Allantoin is an ingredient frequently used in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry. Its numerous virtues and its toxicological profile allow it to be tolerated by all skin types. Let's focus on the virtues of allantoin.
Healing, soothing, moisturizing...: the virtues of allantoin.
Allantoin for its healing activity.
Allantoin is known for its role in the wound healing process. Although its mode of action is not well understood, a 2010 study suggests that it plays a role in fibroblast proliferation and the synthesis of macromolecules that make up the extracellular matrix. Allantoin also appears to effectively remove necrotic tissue that hinders wound healing. It can be used in cases of burns, wounds, or skin ulcers. In skincare products like ointments, allantoin stimulates cell renewal. Although this property is mentioned in scientific literature, its mechanism of action remains unknown. Thus, allantoin would be effective in promoting the wound healing process.
The keratolytic properties of allantoin.
Allantoin is often cited for promoting cellular regeneration due to its keratolytic action. It helps to soften the stratum corneum by promoting the removal of dead cells. Indeed, allantoin eliminates corneocytes by loosening the intercellular cement or desmosomes (protein bridges) that maintain the adhesion of corneocytes to each other. Its keratolytic properties promote cellular regeneration and leave the skin soft and radiant.
Allantoin, a moisturizing agent.
Several studies have mentioned that allantoin possesses moisturizing properties and is often used in creams or lotions as a hydrating agent. However, its mode of action is not detailed in scientific literature. Its hydrating potential could be explained as it is a water-soluble humectant ingredient that helps increase the water content of cells by combating transepidermal water loss in the dermis. Thus, you can say goodbye to a dull complexion and your skin will regain its softness. Capable of soothing the discomfort associated with dry skin, allantoin is suitable for all skin types, even the most sensitive ones.
Allantoin to diminish the appearance of aging signs.
Allantoin is an active ingredient also used to combat skin aging. Indeed, it has the ability to stimulate fibroblasts, the cells responsible for collagen production. In fact, as we age, collagen production decreases, which tends to promote the appearance of wrinkles. Although this property is mentioned in scientific literature, its mechanism of action on fibroblasts is not detailed and remains largely unknown.
One might assume that allantoin, being a large molecule (MW = 158.121 g/mol), would not be able to penetrate the epidermis and reach the dermis where fibroblasts are located to stimulate them directly. Allantoin would act indirectly on the stimulation of fibroblasts and could compensate for the decrease in collagen production observed with aging. Thus, it could potentially be an interesting active ingredient to combat the signs of skin aging.
The anti-inflammatory activity of allantoin.
Scientific research has been conducted to determine whether allantoin possesses anti-inflammatory activity. In 2021, a study showed that a fraction of snail mucus containing allantoin had an inhibitory activity on the thermal denaturation of human serum albumin, an anti-inflammatory compound. However, the mode of action of allantoin in the inflammatory process is not yet understood, and further research must be conducted to substantiate these properties. Nevertheless, they may be beneficial in soothing skin inflammation caused by skin diseases such as eczema or psoriasis.
SILVA-BARCELLOS N. M. & al. Profile of wound healing process induced by allantoin. Acta Cirúrgica Brasileira (2010).
IGILE G. O. & al. Rapid method for the identification and quantification of allantoin in body creams and lotions for regulatory activities. International Journal of Current Microbiology and Applied Sciences (2014).
DINICA R. M. & al. Allantoin from valuable romanian animal and plant sources with promising anti-inflammatory activity as a nutricosmetic ingredient. Sustainability (2021).