INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT: Allantoin     

Flowering comfrey plant aka Symphytum Officinale Allantoin is a chemical compound that is produced by a number of plants, bacteria and animals. It can be found in the urine of cows and certain other mammals. However, the ones used for human consumption are normally found in the roots of comfrey, a perennial herb that has thick and black colored roots. The compound is considered to be extremely safe and non-toxic and is known to be extremely beneficial for skin care and skin rejuvenation solutions. The comfrey plant has also been used as a form of herbal medicine since ages.

Allantoin is found in the form of an odorless white colored powder. It is generally used in skin care creams, lotions and moisturizers, lipsticks, sunscreens, hair gels, shampoos, baby powders and bath foams. Most products use anything between 0.5% – 2% of allantoin by it into an emulsion product during the cooling process. A proper mixing process is also required to ensure that the Allantoin disperses completely.

Allantoin has often been termed as the dream ingredient not only because of the wide range of skin care benefits that it offers, but because of the fact that it is completely safe to use. According to the Environmental Working Group Skin Deep database, Allantoin has been classified as a low hazard cosmetic ingredient and it hasn’t been linked with any sort of health problems either. Furthermore, allantoin is highly unlikely to induce allergic reactions in the human body because of its anti-inflammatory properties.

The best way to use Allantoin is to use it topically in the form of skin care products. Orally ingested allantoin can be dangerous for your livers as it contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids, substances that are toxic for your livers.

Now that you are aware of what Allantoin is and how safe it is, why not read on to understand the kind of skin care benefits that it can offer?

Moisturize and soften your skin – Allantoin acts as a keratinolytic and helps in softening and moisturizing your skin. This is particularly important as the epidermis synthesizes numerous lipids and proteins in its outermost layers to protect the body. This process is known as keratinisation. There are times when keratinisation becomes unbalanced, i.e., more than normal amounts of keratin are produced by the epidermis, thereby compromising the barrier functions. Alllantoin helps in softening keratin which in turn allows the skin to hold onto its moisture content.

Skin Protectant and anti-irritant – Allantoin is considered to be a natural skin protectant and anti-irritant that works by increasing the moisture levels of the extracellular matrix which provides support to the cells.  This also helps in healing of wounds and burns and promoting cell replication.

Anti-inflammatory – Allantoin is anti-inflammatory in nature. As a result, it can help to soothe irritation and reduce the inflammation in your skin.

Skin Regeneration – Another major application of Allantoin is that it helps in skin rejuvenation, reduces flaking and redness as well.

Cancer treatments – Allantoin is used to treat radiation skin burns for patients undergoing radiation treatments because it helps in fastening the wound healing process by stimulating the growth of new skin cells.

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