|The earliest reported topical
use of Allantoin was in the 16th century Roots of comfrey (Symphytum officinale)
or black salsify (Scorzonera hispanica), which were later discovered to
contain Allantoin, were used to treat wounds and skin ulcers. It wasn’t
until 1912, that Macalister chemically identified the substance as Allantoin.
The same physician confirmed the value of Allantoin as a cell proliferant.
After an explosion in a factory people’s burns were treated with Allantoin,
and surgeons noticed it stimulated epithelial growth, cleaned up sloughing
surfaces and reduced the appearance of scars.
The use of Allantoin in topical creams was enthusiastically reported
in scientific journals since the 1930’s.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classified Allantoin as a
category I (safe and effective) skin protectant.
The value of Allantoin as a cosmetic ingredient has been further supported
by in vitro and in vivo tests, although its mode of action is still not
Allantoin – to increase moisture retention
Skin is particularly sensitive to life’s daily stress factors, which
may result in skin dryness and tightness.
By increasing the capacity of corneocytes to bind water, Allantoin reinforces
the skin’s natural protective barrier and improves its moisture retention,
providing a smoothening ef fect to the skin.
Allantoin – to soften the skin
Allantoin exfoliates dry and damaged cells and boosts the radiant appearance
of the skin.
Due to its keratolytic activity, Allantoin removes corneocytes by loosening
the intercellular kit or the desmosomes (protein bridges) that maintain
the adhesion of corneocytes to each other. Thus the surface of the skin
is smoother, softer and becomes suppler.
Allantoin – to prevent skin irritation
Allantoin has been demonstrated as an anti-irritant. When Allantoin
is added to rinse-off products (shower gels, shampoos, wash lotions or
shaving creams) it protects the skin by minimizing irritation caused e.g.
by surfactants. It also helps avoid the feeling of tightness, and volunteers
have experienced a better skin feeling after showering or washing.
The use of Allantoin in antiperspirant products can help counter the
irritation caused by some of the more aggressive actives.
Allantoin – to support the natural regeneration of the skin
Allantoin aids to protect skin against environmental and mechanical
stresses such as shaving by helping the skin to maintain its integrity.
Formulating with Allantoin
Because of its soothing, softening and protecting properties, Allantoin
has a wide range of application, including skin care, toiletries and oral
Recommended use level: 0.05% to 0.3%
Some formulation guidelines
• Soluble in the aqueous phase
• Insoluble in commonly used oils
• Add to water and dissolve at 50°C
• Alternatively add at 25°C under stirring
• A pH between 4 and 8 is recommended