Have Dry, Scaly Skin? You Need Urea

How This Skin Care Ingredient Saves Your Skin

Woman applying lotion
  Sydney Shaffer/ Getty Images

As the weather turns cold our skin begins to get dry, itchy and irritated. Dry skin can even crack and bleed from exposure to cold and air without much moisture. This, unfortunately, can happen to the skin on our hands and even our feet. In addition, many people suffer from cracked heels and severely dry skin on their feet and heels throughout the year, not just during the winter.

Luckily you do not need to suffer.

There are lots of different ways to treat your dry skin so it heals and is once again smooth and healthy. One of the best ingredients to treat this uncomfortable skin condition is urea, which provides the skin with many great benefits.

Urea — Sounds Like Urine

Let me cut to the chase — yes, urea is the main ingredient in urine. But there is no need to be grossed out or upset that you are applying urine to your skin. The urea in skin care products is made in a lab. And before you think that you can get the same skin benefits of urea by just applying your pee to your skin, think again. Topically applying your urine to your skin is not going to be as effective as using a product with urea in it. In this case, DIYing your skin care is not a great option.

The Amazing Things Urea Can Do for Dry Skin

Urea occurs naturally in our skin and makes up part of the outermost layer of our skin, where it helps maintain it soft, smooth, and moist.

Healthy skin has 28 micrograms of urea per square centimeter while dry skin has half of that. Urea makes up 7 percent of our skin's natural moisturizing factor, which is essential for healthy skin. All of this means that urea is important for healthy skin.

When it comes to skincare products, urea actually has more than a few functions:

  • As a moisturizing ingredient or humectant - Urea helps to bind water to the skin. This means that urea helps moisturize your skin and keep it soft and smooth. It also helps your skin retain that moisture.
  • Urea helps strengthen the skin's barrier function - This means that urea helps your skin heal and stay healthy. If your skin is cracked and dry, it is not functioning properly and is not doing its important job of protecting your body from outside forces that can damage your skin. Urea helps to restore that essential skin function.
  • Urea can exfoliate the skin - Urea makes it less easy for skin cells to stick together, which means they can be broken up and swept away. The dead skin cells can be whisked off the skin and new, healthy cells can be exposed for smoother, softer skin. No more flaky skin! In addition, all the skin care products that are applied afterward will absorb and work better.
  • Urea works well with other skin care ingredients - Adding urea to a moisturizer, along with other great skin care ingredients like lactic acid or salicylic acid, allows them to work better to smooth and moisturize skin.
  • Urea can speed up wound healing - This benefit is essential for skin that has been compromised by cold weather, for instance.  

    There is one thing to keep in mind when it comes to urea: some people may experience skin irritation from the repeated use of products with urea. If this is the case, stop using the product immediately.

    Products to Try  

    There are many skin care products with urea to choose from. All these products can be easily purchased from Amazon and won't break the bank.