Allantoin is a cosmetic ingredient that is often used in natural cosmetics as well. Allantoin is also widely available in various online stores that sell cosmetic raw materials. Many of us who make cosmetics products would like to try allantoin in their own recipes, but there may be some doubts. Which are the circumstances where allantoin is made and what it is? Is allantoin a natural or synthetic ingredient? I will also tell you more about the use of allantoin in cosmetics.
What is allantoin?
Allantoin is a crystalline, white powder. It is acidic (pH 4.5-6) and soluble in water. Allantoin has no fragrance at all.
Chemically, allantoin is an oxidation product of uric acid. Allantoin is produced in most mammals. This is what the Wikipedia tells us. This information is enough for most. Who would like to add oxidized urine substances to their product, duh!
However, allantoin is not the same as urea, the urinary substances. Urea does have very similar effects to allantoin, but allantoin is a much more sophisticated ingredient in cosmetics than urea. Natural allantoin is found not only in the urine of mammals, but also in plants and bacteria. In the flora, allantoin is found, for example, in comfreys. Unfortunately, comfrey is liver toxic (pyrrolizidine alkaloids), so its leaves and roots should not be used in cosmetics. However, in the USA, for example, the common comfrey is still used externally, despite the toxic ingredients. Why, I don’t understand?
Many other plants, such as chamomile, also contain allantoin. However, there is such a small amount of allantoin in chamomile that it does not mean a thing in cosmetics. However, natural allantoin is claimed to be more effective because the other ingredients of the herbs support the function of allantoin.
The allantoin used in cosmetics is of synthetic origin
Allantoin, which is used as a raw material in cosmetics, is neither made from urine nor from plants. It is a completely synthetic product made from urea and glycosyl acid in chemical factories. Italian doctor Michele Fancesco Buniva and French chemist Louis Nicolas Vauquelin isolated allantoin for the first time already in 1800.
There are several forms of allantoin such as allantoin ascorbate, allantoin biotin or allantoin panthenol. The most common form of allantoin is pure allantoin.
Use of allantoin in cosmetics
In cosmetics, allantoin act as a moisturizing ingredient. It is used in the treatment of dry and rough skin. Allantoin works especially well on scaly skin. It reduces skin irritation and reduces itching. Allantoin is a very good active ingredient for sensitive skin. It is well tolerated and usually does not cause skin problems.
Allantoin affects the skin in many different ways.
In cosmetics, allantoin has been used as a moisturizing ingredient. Many moisturizers contain allantoin. Allantoin locks moisture into the skin and thus helps the skin to maintain an optimal moisture balance even in a dry climate.
Benzoyl peroxide has traditionally been used in the treatment of acne. It is a skin drying agent that can even worsen acne symptoms. Allantoin works on the skin in principally the same way as benzoyl peroxide but it does not dry the skin. On the contrary, it moisturizes and cares for the skin. This way acne heals faster.
Irritated, itchy skin
Allantoin has skin soothing properties. Allantoin creams have also been used to treat itchy eczema skin. Allantoin can be combined with products containing aloe vera and oats to strengthen the skin-soothing effects. In many moisturizer formulas, allantoin is specifically combined with aloe vera. These two ingredients work really well together.
Wound healing and scarring
Allantoin has traditionally been used in medicated creams designed to treat wounds. Allantoin causes skin cells to regenerate faster. In cosmetics, this property can be utilized by using allantoin in creams intended for the treatment of scars. For example, in creams used as tattoo cream and eyebrow microblading treatment, allantoin could be useful. In scar creams, allantoin is often combined with onion extract. The combination of onion extract and allantoin regenerates and moisturizes the skin and is anti-inflammatory.
Allantoin has keratolytic properties. This means that allantoin helps the skin to exfoliate. In this way, dead skin cells are removed and the skin starts to regenerate faster.
Because allantoin causes skin cells to regenerate faster, it is also useful in anti-aging products like wrinkle creams. Thanks to allantoin, the small lines and wrinkles of the skin are smoothed out and the skin is firmed up. It also facilitates collagen synthesis, which gives your skin a youthful appearance.
How is allantoin used in cosmetics?
Allantoin is water-soluble, so you can use it in all products containing water, such as emulsions and toners. The problem with allantoin is its poor solubility. I recommend using allantoin at most 0.2% in products. If you use more allantoin, the rest will remain as crystals in the product. That’s why you should get yourself a reliable precision scale that can also weigh hundredths of a gram.
I have also tried allantoin in anhydrous products. Although allantoin is water-soluble, a small amount of allantoin is good for whipped body lotions, for example.
Try allantoin in products for children and babies
Allantoin is a well-tolerated cosmetic ingredient. It usually does not irritate the skin. Allantoin is therefore particularly suitable for the youngest members of the family. An allantoin-containing cream could be suitable, for example, for a baby’s irritated diaper area.
Avoid these ingredients with allantoin
Allantoin goes well with cosmetic ingredients. However, there are a few ingredients you should avoid in products containing allantoin. Such ingredients include, for example, hydroxy acids (AHA and BHA) such as glycolic, lactic, mandelic and salicylic acids. Hydroxy acids are used in cosmetics for exfoliation. If you combine these acids with a product containing allantoin, the effect may be too strong and your skin will be irritated.
You can also be allergic to allantoin…
You can also be allergic to allantoin. You’ll recognize it when your skin starts to react after using products containing allantoin. The reaction may come immediately or only after a few days. This depends on your sensitivity to the product.
If your skin stings, itches, burns, or turns red, you should stop using the product containing allantoin. If the skin calms down, you are obviously allergic to allantoin. If this happens, stop using allantoin.
Have you used allantoin in your cosmetic products?