Urea

Though I don’t wear any cosmetics, I need moisturizing cream on my hands and heel in any season.

In Japan such cream including about 10% of “urea” is much appreciated, that it should keep the skin smooth.

I use it too, and it is sure to me also, that cream with urea should be effective.

Strangely skin cream products with urea appear in the shop only in winter. So in summer I use other product, with little effect. Especially the skin of my heels become soon dry and rough.

Today I found in the shop “urea 10% cream” for the first time of this season. I bought it and rubbed it on my heel. The difference was obvious. I felt water in the cream permeate into my skin. The cream soon spread on my heel and made it smooth and moisturized.

These are the two products of the same maker, with different types. The left one is without, the right one is with urea.

Two tubes of moisturizing cream, the type of which is different from each other

On the Tube of the product without urea (left), it is also written that it would give moisture to the skin with some special coating effect and that the skin will be soft and smooth. It is shown that the “moisturizing element” is “Chamomile extract”, including “ceramide E”. Despite such explanation, it doesn’t work so much.

On the Tube on the right side, there is written “Urea 10%,” in a large font. there are another explanations with smaller fonts, that Vitamin E, and – the name of other trace elements I can’t translate into English.

And the product with urea cost double as that without it. That shows how urea should be an important element.

But why is urea so effective? I have once used it in my chemical experiment when I was a researcher in the University. I used it to control the rate of the solution being acid to alkaline. Urea is, when heated, decomposed and produce ammonia. But why I needed such controlled pH change, I don’t remember. It was more than 10 years ago.

On might have a bad impression from urea, because it is related to urine. But urea itself is a clear crystalline grain without any smell. It is soluble in the water, giving transparent colorless solution. When the solution is heated it wears a smell of ammonia, but the smell of chemically pure ammonia is not so bad.

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