Urea For Skin: Literally Everything You Need To Know!
by f. c. | Last Updated Nov 2, 2017 | Guides , Ingredients | 197 comments
Ah, urea. One of my all-time favorite skincare ingredients. This stud has made such sweet love to my face, that it’s only fair I try and do it justice with a long dedicated post. Ladies and gentlemen, today is that post!
I will be going over EVERYTHING you need to know about urea. But first, let’s start with an ode to Urea by the great Dr. Kligman, a.k.a. the dude who co-invented Retin-A (tretinoin) ! Take it away, sir:
“It sometimes happens in the enthusiastic search for new therapeutic agents that some old stand-by has been overlooked, whose luster has worn off, but which none the less may have some useful application in moments when the miracle drugs falter. In the world of topical therapy, urea is such a drug.” ( 1 )
Don’t old dead people have such a way with words? Can you believe he said that 70 years ago?! Like, wtf? How has urea flown under the radar for so long? We about to change that UP IN HERE!
Table of Contents
- 1 What is Urea?
- 2 Urea Benefits for Skin: The Research And Science.
- 3 How does Urea work? Additional Benefits.
- 4 The Case Studies: Urea Leads to Glowing Skin?
- 4.1 Testimonial #1.
- 4.2 Testimonial #2.
- 4.3 Testimonial #3.
- 5 Product Recommendations.
- 5.0.1 Subscribe For Updates!
- 5.0.2 Help Support Me On Patreon:
- 5.0.3 Popular Guides
- 5.0.4 My Holy Grail Products
- 5.0.5 See All Posts
- 5.0.6 Recent Posts
What is Urea?
Hada Labo Skin Plumping Gel Cream (5% Urea)
See Reviews on Amazon!
Urea, a.k.a. carbamide, is an organic crystalline compound and the main nitrogenous breakdown product of protein metabolism. In other words, it’s a waste byproduct produced after the body uses protein.
What is it they say? “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Well yeah, that! While our bodies are busy taking out the garbage, we’re over here trying to put that garbage on our faces! 😀
It is primarily excreted through sweat and urine, which is why such horrendous things like “urine therapy” exist. “Urine therapy” meaning you use your pee as a toner.
Yes, that’s a thing…. that actually gets good reviews online….
To put that into perspective, it has a waaaaay better track record than proactive (according to the Acne.org community).
- Putting pee on your face = 4.2 / 5. Would recommend.
- Proactive = 2.6 / 5. So horrendous you might as well put pee on your face!
And if you think this “peeing on your face” is some kind of recent millennial trend, think again!
“Aztecs and ancient Egyptians practiced urotherapy, using one’s own urine to maintain health, to treat illness or to enhance beauty. In the seventeenth century, aristocratic French women reportedly bathed in urine to beautify their skin, and Mexican farmers prepare poultices for broken bones by having a child urinate into a bowl of powdered charred corn; the mixture is made into a paste and applied to the skin.” ( source )
And that’s all you need to know! Go pee in your moisturizer and say hello to nice skin. Hope you’ve enjoyed this blog post. Until next time….
Just kidding. Please don’t go urinate on your face. I can’t believe that’s even a sentence I have to write on this blog. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Luckily for us, the urea found in skincare products is synthetically produced in laboratories, so there’s no need to go about refrigerating pee-pee. Phew….
Urea Benefits for Skin: The Research And Science.
Urea is mainly known and used in dermatology for its keratolytic and hydrating properties. In other words, it hits the skin with a double whammy combo by both gently exfoliating and moisturizing at the same time. A rare feature of most therapeutic agents. Or as a pair of researchers put it…
“The observed decrease in TEWL after long-term treatment with urea was unexpected in view of the keratolytic, hydrating and permeability-increasing properties attributed to urea.” ( 2 )
Translation = ingredients aren’t supposed to be this badass! Increased moisture AND exfoliation too?!? What is this sorcery??
Urea is part of the natural moisturizing factor (NMF) of skin, which is made up of 40% amino acids, 12% sodium PCA, 9% glycerol, and 8.5% urea (among other things). ( 3 ) These are all hygroscopic (water-holding) substances, that are essential for maintaining the health, function, and hydration of the stratum corneum. ( 4 )
Like many other naturally occurring compounds of our skin, urea decreases with age making us more susceptible to dryness and wrinkles. Remember ladies and gents: proper hydration is the fountain of youth!
And sunscreen…. use sunscreen too….
In healthy skin, the concentration of urea is 28 mg per square inch, whereas in xerotic (dry) skin conditions that number is dramatically reduced. For example, in psoriasis the concentration of urea is 40% less than in healthy controls, and in eczema it’s reduced by up to 85%! ( 4 )
Given that it’s generally a good idea to replenish the skin with what it lacks, ( 5 ) it’s no wonder urea has both successfully treated psoriasis and eczema.
So what else does it do when applied to skin?
Apart from reducing transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and gently exfoliating, it basically turns skin into Rambo!
Why do I say this? Because it reduces the skin’s susceptibility to sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) after only three applications! ( 6 )
For those that don’t know, SLS is a super harsh cleansing agent known to induce contact dermatitis. ( 7 ) If that’s an ingredient in your face wash, and you suffer from dry irritated skin, perhaps it’s time to switch that sucker out. :p
There’s also evidence that urea helps treat ichthyosis, xerosis, atopic dermatitis (eczema), contact dermatitis, radiation induced dermatitis, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, onychomycosis (a.k.a nail fungus), tinea pedis, keratosis, and pruritus. ( 8 )
Note: all the conditions in bold share a similar pathological cause — namely, a dumbass yeast called malassezia. If you wanna learn how to treat those skin conditions, or suffer from adult acne or pityrosporum folliculitis, check out this guide .
I’m not gonna go into detail about every study ever done on urea and all those skin conditions above because that would take waaaaay to long, but feel free to read more from this comprehensive overview of urea in the clinical literature . The PDF is downloadable and the paper itself summarizes 81 different studies.
How does Urea work? Additional Benefits.
Hada Labo Premium Lotion (3% Urea)
See on Amazon
The quick and dirty version….
“Although the mechanism of action of urea in skin is still unknown, studies suggest that the keratolytic and hydrating effects of topical urea is owing to breakage of hydrogen bonds in the stratum corneum, loosening epidermal keratin, and increasing water-binding sites.” ( 9 )
But for the nerds out there, let’s go into more detail! ;D
What’s super awesome about urea is that it works on both an external and cellular level! In other words, when applied to skin is decreases TEWL like most other moisturizers and whatnot, but it has an extended effect on the inner workings of skin.
Samantha Miller over at The Naked Chemist put it well by saying,
“Whilst applications of emollient and occlusive ingredients coat the skins surface creating instant moisturisation, it is only a temporary fix. It won’t improve the skin’s ability to create and hold water, like urea does…. When it is applied to the skin it penetrates the stratum corneum, where it readily absorbs and retains water, thus increasing the capacity of the skin to hold moisture and rehydrate.” ( 10 )
How does it do this exactly? By stimulating epidermal gene expression, or essentially “activating” specific components of skin that keep it healthy.
For example, when urea is applied topically it increases the formation of filaggrin, which is a vital protein that keeps everything balanced (i.e. regulates epidermal homeostasis). Urea also helps build up your skin’s defense mechanism and creates a lipid barrier (among other things).
( SOURCE )
ISN’T THAT LIKE THE COOLEST FUCKING THING EVER!?!? You’re literally looking at photos of urea turning skin into a super saiyan (i.e. building up the protective barrier).
I mean, it’s pretty much like a senzu bean for your face….
“Urea appears to be a highly-active small molecule regulator of genes that impact keratinocyte differentiation, lipid synthesis and antimicrobial peptide production, together leading to improved permeability barrier function and likely antimicrobial defense as well.” ( 11 )
In other words, it helps regulate the cell cycle so dead skin sloughs off when it’s supposed to, it enhances your barrier function, and helps regulate the good and bad bacteria on your skin.
Related reading: Probiotics For Skin: The Scientific Guide For Treating Your Skin Problems With Good Bacteria
Speaking of regulating “good and bad bacteria,” there is no official research on the use of urea and acne. However, one of the antimicrobial peptides that urea enhances (LL-37) has been shown to kill acne-causing bacteria in vitro. ( 12 )
And there are also two in vitro studies that have shown urea directly inhibits malassezia, or the yeast that causes fungal acne . ( 13 , 14 )
All in all, using urea won’t hurt if you’re trying to target either of those skin conditions.
The Case Studies: Urea Leads to Glowing Skin?
Now that we’ve discussed the science behind urea, let’s have a little fun by talking about 3 anecdotal experiences.
If you do a quick google search for urea, you’ll see that people primarily use it to treat the hard calloused skin on their feet. It’s very effective at doing so, but this generally requires higher concentrations (20% to 40%).
I always found this very reassuring though, cause if it works for the tough skin on feet, it’s bound to work on facial skin! Which leads me to how I found out about urea in the first place….
A couple years ago I was quite literally thinking of putting a “foot cream” on my face because I couldn’t for the life of me eliminate the dry flakey skin around my chin and nose, until I came across this post by u/AMElolzz that explained what urea is.
I’m gonna copy / paste the relevant bits here for everyone. Take it away sir:
“When left to its own devices, my skin tends to go wild with moderate acne, dryness, loss of glow and rough texture. I’ve had this problem for about two years, and it’s made me extremely self-conscious about my skin.
It’s not that my acne was ever bad these last years, but my skin texture was so dull, grainy and leathery that I looked like I had tanned obsessively for years. There was literally this thick layer of CRUSTY skin on top of my normal skin. It was hard and very rough to the touch.
In hindsight, I reckon it was caused by my religious use of Benzoyl Peroxide. I was recommended by a dermatologist to use this in my battle against acne years ago, and while it did effectively erradicate my acne, it severely damaged my lipid barrier and made my skin texture look absolutely horrible.”
Quick side note: that’s why I recommend doing benzoyl peroxide contact therapy vs. leave on treatment! It prevents acne just the same without the nasty side effects like dry or dehydrated skin, long-lasting PIE (red acne marks) , dullness etc.
Anyway, like the dude was saying….
“For years I went on with my life, clueless as to why my skin looked so strange. I’d google similar symptoms every night, but I couldn’t quite find anything of value. I had friends with severe acne who still had much better skin underneath. So what was going on with my skin?”
This guy must have been reading my dairy when he wrote this. I swear it’s like he was narrating my life back then. Hahaha
“A few months ago I came to this sub oblivious to the potency of moisturizers and proper skincare. I tried everything recommended here – AHAs, six different moisturizers, sunscreens, cleansers, BHAs. I bought a bulk of products for $300, and the only thing I still use from that first batch is the cheap vaseline.”
It’s official. He’s taking excerpts from my memoir. We all know how much money I’ve burned on skincare throughout the years. -_-
The tale continues…..
“No amount of moisturizing, vaseline and hyaluronic acid would repair my skin. It all just rested there on top of this crusty fucking layer of skin that’s been haunting me for years, but it didn’t actually moisturize my face.”
Indeed a problem with many moisturizers, since they don’t work on a cellular level like urea. ;D It’s no wonder the poor guy’s skin wasn’t improving with the regular stuff.
“I started reading up on the skin barrier, and one user here thought I had some mild form of hyper-keratinization, which basically means my dead skin cells don’t slough off like they should, forming a thick, crusty layer of skin that won’t come off no matter how much I exfoliate or moisturize. An excess of keratin, in other words.
How is this treated? Well, supposedly with a urea-containing cream – a potent keratolytic emollient. Urea dissolves the intercellular matrix of the cells of the stratum corneum, promoting desquamation of scaly skin, eventually resulting in softening of hyperkeratotic areas.
I bought Eucerin’s 5% facial Urea-cream, and fuck me sideways, it’s a magic potion (at least so far). I’ve been using it for ten days and have slowly seen my acne diminish to the point of vanishing (no active zits atm). I have literally seen and felt the rough, crusty patches of skin soften.
In just two days of usage one area of my skin lit up and felt smoother than it ever had. The cream just dissolved the layer of keratin. Some areas are still a bit crusty, but I hope they’ll soften with time. My routine is very simple and consists only of this Eucerin cream and vaseline at night.
This is by far the best product I have ever used, and I thought I’d make a post hoping someone with a similar condition will give it a try. Just trying to give back to the community.”
And then the guy disappeared forever. Never to be seen or post on skincare addiction again, which to me can only mean one thing: skin issues were no longer a concern for him. Why spend time on skincare forums when your skin is already fleeky AF?
The quirky Dr. Dray who I may or may not have a little crush on. :p She’s a dermatologist who makes “a day in the life vlogs” on youtube. Link to her channel here .
She recently started getting into Asian skincare, and picked up none other than the Hada Labo Skin Plumping Gel Cream , which you might have seen recommended on malassezia treatment guide .
This is a basic urea moisturizer with 3 different types of hyaluronic acid and 5% urea. Here are some before and afters pictures of her skin after 2 weeks.
The top photo is when she started using the Hada Labo Skin Plumping Gel Cream, and the bottom photo is two weeks later. Granted she already had really nice skin beforehand, but I think I see a noticeable difference in brightening.
What do you guys and gals think?
She seems happy as well, stating recently “my skin feels fantastic you guys! I feel like I just came out of utero or something. I feel like I’ve just been born.” Lmao.
But it’s true, urea makes your skin incredibly soft with repeated use. A random person on Amazon said it best: “Amazing stuff. I had super dry skin and now I feel like a well oiled sausage.” :’D
And lastly, my favorite case study…..
I call him “the dude with a baby’s ass on his face.” All credit goes to reddit user u/P3rkoz . Here are his before and after photos:
And just because we need a little close up of that after shot….
The guy has better skin than my 1 year old nephew. LIKE WTF?! I don’t even see a SINGLE blackhead on his nose! How is that possible?!
Guess what his skincare routine is? Literally just fucking moisturizes with a urea gel cream twice a day. I shit you not, that’s all he does! No cleanser, vitamin C serum, toner. Nada! Just a urea gel cream twice daily. For those wondering, this is the one he uses.
And here’s the COSDNA profile . Ingredient list copy / pasted for your convenience:
“Aqua, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Urea, Glycerin, Methylpropanediol, Isocetyl Stearate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Betaine, Cetyl Alcohol, Squalane, Tocopheryl Acetate, Polyacrylamide, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Laureth-7, Acrylates/C10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, Triethanol amine, DMDM Hydantoin, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Parfum.”
As you can see it’s just a basic oil in water emulsion with urea, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and a crosspolymer similar to the Hada Labo Skin Plumping Gel Cream . This is actually the urea moisturizer my homemade one has taken inspiration after.
My ultimate skincare goal might secretly be to only use it twice daily and do nothing else…. heh heh.
NOTE to Dr. Dray and u/P3rkoz: if either of you just so happen to be reading this and aren’t comfortable with me using your photos, please let me know and I will remove them. In the meantime… heh heh.
|Hada Labo Skin Plumping Gel Cream||Contains 5% urea, 3 different types of hyaluronic acid, and ceramides.|
|Hada Labo Premium Lotion||This is a hydrating toner that contains 3% urea and has 5 different types of hyaluronic acid.|
|Eucerin Advanced Repair Dry Skin Lotion||Has esters which might aggravate malassezia-sensitive skin.|
|Eucerin Replenishing Face Creme||Contains 5% urea. Has esters which might aggravate malassezia-sensitive skin.|
|Excipial Urea Hydrating Healing Lotion||Contains 10% urea. Contains oils and esters which might aggravate malassezia.|
|Sebamed Extreme Dry Skin Relief Face Cream||Contains 5% urea. Has esters which might aggravate malassezia-sensitive skin.|
|Skinceuticals Retexturing Activator||Contains 25% urea. Safe for malassezia.|
Welp…. I think that does it for urea, ladies and gentlemen. Hope you’ve enjoyed this article.
Share your experiences with urea below!
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Leave a Reply
Thanks for the new post! I was wondering if you could let us know where this urea product might fit into the recommended skin care regimen like on your other posts. Should I be using this in place of moisturizer? If used in combination, should I put this on first, then snail bee cream (for example…)?
You’re recommendations have completely changed my skin since I stumbled onto it looking for information about dermarolling. I think that was less than two weeks ago and thanks to fast shipping on Amazon Prime I’ve been able to try everything you recommend and have seen amazing results! I wish I had before and after pictures I could share! I have combination, sensitive skin with cystic hormonal acne around my chin and jaw-line. I also have a few dark spots from sun damage and/or acne scars (not sure which). Thankfully I have minimal scarring and (although I’m about to turn the big 4-0) very few wrinkles.
Since I read through every post (yes, I read every post on your site), I have adopted the following routine: Cerave Foaming Cleanser 2x daily, Cosrx Whitehead liquid 2x daily, Differin gel (only at night), Cerave PM moisturizer, and snail bee cream (only at night). I also dermaroll with a 0.25 roller 1-2x per week (I’m working up to more) and after I dermaroll I use Oz Naturals Vitamin C Serum with HA, Skinceuticals Photo Corrective gel (for dark spots), and snail bee cream. I’ve also ordered the Stridex pads you recommended and plan to use those in the morning (since I only use Differin at night). Today I ordered the Hada Labo Lotion (light) to try as a toner because I don’t currently have a toner in my routine. I also recently switched from Neutrogena Skin Clearing foundation (with salicylic acid) to Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Tint (with HA). There’s a lot going on here — but it’s working! Let me know if you have any suggestions.
I never believed a had to moisturize until I read your posts. I thought acne+moisture=breakouts! I used to clean my face with the strongest exfoliating cleanser I could find, wipe my face down with 70% IPA (yes, IPA!), and then slather my face with salicylic acid (oh, I forgot to mention I’m allergic to BP). Thank you for changing my life!
Woohoo! I’m very happy to hear your skin has done a 180! 😀
With the exception of Hada Labo Premium Lotion, yes all of these could be used in place of a moisturizer. Hada Labo Premium Lotion would be used as a toner. If you want to layer it with another moisturizer put the urea one first.
As for suggestions: just make sure to not overdo it with exfoliation. Stop at any signs of irritation (excessive dry skin, redness, flakiness etc.) Using actives is great until it’s not. :p Balance is key!
I used to use a prescription cream (carmol 20 i think) which had 20% urea for the treatment of KP on my upper arms. It was the only thing that worked for me and I’m sure it was the urea. Anyway, since you’re the skin care guru (I don’t know if you suffer from or know anyone who suffers from KP) I was wondering if you have any product recommendations for fighting KP. I’d love to see a separate post on the subject! Thanks!
Thanks for the article ideas! I’ll add them to the list. I agree, Urea should work great for KP.
I commented on a previous article of yours wondering if urea would work for KP. You cautioned me against using 40% foot cream on my body but the bumps on my arm are something serious, and the cream has worked like nothing else! Even better than using tretinoin in that area. Speaking of, do you know if urea causes photo sensitivity? Seems like no, but I imagine the fresh baby skin revealed is more sensitive in a way.
I use a small amount on the roughest parts of my uppers arms and upper thighs, after a shower so the water helps to smooth it in. I like the Udderly Smooth 20% for everywhere else. Bumps have crept back in occasionally but this is really the smoothest I have been in 30 years. Spread the word (with continued caution) !
Just looked at that comment and saw I said: “I don’t suffer with KP but urea should help. Just be careful! 40% urea is STRONG AS HELL.”
Still express the same sentiments haha. :p 40% urea is some serious stuff, it’s used to chemically debride fungal-ridden toe nails. But I am very fond of the advice, “if it ain’t broke don’t try and fix it!” So if it’s working for you, then who the hell am I to say you shouldn’t?
The only reason I was cautious in the first place is cause I haven’t seen any science papers or read many testimonials of people using that high of concentration on the body (with the exception of feet), so it’s kinda unknown territory.
I will say however, that there was one guy who used 40% urea on his face as a chemical peel to eliminate PIE . Apparently his dermatologist was the one that gave him the idea, and he swore it worked within a week. Another guy claimed 35% urea cured his acne in 4 days. And yet another person said 40% urea treated his facial acne without leaving PIE.
These are the only times I’ve seen someone use higher than 5% on their face…. very interesting to say the least. :p
Now I’m curious haha, has the 40% concentration not been irritating on your body at all? Any itchiness? Redness? Stinging? Does it go away soon thereafter? Please do tell me every last detail. 💅 Haha 😀
EDIT: just realized you can’t reply to this comment, so leave a new one below please! :-))
Great article fc, any other Urea products that are cheaper than the ones you listed? I bought an Eucerin branded one which consisted of 400ml of product for roughly 15usd but it was too greasy so I delegated it as a foot cream which yielded great results if I may add.
BTW, are you still using Hostgator? You should move away to a reputable VPS provider and gain more performance for your dollar. I had a client who was surprised at how fast her WordPress loaded after I moved her away from those shared host providers. If you are interested, I could help you set it up for free. No downtime during the migration as well.
Hmmmmm. I actually don’t know of many more urea products. Especially cheaper ones. :/ What you can do however, is buy some urea powder from makingcosmetics , and make a simple 5% urea toner. You’ll have to measure it out with a digital scale like this .
Simply mix 94.5% distilled water, 5% urea, and a preservative (e.g. 0.5% liquid germall plus ). If you don’t want to add a preservative just make sure to make new batches every week. The pH will be around 7. If you want to drop it use the tiniest amount of citric acid. And I mean TINY. We’re talking no more than a few little grains of that stuff. Urea is most stable at pH 6. You’ll need pH strips to test this.
It’s such a basic toner, but works incredibly well. I actually did this for a couple months last year because most urea moisturizers broke me out (esters and such). You can literally make gallons of this stuff for pennies once you have all the equipment. Just make sure you’re layering a moisturizer or oil over it, otherwise it can be irritating.
I am still using hostgator! Haha. I decided to go with semi-dedicated hosting (siteground). VPS scares the hell out of me cause I’m a clueless tech moron. I hardly know what I’m doing half the time when it comes to the web end of things lol. Thanks for offering help! That is so kind of you! 😀 I hear siteground has customer support that’ll help you migrate, so we’ll see how that goes. Hopefully we notice an improvement in site speed! :-))
This is a good idea. I originally wanted to make a hydrating toner comprising of aloe juice and glycerin (HA a bit pricey) to complement my moisturizer. Now that I read this article, I am contemplating on adding some Urea to the toner. The problem is, makingcosmetic’s Aloe Juice PH is around 3.5 to 4.5 which is a bit higher than the 6 that you recommended. Any ideas on increasing the base PH before adding the Urea?
I’m not sure how much pH drift the aloe vera will cause, you’ll have to test it. Might even put it around optimal range ~6. Otherwise you can use a small amount of sodium citrate or baking soda solution to buffer the pH.
Hi. How do you incorporate urea in oil in water emulsion. I read that urea disintegrated with heat. How do you go through the emulsion phase without heag
Will you publish the recipes.for your homemade urea cream and salycylic acid cream?
I’ll probably publish the salicylic acid one soon. I got that one down pat. Urea moisturizer still needs work and longer testing, so that’ll have to wait. :/
Hi big fan ,I’m looking forward to the recipes if they haven’t been posted I cannot find them .
Just recently discovered this site. Thank you! Ditto on the homemeade Urea lotion.
Hi, discovered your site a few days ago. Can’t stop reading the different pages since. Love your style and scientific approach. Many many thanks ! +1 for your home-made moisturizer
Massively coveting the skin of testimonial #3. looks looks like something from a fairy tale with that smooth complexion and cheeks that glow slightly pink like a cherub. Is he actually not wearing man makeup????? crazyness. That guy must be very pleased to have come so far:)
I really hope that some day very soon I can use that hada labo gel cream, it sounds like it would be the ultimate hydrator.
If anyone knows where i can order samples of that stuff to Canada, hook a sister up! Already spent a nauseating amount of moneys on skincare that did nothing but flare me up. rosacea is the worssttttt!!!:@ does anyone ever actually put his thing into remission? or mostly in remission? If I had acne I’m almost positive I would have flawless skin by now with all your help. This universe needs a rosacea-healed guru of your caliber! If I ever accomplish such a feat (healing rosacea), I might just attempt to be that level of helpfulness:). Until then, I permanently wear too much blush.
great job as usual f.c. if my face improves I’ll attach some awesome jpegs for documentation :p
Nope! Zero makeup. That’s actually what he titled his submission on skincareaddiction: “[Humor] After almost 2 years on SCA, people are thinking that i’m wearing makeup.” I’m massively envious too haha. Cherub is the perfect word to describe the state of his skin! Lol
“This universe needs a rosacea-healed guru of your caliber! If I ever accomplish such a feat (healing rosacea), I might just attempt to be that level of helpfulness.”
Hahah you can always come write for everyone here! :p It’d be awesome to get more perspectives on this blog. I haven’t dealt with Rosacea personally, but we do research together. Imagine a rosacea, malassezia, acne healing haven website? 😮 While we’re at it, might as well get Ian onboard with the seb derm side of things haha.
If not and you end up making your own blog, I’ll make sure to drop links to you in case. :p Keep taking those jpegs, you’ll get there eventually! It’s all just a matter of time. 🙂
I’ve mostly cured my rosacea, but it has to be done from the inside out. Ultra high potency (eg. expensive) probiotics, reducing stress and any foods that damage gut lining. Stop or significantly minimize alcohol consumption for a while. Get checked for SIBO and any other gut issues. Get stool testing and address any issues that show up. Eat crazy healthy. Everyone’s healing path will need to be a little different, but it takes time and dedication to figure it out. If you have any digestive symptoms, that may be a clue for where to start. Rosacea is gut inflammation that shows up in your face through the vascular system, so a cream will never fix it, especially if you have it in your eyes too like I did.
Aw that is a beautiful thought. A haven of skincare truths/science for everyone:)
For now I really like to support your cause, as I barely have enough energy to help myself half of the time. I hear that maintaining a blog is like having a baby.
I am going to post one of those jpegs haha. numero uno.
I will show you my clean face. This is pretty decent for having just washed it not long before taking the pic. Thanks to your help my acne and malessezia has improved a lot! just have redness/blotchiness/PIE now, and a bit of dehydration that is very stubborn.
I wish I had some when it was really bad…but I just couldn’t stand to take pics of myself. I only now can bear to take/look at them.
The only really bad pic I have is this weird situation that happened last summer and only stopped this winter. My skin would crust over in dead skin and turn brown from environmental dust/impurities?
take at look at this subject: http://imgur.com/cPeAGGr
Awww I almost forgot how beautiful you are! ??☺️
Don’t be so hard on yourself, I think your skin looks great! Like you told me long ago, if anything it just looks like you have a little color. You’re on par with cherub man above!
Thanks for sharing some photos with me and everyone. :-))
And the blog will always be here if you wanna tag-team research rosacea to the death! ?
EDIT: also people on imgur. Geez louise…. smh.
aw thanks! ! am hard on myself. I am very dogmatic/stubborn in my bad opinion of myself…but im trying to learn to listen to others opinions of me and take compliments as sometimes skin conditions can really scew our judgment! maybe i have a touch of body dismorphic disorder now… someone once said to me that mirrors tell lies
I would love to share more info. I am always learning more. I’ve recently discovered some info on angiogenesis and its role in rosacea
i ditched my red light therapy as it was making me flush more and i read that it can accelerate angiogenesis:
I ordered some green light therapy as an alternative anti-inflammatory therapy. im looking into anti-angiogenic herbs as well and will be trying some in the future. I found them here:
hahahahahaha omg f.c. I almost peed myself laughing. I thought I had made my pics private. nope .I got pms from 10 creepers after that 0_o i was so confused
I’ve been wondering about urea for a while – I’ve heard it mentioned in passing, and I always meant to look into it further but just…never got around to it (surprise, surprise!) Thank you so much for the (as always) thorough write-up 🙂
No problem! Feel free to come back here and share your experiences with everyone! 😀
wow! This is truly a heavenly ingredient! I acyually just ordered the hada labo gel cream! I mist have been using the wrong one in the gold packaging… it was very difficult to layer under spf or even use at night itbwas just too tacky. I am so excited, as I’ve told you, for your urea cream when it’s had due justice on testing time and you’re ready to release it to us all! I’m so so SO handful for this blog and sure hope the hosting transition goes well! I can’t tell you how incredibly amazing and quick my skin transformation has been since following your suggestions and guidelines backed by all these wonderful sources. I’m tempted to pick up some urea in the meantime and make a toner with it!
Thanks for always commenting and saying nice things! :p
As usual, wonderful post! Thank you! If you still took donations, I would totally donate. 🙂
You know I love Dr. Dray… was excited to see her face pop up on your blog today! Her skin really HAS gotten brighter since she started using the Hada Labo products. I’m on Day 24 with the Skin Plumping Gel and it’s fabulous. I use it at night as a first layer of moisture. I am having good luck so far with a combo of Tretinoin, Azelaic Acid and the Hada Labo Gel. So appreciate of all the information you have laid out so well for all of us!
You’re like the 5th person this week to mention donations, so I decided to start a patreon. I’M NOT SAYING YOU HAVE TO SIGN UP! It’s just there if anyone wants to use it. Alkasdjflaksjdf feels awkward typing this in the first place….
Haha yeah she’s a quirky cutie. :p
Thank you so much for an excellent post! I love your site so much! Your recommendatons are amazing, and you soothed my fears about my favorite cleanser, the vanicream cleanser, as I was worried it had too high a pH according to some other sites. Urea looks so promising, and I would love to try one of those products, but they all contain silicones, which clog my insanely tough skin like crazy! I am searching for a urea cream without silicones. What do you think of this one? https://www.walgreens.com/store/c/aqua-care-lotion-for-dry-skin-with-10-urea/ID=prod6145999-product
I’m not sure if 10% urea would be too much for my face! My skin really likes strong actives, so I’m wondering if it would be a good option. Or if you know of any silicone free urea cream, I am definitely up to try it! Thank you so much! 😀
Thank you for the very kind words! 🤗
If you’re not sensitive to esters that looks like a good option. Introduce slowly given the 10% urea.
Thankfully I’m not sensitive to esters, otherwise it would be a nightmare to find products without silicones and esthers! 😛 I just got the cream, and now it’s time to patch test it! Thanks again!
You might be interested in this one http://www.skin-remedies-store.com/Face-Neck-TheraCream-p/0-001.htm
Excellent post as always.
I’m finally changing my old routine to a new anti-malassezia approved routine thanks to the products recommendations on your site. My old products are finishing and the new ones are coming.
Can you help me choosing the order of the products, waiting times and what should I use AM/PM?
Here is what I have (not in order):
Mineral Oil for OCM,
Neutrogena ultra gentle foaming cleanser as second cleanser,
Hada Labo Gokujyun premium lotion,
Bioré perfect face milk fps 50,
Cerave moisturizing Cream,
benton snail bee essence
Azelaic Acid 15% (this was a miracle for my acne/pityrosporum foliculitis! Doesn’t work on my facial seborrheic dermatitis though, it just irritates it for some reason :/Ketoconazole shampoo is what cured my facial sebderm, I just have to use the shampoo once in a month now that I stopped feeding the fungus with stupid oils. And some months I don’t even need it).
Hi, Renato. Here’s the correct order:
*Mineral Oil for OCM
*Neutrogena ultra gentle foaming cleanser as second cleanser,
*Hada Labo Gokujyun premium lotion
*Benton snail bee essence
*Azelaic Acid 15% (or after cerave cream)
*Cerave moisturizing Cream
*Bioré perfect face milk SPF 50
No wait times necessary.
Hi there renato
How did you do to cure your seborrheic dermatitits with ketoconazole shampoo??
What happens if you apply too much Urea? For example, applying a 40% Urea cream two times per day.
40% urea can debride finger/toenails. Probably not the best thing to put on facial skin.
EDIT: but just in case you’re interested… see my comment above .
Hi, FC! I’ve been following your blogs and recommending it to my friends since it’s basically skincare bible. Like you, I was on acne.org regimen for 4 years and once I stopped cold turkey, my skin has been so difficult to manage. Every pore is clogged and nothing has been helping, I had a reprieve when I took low-dosed accutane and tretinoin 0.05% but I’m currently having the old problem again.
I want to thank you for your guide on fungal acne and hopefully once I used all your approved products I can see improvements! I also bought a Urea cream, do you mind checking out whether the ingredients are fungal acne-safe ?
AQUREA MOISTURISING CREAM 100G (urea 10%)
Purified water, Urea BP, White soft paraffin, Cetostearyl Alcohol, Disodium hydrogen Orthophosphate, Liquid Paraffin, Ceteareth-20, Dimethicone, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin.
Thank you so much! Can’t wait for your BHA and Urea DIY.
Hi there, Riima. Glad to hear your skin is improving! Looks like a great choice! Wish it was available in the US. I’d use it on my body for sure. 🙂
This sounds legit! I bought a lotion with urea before but it was too greasy so I just stopped using it. You mention 5% Urea products a fair amount. Is there some reasoning for what percentage is most optimal? I assume it’s not irritating so to some extent is higher better?
All the studies I’ve seen on facial skin have used 5% urea. At this concentration there were still a couple minor side effects like burning / stinging.
There are a few testimonials of people online using higher amounts just fine ( see my comment above ). Just depends on skin sensitivity. But I advise sticking to 5% for at least 3 months before trying anything higher. By then it’s very unlikely you’ll need more.
Urea is all the rage in Europe. Well, less “rage” and more “highly recommended” since it’s not trendy per se but easily found in French pharmacy brands. While I was shopping in Germany, more than one apotheke suggested urea cream; 5-10% seemed the average concentration. That might be an easier option for readers having a hard time with US products being too irritant-heavy. La Roche Posay has an entire iso-urea line!
How is urea created for skincare purposes? Is it an animal byproduct? Or all synthetic?
I was so excited to read this comment as I will be heading to the UK soon and am hoping to pick up some products there! Would you happen to have found a urea cream that’s also malassezia safe?? 🙂
So that’s why there are so many Glowing Germans…..
European friends — SEND ME ALL THEM UREA GOODS!
My PO box is…. just kidding haha. But seriously, I might be a little envious of you guys and gals. :p
All synthetic. It’s made from ammonia and carbon dioxide in lab. The process involves dehydrating ammonium carbamate in high heat and pressure.
And this is precisely why I wouldn’t be surprised if the Hada Labo Premium Lotion ends up being in my routine for the rest of my life, heh.
As always, brilliant post! Urea isn’t difficult to find in moisturisers already, but I think it’s having it in adequate concentrations of 2-5% that really does the trick. I hope it’ll eventually get the attention it deserves…you know, before we die, hopefully. (Or maybe urea even prevents death!!!???!!??)
Sup, Ian? 😎
WEEEEEEEE! Urea is making us immortal! 😈
I envy you Europeans. It’s pretty hard to come across in the states. Get your sh*t together America. First Trump, now a scarcity of urea moisturizers. FFS!
thanks for another thorough post! Question about the hada labo tokyo plumping gel – how different is it from the hada labo perfect gel made for the japanese market? some of the ingredients are in a different order and a different preservative is used… Are these two interchangeable?
Yeah, I was confused about that at first. Seems like the same ingredients just different arrangement. This will change the feel / viscosity of the product. I’ve heard the Japanese version is quite sticky and hard to layer.
I live in Korea, and we can only get the perfect gel version of the plumping gel (I’ve checked on the major sites like Gmarket and Coupang, it’s easier to order from those sites since the customs from imported goods can be a hassle in Korea from ordering from a site not based in Korea). I’m considering getting it for night routine to see how it works. I compared the the ingredients too, and they look almost identical
Good luck with the server move, but if we ever lose phrases like “this stud made sweet love to my face” the internet will be a worse place for it.
I work with urea all the time as part of my research. It’s very slippery because of all the reasons talked about in here. When you get enough urea together, it actually changes the hydrogen bonding properties of water and that’s why it’s used as a denaturant. Also sometimes we have to syringe urea buffers and I’ve had the needle slip on me twice. Getting a urea tipped needle in the thumb stings like a motherfucker.
Anyway, if you’re wondering WHY urine therapy is a bad, no good, terrible idea:
-Urea is a synthesized chemical. It is not purified from urine because urine is a mix of compounds that would be difficult to separate.
-Urea is a clear, colorless, odorless compound. None of these things describe urine, which is due to the presence of excreted sulfur, urochrome, and other compounds. The amount of urea in urine is pretty small, actually.
-Oh, you know the myth that urine is sterile? This is mostly true, as long as you collect it by sticking a large needle into your bladder and drawing it out. Otherwise, a healthy adult has between 10^3-10^5 bacteria per ml of urine produced (generally 10^5 is the cutoff for urinary tract infection). Not to mention the odd yeast that grows on human genitalia. So basically you’d be swabbing your face with all that, too.
Sounds nasty :O
I got my master of science working in a lab of a kidney transplant surgeon. I know a lot about pee.
Ewwwwww. thanks for the info! Thats brutal…I’ll never ever put pee on my face:S it never really seemed logical anyway..putting a waste product from your own body onto your face…your body wants to get rid of that and flush it away forever!
….Though I would put worse things on my face if it was proven to cure rosacea though, ask any rosacea sufferer and I’m sure they’d say the same thing lol XD. I recently read an article where this beauty blogger regularly put manly unmentionable stuff on her face as a mask and SWORE it helped her rosacea tremendously. I’d need a bit more convincing though ahaha. (sorry if thats too gross) 0_o
I mean….. scientists recently designed a moisturizing UV absorbing film using self-assembling DNA crystals that’s made from salmon sperm…. And the more UV it’s exposed to the better it gets at absorbing UV.
Makes “facials” sound fun….
I imagine there would be the same issue with bacterial growth just because of where it comes through. Also the pH is a little basic for skin, being around 7-8. Since human semen is only about 2% sperm, it would be mainly like applying a solution of enzymes and fructose to your face.
Don’t worry about grossing me out, haha. While I wouldn’t say I’ve seen it all, I’ve definitely seen most of it.
When Jen hits you with that sperm science . 🤓
My friends reactions when I hit them with weird facts about the human body: http://68.media.tumblr.com/7e756449a9f053f362ed85256bef90b8/tumblr_okeqs1CjPi1trd4xxo2_400.gif
Brittany! Another rosacea sufferer! Literally have a flush on my left cheek (face, not butt :’) as we speak! I’ve been trying so many things so stave off and abate flushes. So far the only thing that has noticeably helped prevent flushing as well as reducing the intensity/length of a flush is A) having a properly moisturized (but not clogged) face, and B) COSrx 96 snail mucin (so gooey, so slimy, so wonderful!)
I’ve had problems with dehydration and proper moisture levels on my skin. (read: dry cheeks with an oily AND flaky forehead????? Not fair.) I often have to layer and/or double apply moisturizer.
And last but not least, I also have sensitive breakout prone skin (booooo, hissssss)
Have you personally had any problems using urea on your face? Does it help you with moisture levels? Irritate you? BRITTANY, HELP ME. DOES UREA MAKE YOUR ROSACEA ANGRY???
Sorry for shouting. But this is definitely a dramatic situation, right? No? It’s just me then?
Hahahahahah love it! Yay now its fun for everyone!
Your blog is m’fuckin amazing. I appreciate your in-depth research and recommendations immensely 🙂 Truly, I’ve never come across a more helpful resource!
Do you think it would be overkill to use a urea toner and the Hada Labo gel? I started using the gel a couple of weeks ago and it’s definitely brightened up my skin. I ask about the toner because it seems like my skin fares better when I use a facial wipe instead of a cleanser (maybe I’m batshit crazy idk). So, perhaps a nice toner would have the same effect as a facial wipe?
Also wondering what you recommend for texture/tone woes with Malessezia. I always find that once my maless. is cleared up in the middle of my forehead, I’m left with a patch of skin that has a slightly different texture and tone from the rest of my skin. Traditional moisturizer hasn’t helped much, and maybe prolonged use of hada gel will. However, if you have any further recommendations for the texture/tone issues, I’d love it!
I’d stick with only one (either toner or gel) for at least 3 months. Most people will not need the addition of another urea product by then. Like I always say on this blog….. slow and steady wins the race. I hazard a guess the forehead tone/texture will improve with time. Patience young ladaroonie! :p
Hi can you make a post about make up? Specially foundations/ powders? Is so hard to find a good product (non comedogenic, oilfree, good quality) , everytime I look for products online I check the ingredients to see if is really non comedogenic and oil free and most of them didn’t pass my test :/ My acne is under control now I only get small whiteheads once a month (btw thanks for all the tips you wrote in this blog , it helped a lot ) and I almost never use foundation but sometimes you want to go to a party and wanna look a bit extra so I’m searching for a foundation but I don’t wanna use something that will give me whiteheads the next day, I’ve read a lot of reviews and articles but some people don’t even know what they are writing, I’m just tired of looking for a good product ;-; you dont even need to write a post about it if you replied with a list of safe products I would be happy ♡ I love this blog! Kisses from Brazil
I’m brazillian too! Seems like this blog got a lot of brazillian fans.
Saudações dos Estados Unidos!
Sim eu vi muitos BR aqui tbm
Have your seen all the recommendations on the fungal acne guide ? Some really good ones over there! I’ll copy/paste them here for you:
Omg thank you so much !!! I will definitely read the fungal acne guide, thank you for replying ! ♡
I suspect my skin might have some fungal/yeast related acne, and I was thinking of trying some sulfur to see if that would help, but now I’m intrigued by the urea products. Do you recommend using both? Or starting with an anti-fungal and then trying a urea product? I guess I don’t where to start or how to add those in. Any advice?
My routine so far: For the past month I’ve been using Paula’s choice BHA 2%, the AHA 8% gel once per week, and then moisturizing every evening with Rosehip oil and a moisturizer from Trader Joe’s, of all things. (And finally using sunscreen during the day!) I have a lot of redness and what I suspect to be PIH (I have a very uneven skintone.) The redness does seem to be slowly reducing, but I’m still getting the occasional new pimple, and my forehead seems to have a lot of red bumps that never turn into anything or go away. I’ve had acne for a really long time and am now in my mid-20s so I’m really intrigued by the fungal/yeast component–the first time I’ve ever heard of that causing acne–especially since I have a gluten allergy.
I’m really glad I came across your blog! Thank you for the awesome write-ups–your website is great!
Hi there, Meg! Have you read the fungal acne guide ? You’re using a couple products that can make things worse: Paula’s choice BHA 2%, Rosehip oil, possibly the Trader Joe’s moisturizer.
Urea and sulfur can be introduced at the same time no problem! 🙂
Thanks for the reply! 🙂 Yes, I read that guide after I’d started my routine….interestingly, my skin really seems to love the Rosehip and the moisturizer–it’s the only one I’ve tried so far that doesn’t break me out (it didn’t like CereVe). So maybe it’s not fungal related (god at this point I’ve tried so many things and feel like I still have no answers!) but I’ll test sulfur and see if that makes a difference to rule it out. Still learning and experimenting!
Hey!! So where would we actually get the cream the guy from Testimonial #3 is using?? That foreign site looked scaryyy haha! But also, is it melassezia safe? Or do you think the Hado Labo one would be best to get? Thank you 🙂
The only place online I have been able to find outside of Poland is Notino.co.uk, but they only ship within the UK and Ireland. It’s a real bummer
they ship to Spain as FAPEX.es
Just got my jar, but its very heavily fragranced which I dont particularly like. Want to try the Skin Plumping but its 45euro on amazon.es.
I just found it on amazon, if you’re still looking!
Hi there! You can order it from EBay! I just ordered mine and am curious to see if anyone here has used it and what results they got!?
Heya I saw on Dr Dray’s YouTube channel that the Hada Labo Perfect Gel (in the gold jar) is practically the same as the Hada Labo Plumbing Gel Cream. I’m not sure if it’s completely safe for malassezia folliculitis though. Maybe f.c. or someone who is more of an expert can check and approve/disapprove the ingredients as followed:
Water, Butylene Glycol, Hydroxyethyl Urea, Pentylene Glycol, Glycerin, Squalane, PEG/PPG/Polybutylene Glycol-8/5/3 Glycerin, Triethylhexanoin, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Agar, Arginine, Dextrin, Dimethicone, Disodium EDTA, Disodium Succinate, Glucosyl Ceramide, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Methylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, Propylparaben, Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Succinic Acid, Triethyl Citrate.
Do you know anything about zinc/copper imbalances and acne? I would love for you to explore the topic. I think this may be a cause for acne sufferers who eat a plant based diet. Thanks!
Amazingly detailed beauty blog, I love it! I use retin A gel every night, how would urea gel cream fit into that routine? Thanks for the advice!
I posted this comment under the Pityrosporum Folliculitis post earlier and I think it really belongs here, because it’s a cheap easily accessible product containing Urea.
Cetaphil Daily Hydrating Lotion with Hyaluronic Acid is a moisturizing lotion with a very light, semi-translucent texture. Although no percentage indicated, Urea is listed as the third ingredient. It also contains hyaluronic acid and sodium PCA. It does contain couple of esters but due to its overall light formulation I have not experienced any breakouts after several months of daily use. I have extremely sensitive and acne-prone rosacea skin. Almost everything gives me pimples or causes irritations so the fact that I can tolerate this product says a lot about its gentleness. I think it will be a good alternative if other urea creams are too heavy for you. Although it’s labeled for “dry to very dry skin”, its super light texture is best suited for normal to oily skin. Dry skin folks may find it not moisturizing enough. It’s available in most big box marts and drug stores and costs around 12-15 dollars per 3 oz.
Ingredients: Water, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Hydroxyethyl Urea, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100, Stearate, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Homarine HCI, Sodium PCA, Cetyl Alcohol, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyetha no I, Acrylates/Cl0-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Erythritol
I love urea! But so far I’ve only used it on my body.
I have this lotion, what do you think of the ingredient list:
Aqua, Urea, Propylene Glycol, Betaine, Lactic Acid, Cetearyl Alcohol, Diethylhexyl Carbonate, Tromethamine, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Cetyl Phosfate, Dimethicone.
I guess that diethylhexyl carbonate and glyceryl stearate SE could be problematic?
I have no idea if this melassezia fungus has a role to play in my rosacea, but I do feel like oils make my skin more red, almost like seb derm, so I’m thinking your regime could be worth a try. 🙂
Any thoughts on this formulation?
Aqua, Urea, Propylene Glycol, Betaine, Lactic Acid, Cetearyl Alcohol, Diethylhexyl Carbonate, Tromethamine, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Cetyl Phosfate, Dimethicone
It’s dirt cheap in my country, but might not be safe for malassezia-sensitive skin?
Looks like good old Hjælper Tør Hud (HTH)?! Have you tried using it on the face? I have just ordered the perfume-free version online, and think I will give it a try.
Yes, indeed it is HTH!
I haven’t tried it, but I’m going to get one today or tomorrow; if it doesn’t work for my face, then I’ll just use it somewhere else. The price is too good!
Let me know how it works out for you, though!
I’ve that you use the Vanicream Cleanser. Would you say it’s more gentler than the Cerave Foaming Cleanser? I’m thinking about Changing my Cleanser.
Vanicream is more gentle.
Hi there, F.C.!
First off, I want to thank you for your blog. I didn’t realize I found the science of skincare so fascinating, but it’s really helped me figure out how to both maximize the potential of my products, and how not to nuke my face — since I do have tendencies towards eczema (more on my hands than my face, BUT STILL), as well as dry and dehydrated, crazy sensitive skin. So I find myself picking products more carefully now (although so much time on Skincare Addiction has made me feel like I want to put ALL THE THINGS on my face. I cannot put ALL THE THINGS on my face sadly. :P)
I did have a question about your routine in general, sort of how many products you’re using. For example, you’ve reviewed PC’s 8% AHA and said you use it 3x a week, and here you say Urea is awesome for your skin…I’m mostly a little confused, since if Urea is a natural/mild exfoliant…and AHA is an exfoliant, albeit a stronger one (and azelaic acid, which has exfoliant-like properties)….well, my question is mostly how you’re not nuking your face into oblivion?? I tried experimenting with a lactic acid toner once, except I was a dumbass and exfoliated too much (every other day), so that by the…fourth or fifth? time I did, my face went tomato-red within minutes. As it is, I’m using The Ordinary’s azelaic acid cream as an exfoliator right now, and I’m doing it slowly…so I don’t understand how you can use urea and say, another AHA product, even if it’s not every day of the week? Do you rotate products every so often, do you not use urea creams every day…? Is there something I’m missing here? Do you have to build up a tolerance? I feel like there’s more I need to learn here…but there’s a lot to read in the meantime!
Posting a new comment to share my experience with urea on my keratosis pilaris.
The 40% urea gave me no side effects, no redness, stinging, itchiness, or burning. If it had, I would be sure to stop using immediately! I used relatively small amounts on still wet skin so in effect, I may have diluted it a bit. The only problem I’ve had is that it is pretty chalky and sometimes I had a bit of white residue on my arms and legs. My skin was incredibly smooth after I began using it. Now that it is summer, I started to experience a return of kp bumps and rough skin, I think in part due to increased sweating and not being able to wash it off immediately. Also, the cream is pretty thick so I’ve been using the lighter Udderly Smooth 20%. I’m hoping that I can use it again as the weather cools and get all my glorious smooth soft skin again. The pigmentation of my bumps/former bumps still remain but I have a glycolic cream and wash that I want to use in the fall and winter to help fake it.
Let me know if you have more questions!
Natasha — which 40% urea cream are you using on your arms? I feel like i’ve tried everything OTC and the only thing that worked for me was Carmol 40 (Rx). I’d like to find something OTC. Udderly smooth did not work for me 🙁 Mine is worse in the summer too — what gives?
Thanks for another entertaining and informative post , F.C. !!! Now I MUST see how urea affects my face . Did anyone notice that Angel Face also lost some fine lines on his face after using the urea cream gel ( he didn’t have many ) ? He’s very young anyway( 23 yrs old at the time of the last pic ) , but notice the very faint lines in his forehead and around his mouth are completely gone in the last pic compared to the first ones . That’s what I WANT !!! I used the Ulactin 10% urea lotion on my body , but not my face . I love that stuff for my scaly legs . I wanna try the Hada Labo Plumping Gel Cream , but it has ceramides . I’ve used 3 different ceramide lotions on my body and I got zits on my legs , arms and other areas from them . Too scared to use them on my face . Anyone else break out from ceramides ? I did just start using the Hada Labo Premium Lotion 3 nights ago . I like it so far . I also started using the Timeless Squalane last night thanks to you , F.C. I hope the 3% urea makes a difference. I won’t buy a single product for my face without checking your site . I’m so grateful I found you last year ! My skin has done a 360 thanks to you ! You helped me wade through the bullshit by presenting the FACTS about malassezia and what NOT to use . You really are a sweet , smart , funny and gorgeous guy ! I know you’re super busy , so no need to reply to me . I’m off to find the perfect urea gel cream to start using after my skin gets used to the Hada Labo . I didn’t even realize it was 3% urea til I read your post . YAY ! If anyone has trouble with blackheads, I suggest Vivant 3 in 1 8% Mandelic Acid Serum . Start SLOWLY ! Once every other day . If it burns when you apply, rinse it off after 5 minutes. It also has urea and niacinamide in it . It makes my blackheads literally fall out of my pores . Have a great weekend everyone.
I just ordered the magical Dermedic cream that the baby-faced guy from testimonial #3 is using, is it malessezia safe? I suppose no because of the ester 🙁 Thank you! 🙂
I suppose no because of the ester.
That is correct!
Hi May – I was looking into the ingredients on the Dermedic Cream Gel, and can’t seem to locate an ester… I’m a newbie here, so am I missing something? Did this end up working for you? Trying to decide between this and the Hada Labo gel cream for a urea product.
Ingredients: Thermal water, Hyaluronic acid, AqualareTM, Urea-UREA, Glycerine, Dub Diol, Betaine, Phytosqualan – Squalane, Vitamin E
Your blog is amazing! Thank you for all of your research!
I’ve tried to find the Eucerine 5% urea face cream and it seems it’s not available in the US any longer. In fact all of the Eucerin creams and lotions have been repackaged and do not list the urea or concentration on the label, it only appears as an ingredient, (usually second or third on the list).
Where do you get yours?
Hi F.C., Thank you for all the hard work! I’ve been using malassezia-safe products for 1 week now and have had 0 new active skin problems. Hoping the healing continues!
I live in Australia and found this Urea product- https://www.goodpricepharmacy.com.au/hamilton-skin-active-urederm-cream-100g . Here are the ingredients: Water, mineral oil, urea, glycerin, petrolatum, cetearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol, triethanolamine, carbomer, ceteareth-20, methylparaben, ethylparaben, butylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben. Lots of mineral oil and fatty alcohols, but seems to be malassezia-safe! It’s so cheap (~$5 USD), it might be worth the price of shipping to get it imported for any Americans looking for their urea fix.
Thank you again for everything. I’ll be following xx
Oooo this looks like a great option! Thinking of trying it out myself. 🙂 Thanks for sharing. Is this the product you’ve been using the past week? How does it feel on the skin? I imagine it’s a little thick?
Edit: never mind I see they don’t ship to the U.S. :/
http://www.skin-remedies-store.com/Face-Neck-TheraCream-p/0-001.htm This one might be a good one to try. I haven’t as of yet but I like the ingredient list
Got any experience on the Galderma Nutraplus 10% Urea Cream?
Here are the ingredients, would like to clarify if its Mallassezia safe. Thank you!
Nutraplus Lipolotion U10
Aqua, paraffinum liquidum, urea, caprylic/capric triglyceride, dimethicone, methoxy PEG-22/dodecyl glycol copolymer, Na lactate, PEG-7 hydrogenated castor oil, sorbitan isostearate, PEG-2 hydrogenated castor oil, ozokerite, hydrogenated castor oil, lactic acid, methylparaben, propylparaben
Do you think the stratus pharmaceuticals inc urea 10% cream is safe and effective based on its ingredients list?
Secondly, will you be sharing your urea cream recipe?
Reading “No amount of moisturizing, vaseline and hyaluronic acid would repair my skin. It all just rested there on top of this crusty fucking layer of skin that’s been haunting me for years, but it didn’t actually moisturize my face.” sounds very much like my problem. No matter how gentle a moisturiser claims to be my skin always ends up looking much worse and much greasier all day after application. This even happens with the Benton Essense. I also abused Benzoyl Peroxide for years.
Urea sounds like it would be beneficial for me to use.
My issue is that I don’t know which product to go for as I suffer from malassezia induced problems. Cerave PM has broken me out before, which could be due to the ceramides so the Skin Plumping Gel probably isn’t a good idea. Hada Labo products also aren’t readily available in my country.
So out of the Sebamed, Eucerin and Hydrain 3 which one do you think would do the least harm while also providing all the urea goodness for someone who has malassezia problems?
Thanks for all the awesome info you provide.
I think I may have found a malassezia safe 5% urea cream. The only thing is that it’s designed to be used on your hands. I wonder if there’s any difference.
EVELINE Extra Soft SOS Regenerating Hand Cream
Aqua/Water, Mineral Oil, Urea, Cetearyl Alcohol, Petrolatum, Ceteareth-20, Sodium Hyaluronate, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Panthenol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Triethanolamine, Allantoin, Benzyl Alcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid, Benzoic Acid, Sorbic Acid, DMDM Hydantoin, Parfum, Disodium EDTA, Linalool, Hexyl Cinnamal, Citronellol.
Here’s a couple of great options for those in Europe. I think my search may have finally ended 🙂
UREATA Creme mit 5% Urea und Vitamin E ( https://www.apo-rot.com/details/ureara-creme-mit-5prozent-urea-und-vitamin-e/9221234.html ). 4.47€ for 25g.
Aqua, Alcohol, Paraffinum Liquidum, Petro- latum, Cetearyl Alcohol, Urea, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Cetearyl Sulfate, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid
UREA/Harnstoffsalbe 10%ig ( https://www.apo-rot.com/details/urea-harnstoffsalbe-10prozentig/8926317.html?_nav=suche_searchkeyword=+UREA%2FHarnstoffsalbe+10%25ig+ ). 6.90 € for 100g.
Aqua, Urea, Paraffinum Liquidum, Petrolatum, Cetearyl Alkohol, Sodium Cetearyl Sulfate, 0.5 % Salicylic acid
Hey, it’s me, Luig-, /u/svvaffles.
I’ve been using the Hada Labo Skin Plumping Gel Cream for a few weeks now, and it’s AH-MAZING. It’s even better than Sebamed Clear Face Gel + Squalane Oil. I find the latter dry kinda sticky, depending on the ratio of gel and oil. The gel cream dries matte, but oh so plump. Makeup goes on perfectly afterwards, and at night time I pat on some squalane afterwards.
This was my skin in May-June: https://imgur.com/71EJBhW
This is my skin now in October: https://imgur.com/xr6ZjJK
Yes, I got professional help for my eyebrows.
Also currently trialing MCT oil + Cromollient SCE, really liking that for cleansing at night. Keep doing the good work!
Hey, nice to see you comment around here! 😀 I still haven’t tried it but people around here really seem to like it. I do occasionally get the odd comment from someone saying it made em breakout.
And zayum! Your skin looks FAB gurl!
Hellz yeah, I still use MCT oil for OCM every night. Probably been doing this for over a year now. Cheers!
After-pic didn’t work for me, but here it is again: https://imgur.com/xr6ZjJK
I love your blog! I started dermarolling thanks to you and my skin is looking so much better. Anyway, I have a pretty cheap body lotion with urea in it, apparently it’s 10%. Do you think it’s safe to use it on your face? I’m prone to blackheads. 🙁 Ingredients: Aqua, Urea, Propylene Glycol, Betaine, Lactic Acid, Cetearyl Alcohol, Diethylhexyl Carbonate, Tromethamine, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Cetyl Phosphate,
If you’re not sensitive to the malassezia yeast (it has glyceryl stearate) then it’s a good option.
Hi, big fan of your posts. I’m currently using a brand with 10% urea and I’m wondering if that is too high to use on the face. It has really minimal ingredients hence why I’m giving it a chance. Would the high concentration be bad for me long term?
Link to product and ingredient: http://www.excipial.ca/en/products/u10-healing-therapy-lotion
Cerave just came out with a psoriasis cream that contains urea. What do you think of it?
I got so excited when I read this comment!! Checked the ingredient list and got a little sad. :/ I won’t be able to use it cause it has a couple esters and oils. But if you’re not sensitive to these then it looks like a great pick! Even comes with some salicylic acid and niacinamide for added exfoliation and brightening effects.
I saw 2 Eucerin products that has both 5% urea, the replenishing cream mentioned in this article and the smoothening cream, you think i can use any of these 2 to incorporate urea in my skin care?
I love the HL Plumping Gel, a lot. It really calms redness and makes my skin look hydrated, but oddly enough I’ve noticed it seems to have made my skin really flakey in some areas like my eyes/under eyes, and parts of my forehead. I’ve been using it every morning and at night I use it on my undereyes. Am I over doing it somehow?
I read that it can work as an exfoliant but now I’m wondering if I should be using it less? Any input would be great, this is my first time using a urea product.
I think you’ll appreciate Dr. Dray’s input on the HL Plumping Gel causing dryness/flakiness: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_y8kxVh6REkt=461s (watch from 3:20). She basically says it’s a humectant, so it’s most effective when applied on damp skin, and then sealed with a creamier moisturizer on top. This should help with the flakiness. (:
This looks like a miracle product, alright. Would you recommend this for rosacea? Exfoliating is typically avoided for rosacea through things like AHAs (and sometimes BHAs) but I’ve successfully used sulfur for years to help treat my rosacea, and that has keratolytic properties. Would urea’s actions be more similar to sulfur or AHAs? Looking to rebuild my moisture barrier at the same time and hopeful that urea can provide the 1-2 punch I need. Thanks 🙂
Wanna start by quickly saying thank you for your blog. You put so much work into this, and all just to help us! After following, reading all your posts, and seeing everyone’s comments, it literally warms my heart to see how much you’re helping everyone- including me! I’ve learned SO much about skincare and I appreciate your blog so much 🙂 Anyways, sorry for being sappy lol.
After learning all about skincare from your blog, I’m pretty much revamping my routine. I’ve planned what I want to try out, but want to make sure all the products are in the correct order. I have oily skin, but I often feel like my skin is dull (probably because I never knew how to correctly treat my skin and used harsher products). Anyways, I’d really love to hear your input on my (hopefully) new routine given that you’re a skincare GOD. lol
1. Neutrogena oil-free acne wash
2. Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum
3. Cera Ve PM
4. EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46
1. Neutrogena oil-free acne wash
2. Hada Labo premium lotion
3. Cosrx BHA blackhead power liquid
4. Paula’s Choice 8% AHA gel exfolient
5. Benton Snail Bee Essence (on the fence about this because I heard they changed their ingredients…would you still recommend it given that?)
6. Cera Ve PM
And concerning urea, I’m curious as to whether you think the Hada Labo Premium Lotion is better, or the Hada Labo skin plumping gel cream?..I’m feeling slightly hesitant to adding multiple hydrating products as I’m afraid it could clog my oily skin. But urea sounds like such a great product I wouldn’t want to pass up!
Props again to your AMAZING blog! Can’t wait to put your tips to use.
I was looking up the moisturizer you mention with 5% Urea and 3 different kinds of HA but it does not list Urea in the ingredients at all. Did they change the ingredients or something?
Second ingredient: “hydroxyethyl urea.” This is off the Hada Labo website that lists the ingredients.
Excellent article! I didn’t know urea’s beneficial to the skin! Have you thought of doing an post on how you make your urea cream? 😀
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Urea Cream, Lotion, Gel, Ointment, and Solution
Generic Name: Urea Cream, Lotion, Gel, Ointment, and Solution (you REE ah)
Brand Name: Aqua Care , Carmol 20 , CEM-Urea
Uses of Urea Cream, Lotion, Gel, Ointment, and Solution:
- It is used to moisturize skin.
- It is used to treat some nail problems.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Urea Cream, Lotion, Gel, Ointment, and Solution?
- If you have an allergy to urea or any other part of urea cream, lotion, gel, ointment, and solution.
- If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what
signs you had, like rash; hives ; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing ; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
This medicine may interact with other drugs or health problems.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins ) and health problems. You must check
to make sure that it is safe for you to take this medicine with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of
any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Urea Cream, Lotion, Gel, Ointment, and Solution?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take urea cream, lotion, gel, ointment, and solution. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Do not put on irritated skin.
- Use care when putting on a large part of the skin or where there are open wounds. Talk with the doctor.
- If you use this medicine too often, your skin problem may become worse.
- Do not use longer than you have been told by the doctor.
- Talk with your doctor before you use other drugs or products on your skin.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using urea cream, lotion, gel, ointment, and solution
while you are pregnant.
- Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.
How is this medicine (Urea Cream, Lotion, Gel, Ointment, and Solution) best taken?
Use this medicine as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Do not take urea cream, lotion, gel, ointment, and solution by mouth. Use on your skin only. Keep out of your mouth, nose, and eyes (may burn).
- Wash your hands before and after use. Do not wash your hands after use if putting this on your hand.
- Clean affected part before use. Make sure to dry well.
- Put a thin layer on the affected skin and rub in gently.
- Put on affected part only.
- It may be covered with a bandage or dressing.
- To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Put on a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not put on 2 doses or extra doses.
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your
doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever ; wheezing;
tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Very bad skin irritation.
What are some other side effects of Urea Cream, Lotion, Gel, Ointment, and Solution?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical
help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Skin irritation.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical
advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was
taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Urea Cream, Lotion, Gel, Ointment, and Solution?
- Store at room temperature. Do not freeze.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.
Consumer information use
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else’s drugs.
- Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins , OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
- Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins .
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about this medicine, please talk
with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was
taken, how much, and when it happened.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Review Date: December 6, 2017
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