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Allantoin - the multi-tasking active for sensitive skin

With a long list of benefits, there is very little this active doesn't do - all while being incredibly gentle on sensitive skin

It’s unlikely that you’ve heard about allantoin, but while it might not yet be a gold standard skincare active like vitamin C, retinol, and hyaluronic acid, it’s getting there.

Yes, we know it can feel like there’s not a month that goes by without the mention of a new ‘wonder’ active, making it difficult to decipher whether the hype each one gets is truly deserved – or whether brands are simply attempting to satiate our appetite for newness.

But, in the case of allantoin we’d say the hype is well deserved, and here’s why…

What is allantoin?

Both a moisturiser and an exfoliator, allantoin can be found in a number of plants such as comfrey, chamomile, wheat sprouts, tobacco seeds and beetroot. Available in powder form, it’s also possible to recreate this active in a lab setting and add to topical skincare formulations. Whether natural or synthetic, this ingredient is safe to use and has been cropping up on shelves around the world.

What are the benefits?

A multi-tasking wonder, allantoin is a workhorse type active. As an emollient this soothing ingredient helps keep moisture in, increasing the water content of our cells to leave skin plump and hydrated while managing dry skin conditions.

Allantoin is also believed to speed up skin healing and youth boost the skin, thanks to its ability to turbo charge collagen production and the other components that make up the skin’s extracellular matrix synthesis, aka it’s support network – think proteins, and elastin.

And it doesn’t stop there. A non-abrasive exfoliant, allantoin speeds up cell turnover to rid the skin of dull, dead cells for a brighter, more even-toned complexion.

Who’s it best for?

Absolutely all skin types and tones can benefit from the effects of allantoin, but those with dry, rough, dull, dehydrated, scarred, acne prone and sensitive skin will fall in love with this active.

As a calming ingredient, allantoin is especially good for sensitive skin types that find collagen boosters, cell turnover accelerants and acid exfoliants like retinol and AHA’s too potent.

How is it used?

While this plays nicely with other actives, and can be used in conjunction with popular varieties like retinoids and exfoliating acids, it's best to build up usage as you could irritate  the skin. As far as what type of products you'll find it in, the sky is the limit as it's used in all forms of skincare and bodycare products, including creams, serums, scar healing gels, masks, moisturisers, cleansers and more.

Here's some to  get you started...

SkinBetter Science AlphaRet Overnight Cream
Honest Beauty Calm & Heal Melting Balm
Cetaphil Soothing Gel Cream with Aloe
SkinCeuticals Advanced Scar Control
Simple Kind to Skin Soothing Shower Cream
Embryolisse Hydra-Masque

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