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We find ourselves looking for the next ingredient that can aid in hair growth, flawless skin, and bouncy curls. We research these ingredients and hope to find them in our favorite products. If our products don't contain the ingredient, we run out the house to buy a quick beauty standby from our favorite store, or pull out our mixers and bowls to create a DIY recipe. Understanding ingredients and their benefits help us make decisions about what we choose to use in our regimens. This understanding also allows us to become more aware of what we put inside of our bodies.

What is Urea?

According to Cosmetic Info: "Urea, sometimes referred to as carbamide, is produced in mammalian systems when proteins are broken down. It is excreted in the urine of mammals. The urea found in cosmetics and personal care products is synthetic and not animal derived. In addition to its use in cosmetics and personal care products, Urea has a number of food uses, including its use as a fermentation aid in bakery products and wine." Its other known uses are for treating dry skin and as a moisturizer.

You can find Urea in a variety of products, including:

  • Acne treatments
  • Facial cleansers
  • Facial moisturizers
  • Makeup
  • Shampoos
  • Conditioners
  • Hair styling products

What are Hydroxyethyl, Diazolidiny, and Imidazolidinyl Ureas?

There are three forms of urea, all of which act as formaldehyde releasers: hydroxyethyl, diazolidiny, and imidazolidinyl. All three forms of urea release formaldehyde, which is a carcinogenic impurity, according to EWG’s Skin Deep. These ureas are also found in skin care, hair care, and other beauty products. Not too sure if your products include urea? Take a look at their ingredient lists to find forms of urea that are mentioned above.

If you prefer to not use ureas, there are other ways to include moisture in your hair and skin. You can use carrier and essential oils that help moisturize your hair and skin. In addition, ingredients such as honey and shea butter are great additions to your regimen for hydrated skin. You can find these ingredients in your hair products as well, or add them to your DIY mixtures.

As always, make sure you eat a healthy diet that includes fruits and vegetables, and drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your body hydrated.

Do you use products that contain urea?

Share your experiences using natural hair care or other beauty products that contain urea in the comments box below this blog post.