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10 Suprising Skin Healing Benefits of Allantoin

Allantoin - the Wonder Ingredient for the Skin

Is your skin parched, dry, and in serious need of a moisture hit?

Or maybe you require something more fortifying to prop up your skin’s protective barrier.

Or could it be your skin’s feeling a little blah and needs a pick-me-up?

Whatever your concern, we have you covered.

In the form of wonderful allantoin.

An ingredient that often flies under the radar.

So we’ve made it our mission to give this skin-loving ingredient the spotlight it deserves.

What the Heck is Allantoin Anyway?

Allantoin is also known as 5-ureidohydantoin or glyoxyldiureide.

The active moisturising ingredient found in the root of comfrey In its organic form, it is found in several other plants, such as sugar beet, comfrey, chamomile, tobacco seed, and wheat sprouts.

Traditionally the comfrey leaves were used to help heal minor skin injuries and swelling.

Today this versatile ingredient is used to treat wounds, eczema, burns, psoriasis, acne inflammation, and other skin eruptions.

Phew. And if that wasn’t enough, allantoin also works as an antioxidant, encouraging new cells, and shedding dead skin cells, helping to give skin that youthful glow. (Thornfeldt, 2005).

Allantoin in Skincare

Allantoin is non-allergenic, non-toxic, odourless, and completely safe for use.

Its primary role is to speed up your skin’s natural healing process.

Because of its wonderful properties, the FDA has even gone as far as to approve it to prevent and protect chafed, chapped and cracked skin.

It’s also a natural humectant, helping to increase the water content in your skin.

10 Skin Healing Benefits

#1 Exfoliating

Allantoin is clever in interacting with the skin’s keratin to thin out an abnormally thick epidermis (outer layer of skin).

This is great because we want this layer to be constantly shedding and producing more cells, which is how you get a faster transit time of the epidermal skin cells, keeping skin healthy and plump.

#2 Anti-ageing

As we age, the transit time of the cells from the base layer of the epidermis to the top layer takes longer, causing the skin to become dull and dry.

Allantoin helps cell proliferation, replenishing depleted, dry skin with its natural exfoliating action.

Allantoin also helps synthesise collagen – a fibrous protein found in the dermis (lower layer of skin) that keeps skin elastic and supplies, decreasing with age and leading to sagging skin – allantoin boosts this.

#3 Hydrates

It helps to hydrate the skin by exfoliating and removing dead skin cells that prevent natural humectants from binding and retaining water in the skin’s tissues.

Allantoin used in cosmetics is a by-product of Diazolidinyl Urea’s production, which is also considered a hydrating ingredient. At more significant percentages, it is thought that allantoin may also have the same keratolytic effects as urea.

#4 Repairs

It is well-known for stimulating rapid cell regeneration stimulating healthy tissue growth.

Research has found isd it is incredibly healing for wounds and can clear away dead skin cells, making healthy new tissue.

Did you know? One of the reasons that maggots have such a beneficial effect on the healing of infected wounds is that they excrete allantoin.

#5 Moisturises

Allantoin is an emollient that keeps skin moisturised, helping to counteract dryness and roughness.

#6 Protects

Various research has demonstrated that allantoin, in combination with onion extract, successfully treats scars; one study found that it also helps protect against UV-induced cell damage.

#7 Softens

A large number of proteins and lipids are naturally found in the outer layer of skin, referred to as keratinisation; if this gets out of balance, more keratin than usual is produced, and the structure of the barrier function is changed, skin becomes rough and scaly and inflamed.

As discussed in the exfoliation section – allantoin, by its very nature, is keratolytic, gently softening the keratin and keeping the skin smooth.

#8 Soothes

It is considered an excellent anti-irritant and calming agent, soothing inflamed skin and encouraging sensitive skin to become more resilient.

More than a match for very dry or irritated skin, Miracle Cleanse and Nectar Treatment Balm harness the benefits of this wonderful herb in the form of comfrey, helping to bring comfort and relief to troubled skin.

#9 Hair Saviour

No article would be complete without mentioning its iattractiveful benefits to the hair and scalp; Its anti-irritant properties help reduce redness and leave the scalp feeling soothed.

#10 Heals seborrheic dermatitis

Allantoin has active keratolytic properties, which means it is the ideal ingredient for combatting seborrheic dermatitis, breaking down large particles in dead skin cells. It also helps improve the softness and elasticity of hair whilst enhancing shine.

Wow, after reading this, we think you’d agree; it’s a beautifying ingredient we need to introduce into our skincare routine—all hail allantoin.

To Conclude. The naked truth

When I first journeyed into the world of formulation, I was fortunate enough to work with a well-known herbalist from Switzerland who introduced me to allantoin’s wonderful properties as a skincare ingredient and its ability to regenerate the skin at a cellular level.

Even at low concentrations of up to 0.5%, it can be very effective; one study found that the inclusion of just 0.2% demonstrated significant improvement in over 90% of women with redness and cracking symptoms.

But wait! There is more. Allantoin is thought to be amphoteric, which also reacts as an acid and a base.

Essentially, this means that when used in combination with various other chemical substances, it neutralises them, which is thought to avoid the potential irritation caused by other ingredients, thus making it an excellent inclusion for use in products for sensitive skincare.

One final note, as one of my readers kindly pointed out; most of the allantoin used in cosmetics is largely lab-synthesised now, that is, of course, unless you are lucky enough to work with a traditional herbalist, as I have had the good fortune to do, here at NC we use this nature-identical form.


Profile of wound healing:
An evidence-based review of topicals:
Biological activity of allantoin:
Face cream and life-extending effects:
ingredients and keratolytic effect:
Thornfeldt, C., 2005. Cosmeceuticals containing Herbs: Fact, Fiction, and Future. Dermatol Surg 2005; 31: 873-880.
Zasshi, Y., 1998. Inhibitory effects on ultraviolet radiation-induced cell damage and prostaglandin E2 : (article in Japanese). 118(6):241-7

55 thoughts on “10 Suprising Skin Healing Benefits of Allantoin

  1. JJ says:

    I used comfrey to heal a badly sprained ankle that was previously operated on to remove bone chip and the ligaments never healed properly so I kept spraining it. I used Comfrey poultices after two weeks and it was healed completely, couldn’t believe it. My friend used it after all his teeth were removed for dentures and the Dentist was astounded his mouth was so healed in one week. Amazing herb, I drank it in early ’80s for about five years, when they sold it as a tea. I stopped when I heard about the liver issue..but I think it was to get more people into their “big pharm drugs”. My liver is great.

  2. Brooke says:

    Hi, I love the synthetic sourced allantoin it has the same properties of that in comfrey, and if the synthetic source is pure, there shouldn’t be any contaminants.

  3. Colleen says:

    Does anyone have any information to back up what I just read about the allantoin in comfrey being best extracted in oil with the aid of a natural emulsifier, such as phospholipids and saponins (my source is Herbal Constituents by Lisa Ganora). Would you add these constituents to the oil medium at the time of extraction?

  4. Megan says:

    Hello, I love this article on Allantoin interesting it can have a similar keratolytic effect as Urea

    Thanks for your time writing this article and bringing us the wonderful benefits.

  5. lynn mcdonald says:

    I know very little about Comfrey oil but know from experience it works. I developed a horrible sore itchy rash right across my left hand. It spread also across my left cheek towards eye. It must have been there for 6-9 months with doctors prescribing various creams, which all made it worse and more inflamed . I thought it was there to stay for ever. I visited Torqueue in Devon and by chance popped into a little shop for a look. The lady in there saw my hand and said she could cure it. I was dubious and thought no chance, i’ve tried everything under the sun. She said try this and gave me a bottle of Comfrey oil. I had never heard of it but had nothing to loose. I spread the green oil on morning and night for 3 days and no joking, it disappeared and has never returned. I have used it on my children who are grown now and they use it. My ageing mother has heart failure and big problems with legs blistering and flaking and had no sleep for days for the irritation. She has many medications to take but nothing helps. In desperation I told her about the Comfrey, but was aware it is not supposed to be used on too much broken skin, but as no prescribed medication was working she said put in on. It seems to calm down all itching and the redness reduced drastically and she managed to get the 1st good nights sleep in a while. It must be doing something good.

    • Samantha Miller says:

      Hi Lynn thank you so much for this interesting feedback, it really does seem that Comfrey has some amazing healing powers on so many levels. I am going to publish this if it alright, as I am sure it will be of great interest to my readers. Samantha

  6. Yvonne B Mitchell says:

    Well in the state of SC where I live Comfrey is illegal smh due to it’s Hallucinogenic properties lol we use it when were sick in my house, as a tea I add honey to cut the bitter taste, and yes it will make you think your in la-la land buut it’s cured many a colds in my home, and cleared congestion for over ten years! while it’s illegal to sell I have a spot I know of in the country where I can still pick it, and that’s what I do when were running low. But I’ve never experienced any negative effects from this natural herb!

    • Angie says:

      Comfrey a Hallucinagen?
      Well that is a first for me. Are you sure it is or is that what the law says. I would not be surprised that there is a law that states this. The DOA had a huge quandary to settle because so many immigrants from Europe wanted to cash crop it.

    • elly says:

      ive never heard that are you sure there isnt something that grows locally which poeple call comprhrey but isnt…. havign said that ive had hallucinations {very mild] from rosemary because of the thujone content. maybe comphrey has also got thujone in it. its an adaptagen and an abortificant so i know its in …ugh…brain.. worm wood i think….high thujone levels and thats definitely a substance they used for a trippy effect. i just got allantoin powder thinking it might be better to avoid the possible alkaloids in the leaves and roots but it says not to injest it and i also read the synthetic kind has sometimes got alluminum in it… so i dont know now. but i remember reading about a a woman who had damaged her liver…it turned out she had been drinking quarts of the stuff and also taking it in tablet form for about two years…and her liver healed just fine afterwards…so it seems this is such a useful free herb that theyre just trying to shut it down however they can. meanwhile selling drugs that can do far worse than damage the liver. heck even paracetamol can do that if you take too much. so its all kinds of crazy as far as anyone how has power is it seems paid off and not implementing common sense any more. you can pour pemethrin all around your house but not take something which can build bones heal wounds and multiple other things. theyre burning us at the stake still. keep the witchy wisdom alive.

    • Karen says:

      It is not a hallucinogen. I have many of the old comphrey books from Doubleday who started the research and not one mentions it. I am dubious about it as I eat it in smoothies and rub the oil on. Never had any effect like that and never (before this post) ever even had a hint of that supposed “property”.

    • elly says:

      what i know of allantoin is that it creates fibroblasts which are like juvinile cells …its great for a cut or broken bone in the first healing stage because it creates those baby cells needed to knit the bones together or knit the wound over. but once its knitted over i am not sure it will do much. but it cant do any harm to try, perhaps it will stimulate new cells that will grow back better than the scar tissue. i think scar tissue is very strong on collegen compared to normal skin so perhpas if it makes the new skin grow it will grow like normal skin again. vitimin e is really good and taking vitimin c and zinc or getting enough in your diet. i use an app to see if i am getting enough and if not take supplements when i need. vitimin a is also important but i dont take supplements of that because you can get too much but getting enough is good. vitimin d and vitimin k are also good for removing hardened tissues of the body that have an axcess of calium in them i dont honestly know if thats what makes scars hard or if calcium is involved but if i remodels bone maybe it can remodel skin too. scars do fade over time and with self care, i went looking for mine the other day and could barely find it! time heals all.

  7. Dorota says:

    Most allantoin used in cosmetics is of pure synthetic origin (a byproduct from the production of Diazolodinyl urea). Great article thankyou.

  8. birdie says:

    is allantoin an occlusive? if i use a product with allantoin first, will it impair the absorption of products used afterwards?

  9. Debbi says:

    When I was a child my mother used it all the time. We healed ankles, bruises, and even a chicken who broke her leg (my pet, and I cried because I didn’t want my dad to butcher it for food… So my mom tied a Popsicle stick to it’s leg, set the leg, and put it in a bowl of comfrey, that goofy chicken sat in that bowl for three days! Then it got up and ran around for a few weeks before my mom took off the stick). I personally know people who took it internally and cured themselves of serious health issues… I drink it myself… And my liver is fine! So, as I said, do the research yourself…. Comfrey is great stuff. I did an experiment last year, and put 4-5 comfrey leaves as mulch around some of my plants and not others. Wow.. What a difference between them! All my plants will have them this year… Just sayin….

    • Samantha Miller says:

      Oh wow what an amazing story really? i would love you to write a little article for me on Comfrey from your first hand experience and i will post it and give your credit let me know samantha

  10. Debbi says:

    Comfrey has been used for thousands of years with great benefits! The study cases used to say comfrey us toxic is outrageous. The study was this. They gave to mice the dose equivalent to humans ingesting 90,000 leaves of comfrey a day for 20 years. At the end of the study, ONE mouse had slightly elevated liver enzymes, and they jumped on the band wagon and deemed it dangerous and “could” cause liver damage and death. Really? Did you know that if you drink over a gallon of water at one time, it “could” cause death. Or that if you eat 3/4 cup of salt, you’ve reach the LD 50 limit, which is toxic and causes death to 50 percent of the people? The govt refused to look at the documents of whole communities, who volunteered to have their blood work done, who had been eating comfrey for over 20 years, and not one of them had elevated liver enzymes. This was back when they were banning comfrey… Just makes you wonder… Do the research yourself.

    • Samantha Miller says:

      Hi Debbie i couldn’t agree more these one off studies are ridiculous and damaging. I absolutely love Comfrey and use it in many of my herbal preperations and I am all for doing the research yourself, thankyou for your comments


      Tylenol is more toxic to the liver than comfrey and people pop that like candy. Even recommend safe dosages of Tylenol have killed people by causing total liver failure.

    • Angie says:

      Thank you for pointing this out, I read this study also but I can no longer find it on the internet. It was apparently done to support the DOA’s decision not to approve Comfrey as a cash crop to feed livestock and humans back in the 60’s. Do you know of any new studies that have been published?

  11. Jonathan says:

    Allantoin is not toxic. Comfrey can contain toxic PA alkaloids. It is still not clear if occasional use of comfrey cream on the skin presents a real risk or not. There are also comfrey products that are free from PA alkaloids as well.

  12. Thomas says:

    Gina, Comfrey is NOT toxic, so to speak. Some compounds (paralyzidine alkaloids) that are found in varying concentrations CAN be toxic. However, there is no data that I am aware of that suggests using comfrey externally is in any way toxic. If you have such data we would all like to see it.

    • Samantha Miller says:

      Hi Thomas I really appreciate this answer because that comment did leave me a little perplexed, have to admit comfrey is my go to ingredient for a lot of topical healing, never mind the fact it is well documented that traditionally comfrey was referred to as knit-bone and was used as a poultice and as a food to encourage healing of broken bones and wounds. But I am open to all my readers comments and if Gina has data to back this up,I would be more than interested to read it. Samantha

  13. Gina says:

    Comfrey is toxic, even in small amounts on the skin, as it is my understanding that it’s absorbed through the skin and harmful amounts may build up in the body. It causes liver failure and even death. It seems that no one is aware of this. ?

    • Samantha Miller says:

      Hi Gina, I would like to clear things up, first of all, this is allantoin I am referring to in this article, and doesn’t possess any pyrrolizidine, which can damage the liver.
      Allantoin has been classified by the FDA as an Over-The-Counter Category I and is an active and safe ingredient to use. Secondly, I have personally used comfrey on the skin in poultices for many years and never had a reaction?

    • Brian says:

      You’re not literally putting comfrey on your skin… your using Allantoin which is synthetic and derived from a chemical process. So uh.. no you’re not putting comfrey on your skin or any of it’s hazardous compounds.. I know that at least the sbs -40 I use is synthetic.. so take a chill pill

    • Dee says:

      Comfrey used externally is not toxic, except you shouldn’t use in on open wounds or deep wounds. The reason for this is it speeds healing, and if there is a possibly of infection, it could cause the wound to heal over the infection.
      Internal use of comfrey can cause damage to the liver.
      Allantoin is extracted from comfrey, and doesn’t possess any pyrrolizidine, which can damage the liver.
      Allantoin has been classified by the FDA as an Over-The-Counter (OTC) Category I (safe and effective) active ingredient skin protectant. It is FDA approved for this use at 0.5% to 2.0% in formulations. If you include it in your formulations and on your ingredient labels, but make no drug claims for it, it remains a cosmetic ingredient and need not be declared as an “active ingredient.”

      • Karen says:

        Comphrey does NOT heal over and leave rubbish underneath! It cleans the wound and starts healing from the INSIDE and pushes the new growth up and out. Any rubbish is NOT trapped. Honestly, even common sense says a healing herb wouldn’t work that way. Egad, I wish people would think and research. Plenty of people comment about how beautifully their injuries heal with little scarring. If there was debris left behind it would fester and someone would be online telling it like it is.

    • Olivia Pascale says:

      That is absolute nonsense. Comfrey is a very beneficial herb that heals skin so quickly it should be applied externally after the wound has begun to close to prevent possible infection. It can safely be taken as a tea as well and the leaves used as a poultice. Comfrey was also called boneset because it helps broken bones heal quickly. It should be taken for short periods, it is not necessary as a health maintenance tool. Comfrey is also very good for animals who love it and those who eat it have remarkably healthy livers and immune systems.
      Don’t believe the anti-herb drivel put out by the AMA, do your own research first. I know you did not because if you had you would have seen that comfrey is extremely beneficial.

    • Karen says:

      Rubbish…you need to do some real research instead of being an unthinking “relay station” for Big Pharma. See Debbie’s comment above about the “research” conducted.

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