Urea is naturally present in healthy skin. It is one of three healthy moisturizing factors in the outer horny layer of our skin. Generally, if your skin is dry then you have low amounts of urea in your skin. Urea preparations are emollients that are needed for dry skin conditions. Emollients such as urea reduce water loss in the epidermis(upper layer of skin). The specific benefits of Urea include:
- Hydrating effects — Urea is hydroscopic which means it easily retains water. This keeps skin hydrated longer.
- Keratolytic effects — Urea softens the hard, dead skin so that it can be more easily removed.
- Regenerative skin protection — Urea has a protective effect against drying influences and if used regularly improves the capacity to regenerate healthy skin.
- Irritation-soothing effects — Urea has been shown to soothe skin irritations like eczema and psoriasis.
- Penetration — Urea can increase the penetration of other substances such as corticosteroids, as it increases skin hydration.