

Urea is clinically proven to have a wide range of uses in dermatology as a versatile and effective skincare ingredient. It can maintain skin health and alleviate symptoms associated with various skin disorders like psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, and atopic dermatitis.

Here are some of the mechanisms behind the benefits that topical urea can bring to the skin:

With Moisturizing Properties

One of the primary benefits of urea in skincare is its ability to hydrate and moisturize. Urea is a humectant that can draw moisture from the environment and into the skin, contributing to the skin’s elasticity, moisture, and overall healthy appearance.

Urea can also help improve the skin’s water-holding capacity, especially for individuals with dry or dehydrated skin.

This moisturizing property, evident in low to medium concentrations ( HYPERLINK “https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30378232/”< HYPERLINK “https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30378232/”10%), makes urea an excellent ingredient for skincare products routinely used to maintain skin health, even in individuals with no skin disorders.

Protective Effects On the Skin Barrier

Urea plays a crucial role in maintaining the skin’s natural barrier function. This barrier protects the skin from environmental stressors like pollution, UV radiation, and harsh weather conditions. By strengthening the skin barrier, urea can help prevent moisture loss and reduce the risk of irritation or inflammation.

With Antimicrobial Properties

Interestingly, urea has been shown to have antimicrobial properties through up-regulation of antimicrobial peptides cathelicidin and β-defensin-2, which means it can help inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria and fungi on the skin.

This can benefit individuals with acne, eczema, or other skin conditions exacerbated by microbial overgrowth.

With Exfoliative Properties

In addition to its moisturizing and protective effects, urea also has exfoliative properties, which are more pronounced when urea is added to skincare products in  HYPERLINK “https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30378232/”high concentrations ( HYPERLINK “https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30378232/”> HYPERLINK “https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30378232/”10%).

Urea can help regulate the skin’s natural process of epidermal proliferation, which is the growth and shedding of skin cells.

Urea also has a keratolytic action, which can help break down the bonds between dead skin cells, allowing them to be sloughed off more quickly, resulting in a smoother, more radiant complexion.

Facilitates Enhanced Delivery of Topical Drugs

Finally, urea has been shown to enhance the delivery of other topical drugs and active ingredients. Urea-containing skincare formulations are great to use with other topical products like anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal drugs because of their penetration-enhancing properties.

By improving the skin’s permeability, urea can help ensure that the other beneficial compounds in a skincare product can penetrate deeper into the skin and deliver their intended effects more effectively.

Is Urea in Skin Care Safe?

Topical urea is considered safe for most skin types when used as directed. It’s well-tolerated, and its potential side effects, including stinging and burning, are usually mild and transient.

Such mild side effects are also more observed in higher concentrations, especially if it’s the patient’s first time to be introduced to urea-containing products.

Given this, starting with a lower concentration and gradually increasing as the skin becomes more acclimated is always a good idea.

How Urea and Other Powerful Ingredients Make Ascellos™ a Revolutionary Skincare Product

At Regenomedix, we’ve harnessed the power of urea and other innovative ingredients to create  HYPERLINK “https://www.regenomedix.com/exosomes/ascellos/”Ascellos™, a revolutionary product combining beneficial ingredients to reveal better-looking skin.

In addition to urea, Ascellos™ also contains a blend of other potent ingredients, such as:

  • Exosomes are tiny extracellular vesicles with promising effects on enhancing the skin’s natural healing and rejuvenation processes.
  • Amniotic Fluid: Known to be the fluid that surrounds and protects the fetus in the womb during pregnancy, this naturally occurring ingredient helps minimize fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Wharton’s Jelly: With its ability to improve hydration and stimulate skin healing properties, this gelatinous substance can potentially help reveal a more supple, bouncier skin.
  • Hyaluronic acid: This powerful humectant can help deeply hydrate the skin and plump up fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Collagen: This vital protein is known for supporting the skin’s health and resilience, contributing to a youthful and radiant complexion.

Combining these ingredients with the unique benefits of urea, Ascellos™ can provide a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach to skincare that can help address a wide range of skin concerns, from dryness and dullness to fine lines and uneven texture.

Revolutionary Skincare Routine With Regenomedix

Urea is a versatile and powerful ingredient that can provide a wide range of benefits for the skin. Whether improving hydration, strengthening the skin barrier, or enhancing the delivery of other active ingredients, urea is a valuable addition to any effective skincare routine.

At RegenOMedix™, we pride ourselves in our revolutionary product offerings, such as Ascellos™, designed to help you offer holistic services tailored to your patient’s needs. Contact us today to discuss our innovative products and how we can help you with your aesthetic practice.


Celleno L. Topical urea in skincare: A review. Dermatol Ther. 2018 Nov;31(6):e12690. doi: 10.1111/dth.12690. Epub 2018 Oct 30. PMID: 30378232.

Lacarrubba F, Nasca MR, Puglisi DF, Micali G. Clinical evidences of urea at low concentration. Int J Clin Pract. 2020 Dec;74 Suppl 187:e13626. doi: 10.1111/ijcp.13626. PMID: 33249706.

Piquero-Casals J, Morgado-Carrasco D, Granger C, Trullàs C, Jesús-Silva A, Krutmann J. Urea in Dermatology: A Review of its Emollient, Moisturizing, Keratolytic, Skin Barrier Enhancing and Antimicrobial Properties. Dermatol Ther (Heidelb). 2021 Dec;11(6):1905-1915. doi: 10.1007/s13555-021-00611-y. Epub 2021 Oct 1. PMID: 34596890; PMCID: PMC8611129.

Starace M, Alessandrini A, Piraccini BM. Clinical evidences of urea at high concentration on skin and annexes. Int J Clin Pract. 2020 Dec;74 Suppl 187:e13740. doi: 10.1111/ijcp.13740. PMID: 33249711.

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