What is allantoin, and why is it used in skincare products?

Let's take a closer look at this ingredient, which is included in many types of products, ranging from eczema balms to sheet masks.

Do you ever notice the same ingredients appearing in lots of skincare products? Stuff you never noticed before? This happened recently with phenoxyethanol, a preservative that is often used as an alternative to parabens. Now it’s happening again with allantoin—I’m suddenly noticing it in lots of products that I write about on this blog. Allantoin is a white powder that has no odor, and provides conditioning properties to the skin, according to the National Eczema Foundation.

My Dad the Chemist’s thoughts on allantoin

I asked my dad for his thoughts on allantoin. He said:

Allantoin has anti-irritating, anti-inflammatory properties which may prevent irritation from people who has highly sensitive skin.

Allantoin is extracted from the comfrey root, which is known to have healing properties. But according to this study, the healing properties of comfrey may be greater than the properties of pure allantoin alone, and creams were more effective than gels.

According to this study it can help facilitate wound healing, and soothe irritated skin.

Products with allantoin

Allantoin is an ingredient in COSRX Snail Mucin Essence 96, Aveeno Baby Daily Moisture Lotion for Delicate Skin, and The Face Shop Green Tea Mask. It’a also in Skinfix’s Eczema Balm (which I’ve never tried).

Further reading

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