Allantoin is a chemical compound derived from the acylation process of urea and glyoxylic acid. It is sometimes also referred as glyoxyldiureide or 5-ureidohydantoin . It is odorless, tasteless white powder in its natural form [2,3,4,5]. It possess amphoteric properties and does not stain as well [6,7]. Furthermore, it is not soluble in non-polar compounds (i.e. mineral oils, ether and chloroform), very slightly soluble in alcohol, slightly soluble in cold water and glycerine and is highly soluble in hot water .
It is one of the major metabolic intermediate products in living organisms including animals, plants and bacteria. It is mostly extracted from plant sources like chamomile, wheat sprouts, sugar beet and comfrey .
Allantoin in the Health of the Skin
It is a very important ingredient for the health of skin and possesses a lot of properties to sooth the skin, moisturize and heal the skin . The most important beneficial effects of allantoin for skin are:
Exfoliation of Skin
It has the property to exfoliate the skin i.e. remove the tough, dead layer of the skin and shed t off. In this way it keeps the skin soft and smooth as the dead, tough layer has been shed off. The accumulation of dead skin may result in skin being dull.
It not only removes the tough and dead skin but also help in increasing the turnover of skin cells, proliferation and remodeling of the skin. It also reduces the dullness of the skin which might be due to the decreased proliferation of skin which is observed in old aged individuals. .
Allantoin plays an efficient role in synthesis of collagen , which is responsible for skin to keep tight and wrinkle free. As the skin ages, collagen fibers are reduced in number and skin appears to be more wrinkly and saggy.
By synthesizing the collagen, it serves to make the skin looks younger and healthier.
Wound Healing Properties
Certain skin care products such as creams, gels and ointments containing allantoin were tested for wound healing of the skin. It was found to sooth the injured skin and heal the wounds. No adverse effects to allantoin were reported [12-16]
It moisturizes the skin and protects it against irritation and dryness . It is even safe for sensitive skin types since no allergic or irritation reactions are induced by it.
Further, it prevents the moisture and nutrients to escape from the skin which makes skin healthier. It reduces the TEWL (transepidermal water-loss)  which is responsible for making the skin loose the moisture and appear dry and itchy.
To ascertain the significance of Allantoin, a study was performed in which allantoin containing topical formulation was tested to treat diaper rash in infants. No severe or mild adverse effects were documented in the study[19,20].
In another study, an ointment containing coal-tar and Allantoin was applied to the skin of individuals with Psoriasis. The study concluded that no adverse effects were observed in individuals who were treated with the above mentioned treatment [21-25].
Possible Allergic Reactions
Allantoin is gentle for the skin, a great anti-aging product and highly efficient in individuals with sensitive skin type. It is a non-toxic compound for the skin and safe for the cosmetic use. However, some people might be allergic to the ingredient who shall avoid its use, especially if Allantoin is extracted directly from the comfrey leaves and applied to the skin.
Allantoin is a naturally occurring amphoteric compound of urea, extracted from many plant sources such as chamomile, wheat sprouts, sugar beet and comfrey leaves. It is one of evident ingredient in much Korean skin supplements. However, scientific researchers have ascertained that it may produce great impact on the health and life of the skin cell.
It has been found that it produce a lot of positive impacts on the skin, such as it may act as an anti-aging compound which slows down the appearance of wrinkles and reduce the dullness of skin. It may even hydrate and moisturize the skin, rendering it from being dry and itchy and maintaining the stability of waterproof barrier at the same time. Not only limiting to that, it can increase the proliferation of skin cells which will help in making the skin healthier, younger and smooth. It also plays a very significant role in exfoliating the skin i.e. shedding off the old and tough layer of skin and replacing it with a new healthier skin. Some studies have also suggested its role in wound healing of the skin and reducing the inflammation at the time of wound. It also soothes the skin and help in speedy recovery of the wounds.
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