Sources: Comfrey, Horse Chestnut and Bearberry Plant
Our rating: GOOD
What is Allantoin?
Allantoin is a white odorless powder used as an active ingredient in skincare to help soften and protect the skin. It is extracted from the roots of the comfrey plant and is known to be an effective, non-irritating and soothing active ingredient even at a low concentration of just 0.5%.
Benefits of Allantoin:
Known for its keratolytic properties, allantoin increases the water content of the epidermal cells while aiding the process of desquamation of the stratum corenum. It promotes cell regeneration and can help reduce acne scars and create a more balanced skin tone. Its ability to retain moisture in skin cells keeps the skin youthful, plump and supple. The compound is especially effective on dry skin that is caused by the loss of water in the upper layer of the skin. A study on an application of just 0.2% of allantoin in a cream showed that over 90% of women with symptoms of redness and cracking noted significant improvements in their skin condition.
Researchers believe that allantoin removes necrotic tissue and speeds up the growth of new, healthy tissues, making it particularly effective in treating wounds, burns, skin ulcers, eczema, and other skin abrasions. The United States Dispensatory, Merck Index and British Pharmaceutical Codex describe allantoin as a cell proliferant, an epithelization stimulant and a chemical debridement. A study by the University of Liverpool on the effects of allantoin on nematode worms found that it mimicked the calorie-restriction process and increased the lifespan of the worms by 20%. This shows the potential anti-aging benefits of allantoin for the human skin.
Side Effects & Toxicity:
An extremely safe ingredient, allantoin has no known toxicity in general use and is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an active ingredient at concentrations of 0.5 to 2%.
Although it can be extracted from plants, the allantoin used in cosmetics and personal care products is made from urea and glyoxylic acid.