Our feet take a lot of daily damage, and it often shows. Feet easily become rough, flaky, calloused, and dry-feeling. If you have a condition which worsens dry skin, like diabetes or eczema, the condition can be even worse.
Thankfully, since dry skin of the feet is such a common problem, there’s a slew of foot care products out there designed to help soften and smooth the skin on the feet. While there are many options, there are a small handful of star ingredients that really makes the difference when it comes to dry feet, namely urea.
What is urea?
Urea naturally occurs in our bodies; in fact, it’s part of the natural moisturizing factor (NMF) of our skin. The NMF is comprised of amino acids, sodium PCA, glycerol, and urea—8.5% urea, to be exact. All of these things are important for keeping the stratum corneum (top layer of the skin) hydrated and functioning properly, as well as making sure dead skin is properly exfoliated.
While our bodies naturally produce urea, it’s found in excretions that most people don’t want to use as skin care…sweat and urine. But never fear! The urea found in skin care products is synthetically produced, but still functions like the natural urea your body produces.
Another interesting note about natural urea is that it is severely depleted in skin with dry skin conditions, including psoriasis and eczema. Studies show that psoriasis has, on average, 40% less urea than healthy skin, while eczema may show up to 85% less urea than healthy skin. It is believed that urea is such an excellent skin care ingredient for those conditions since it replaces something that is clearly lacking in the skin.
How does skin care urea help?
The real mind-blower about skin care urea is that it works on both an external and a cellular level! Like most moisturizers, it reduces transepidermal water loss, which is the main function of most traditional skin care moisturizers. But urea takes it a step further by improving the skin’s ability to create and hold its own water.
When you apply urea to your skin, it penetrates the top layer of the skin and begins absorbing and retaining water. This not only creates an immediate difference in skin, it actually improves the capacity of the skin to hold more moisture and stay hydrated. That’s why urea is able to provide both immediate and long-lasting benefits.
One of the ways urea accomplishes this is by supporting the skin’s epidermal gene expression aka boosting the normal functions of the skin which keep it healthy. This includes, but is not limited to, increasing the skin’s natural balancing protein, supporting the skin’s defenses, and enhancing the lipid barrier, much like our proprietary multi-lamellar emulsion.
Lastly, the reason urea is able to penetrate skin so efficiently is that it helps break down excess keratin in the skin, which is responsible for the dry, thick, rough texture found on the feet or in conditions like eczema and psoriasis. This allows urea to hydrate skin from the inside out, plus it helps other beneficial ingredients penetrate the top layer of skin to do some good from within.
Urea skin care from ATOPALM
Derma:B Urea 9.8 Foot Cream utilizes 9.8% urea, a tried-and-true skin care ingredient used to treat dry and rough skin conditions, including eczema, psoriasis, corns, callouses, and even some nail problems like ingrown nails.
Urea works by softening or even dissolving keratin, the substance that holds the top layer of skin cells together. When keratin becomes too thick, you end up with the dry, rough, thick texture often seen on feet. When the keratin is dissolved, dead skin is able to slough off, and your skin is better able to retain moisture.
Urea is also moisturizing. That’s right, urea packs the double whammy by both ridding your skin of excess keratin and providing moisture. But we don’t rely on only urea to moisturize…
After the 9.8% urea found in Derma:B Urea 9.8 Foot Cream dissolves excess keratin and gives the first dose of moisture, the product goes to work on moisturizing even more. MLE, found in all ATOPALM products, perfectly mimics the skin’s natural lipid layer in order to lock moisture in and keep aggressors out. Meanwhile, shea and coconut butters deeply soften and moisture skin.
In addition to urea, this product contains natural oils to further encourage exfoliation. This means that excess keratin is dissolved, dead skin is exfoliated, and the feet are deeply moisturized—all in one step!
Understanding how urea works in skin care shows what a powerful tool this ingredient can be in your skin care routine. It is a gentle, naturally occurring part of your skin’s NMF, and a multi-tasker to boot! Add Derma:B Urea 9.8 Foot Cream to your routine to see the difference this incredible ingredient can make.