Brighten Skin

Allantoin - An ingredient you probably haven't met!

Allantoin - An ingredient you probably haven't met! | YEARN SKIN

We took a deep dive into the most talked about beauty buzzwords this year and what they can do to help improve your skin for a bright, even, glow. Today's spotlight... Allantoin 



What is it?

This sensitive skin helper is usually recommended if you’re suffering from dryness or irritation after using glycolic acid or retinol. In its organic form, allantoin is a botanical extract found in the comfrey plant, native to England, Europe, Central Asia and Western Siberia. Traditionally, it has been used in herbal medicine to help reduce irritation and support the healing of surface cuts and swelling and is becoming increasingly known for its moisturising, exfoliating and healing properties. Although the ingredient is also found in chamomile, tobacco seed and wheat sprout, allantoin is mostly produced synthetically. According to The Derm Review, synthetic products tend to be the equivalent of their original counterparts and can be less of an environmental stressor, which sometimes makes them a more sustainable source – contrary to popular belief.

Want to know a little more science behind it?

When produced, allantoin is prepared from the heated combination of uric acid and sodium hydroxide. Once cooled, potassium permanganate is added. The solution is filtered to remove manganese dioxide and then acetic acid is added. After several hours, allantoin crystallises and is ready to be filtered. To purify the filtrate more, it's dissolved in boiling water, treated with norite and then rapidly filtered again.

Also known as aluminum dihydroxy allantoinate, allantoin's white to off-white powdery form is most commonly found in creams and liquids such as moisturiser, exfoliators and masks. Studies of formulations containing 2-4% allantoin showed no adverse effects.

How does it help your skin?

The active ingredient is suitable for all skin types, but ideal for dry, irritated or sensitive skin. Think of it like the petroleum jelly you keep tucked in your bag for those chapped lips. It acts as an emollient, which softens skin by preventing loss of moisture, while maintaining a healthy skin barrier that protects against bacteria and allergens. It gently exfoliates skin by removing dead skin cells, which helps skin appear brighter and smoother, and allows it to better absorb other products. You will also find it in many acne-scarring formulations, specifically for its healing properties – allantoin is reported to promote the renewal of epidermal cells and accelerate the healing of wounds. It is safe to use on a daily basis or as often as your product of choice recommends. 

SHOP THE INGREDIENT: Alpha Arbutin Serum, with Allantoin