Urea is a colorless or white crystalline powder and it gives great moisturizer benefits to the skin. It is also known as carbamide. One person on a course I was running, looked at the ingredients list and said “There’s urea in urine. Have you peed in my foot cream?” I have never heard a classroom go so silent, so I explained all about it.
In early Victorian times in the UK, your urine was a commodity that could be sold to dealers for use in the leather tanning industry. Of course, only really poor people did this and a saying came into common use that if you were extremely poor, you “couldn’t afford a pot to piss in” or you were “piss poor”. The term is still used nowadays although most people don’t know the origin.
Horse urine was a major component in cosmetics. Don’t ask me how someone discovered that and did they try the neighbour’s cow first and find it wasn’t so good? Who knows? Some of these historical facts baffle me.
It is when we break down proteins in our digestion that urea is formed and we excrete it out in our urine. So is urea urine? No, it is a component of urine but is not actually urine.
What makes it so great then?
It’s a powerful humectant which increases the hydration levels in the top layer of the skin. It does this incredibly well, so of course you’ll be thinking is it the best moisturizer for face creams? The answer is no because it is too effective.
OK, men’s skin is typically coarser and thicker than women’s skin so is this the best face moisturizer for men or the best moisturizer for oily skin?? Again no, it’s too harsh for those purposes as well. So, by now, you will have already worked out that it is also not the best moisturizer for sensitive skin for the same reasons.
So just where is it good to use?
It is phenomenal in foot creams like the one I have formulated in my book Off Your Face Creams. It does need to be managed correctly as it changes the acid balance of the cream and that can make it unstable, but I have worked out how to add cannabis infused oil to it as well as make it stable. Floaty Foot Cream! If cannabis is not legal where you live, the foot cream is just as stable without it – it’s just not so much fun!
Just by the fact that is so very intensely hydrates the top layer of the skin, all that hard skin that you can get on your feet, all those rough patches at the sides, those hard or even cracked heels, all get softened and gradually flake off. The first time I made a batch, I actually went down a shoe size! Maybe that says more about just how bad my feet were though!
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