UREAKA!™ Therapeutic Barrier Skin Cream’s formula has been found to actively restore moisture even to very dry, cracked and/or flaky skin. Our scientifically engineered formula contains elements similar to those naturally found in healthy skin. The body absorbs and processes the urea found in skin creams very much the same way as it does with the urea naturally found in the skin. It is for this very reason that scientists have often been know to call it a “true humectant” because it is an essential component of the body’s Natural Moisturizing Factor (NMF). Urea enables the cells to absorb and retain additional moisture by allowing hard, dry skin cells to release and emit their water binding properties. That process is also referred to as “hydrotopic solubilization” and several independent clinical studies have proven that it does what it claims. The results of the studies show a very effective moisturizing cream that actively replenishes moisture deep into the skins many layers and leaves the skin feeling silky smooth and eliminates all visual evidence of dry, cracked or flakey skin.
Urea plays a key role in your skin’s natural moisturizing process. Urea has frequently been used in dermatological therapies for more than 30 years and studies have provided evidence that moisturizing creams containing urea improved the skin’s barrier function in humans. Our UREAKA! Therapeutic Barrier Skin Cream formula, made with urea, was developed because of its special ability to hydrate dry skin and alleviate itchiness by drawing moisture into the cell structure of the stratum corneum.
In a study written by Marie Lodén, Department of Dermatology, University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden, her findings were that: "Urea was found to decrease the skin susceptibility to sodium laruyl sulphate (SLS), lower degree of irritation and may be of clinical relevance in reducing contact dermatitis from irritant stimuli." The paper went on further to state “Hydration of the skin is known to affect its barrier function and thereby exerts an effect on the diffusion of water itself and on the penetration of other substances across the stratum corneum. Thus, it is possible that the use of moisturizers might increase the permeability of normal skin. In vitro experiments on the stratum corneum have shown that humectants increase transepidermal water loss (TEWL). However, in a study on healthy volunteers, no change in TEWL was observed, although the applied moisturizer increased the skin hydration significantly.”
Two moisturizers containing 10% urea markedly changed the barrier properties after repeated application for 20 days, and in a controlled double-blind part of the study, urea was found to influence the skin after only three applications. The two urea-containing products reduced TEWL after 10 and 20 days of treatment. Reduction of TEWL indicated an improved barrier function, rather than a simple occlusion by product residues on the surface. Besides reducing TEWL, the urea-containing products also diminished the irritative response to SLS. Urea may have an immediate effect on the intercellular lipids responsible for the barrier characteristics of the skin, which could explain why urea might act as an efficient penetration enhancer. As in the long-term study, treatment with urea made the skin more resistant to SLS induced irritation.
In summary, moisturizers may influence the barrier properties of normal skin. The commonly used humectant, urea, was proved to influence both TEWL and the apparent susceptibility against SLS irritation. The irritative response became significantly less pronounced after only three applications of urea, and this change in reactivity remained after treatment for 20 days. The other tested moisturizers did not influence either TEWL or the susceptibility to irritation by SLS. Thus, it cannot be confirmed that moisturizers in general prevent irritant contact dermatitis, although it did demonstrate that those containing urea might have clinical relevance in reducing dermatitis caused by surfactants.
By Anne Mullens: Best Health Magazine – Summer 2008