allantoin skincare

Allantoin: everything you need to know about the soothing skincare ingredient and its benefits

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Suitable for sensitive skin types, allantoin helps to calm and moisturise the skin.

Remember when niacinamide was the buzzy skincare word on everyone’s lips? Or when you finally learnt how to spell it without googling just for everyone to have moved on? Well, there’s a new skincare ingredient in town by the name of allantoin. But, before you go hunting for products featuring allantoin, you may be surprised to know that the soothing and moisturising ingredient most likely already features in some of your most used skincare products like moisturisers and exfoliators

What is allantoin?

Allantoin, also known as aluminium dihydroxy allantoinate, is a skincare ingredient found in various plants in Asia and Europe including chamomile and sugar beet. Dr Ross Perry, medical director of Cosmedics skin clinics, notes allantoin as being non-toxic and safe: “It has many health and healing properties and is used to treat a number of conditions such as dermatitis, acne, impetigo and wounds in skincare.

“There are very few studies to suggest that allantoin found in skincare products is anything other than entirely safe to use. It doesn’t build up in the body even with frequent use, but again never use it in its raw form and only ever use it on the skin. It can be irritating if it gets into the eyes so be gentle around this area,” says Dr Perry.

Cosmetic and skincare products and the ingredients found in them are required to adhere to strict and thorough regulations before they can be sold. Allantoin is deemed safe for use. 

What are the benefits of allantoin?

“Allantoin helps to increase the water content of skin cells while also acting as a skin protectant. You might find allantoin listed as an ingredient in your exfoliator and this is added to balance out the drying effects of other ingredients,” Dr Perry explains.

Allantoin is one of those ingredients you’ll wish you knew about sooner due to its properties and benefits that span smoothing the skin, healing qualities and help with reducing inflammation, among other things.

“It’s also a good alternative to retinol, in particular for those with sensitive skin, as it acts in much the same way to accelerate natural cell turnover,” says Dr Perry.

Which skin type is allantoin best for?

So, now you’re hooked and wondering whether allantoin is suitable for your skin type. Well, you’re in luck – it’s good for sensitive skin and “gentle enough to use on every skin type, across age and climates”, explains the founder of 001 skincare Ada Ooi. However, if you’re unsure whether using products containing allantoin is beneficial for your skin type and concerns, it’s always best to reach out to your GP or a dermatologist. 

Are there any ingredients to avoid using allantoin with?

While allantoin is known to work well with most product ingredients, Dr Perry suggests “not combining it with exfoliants such as alpha and beta hydroxy acids (AHAs and BHAs) as this combination could trigger allergic reactions”.     

9 skincare products that contain allantoin

  • Medik8 Ultimate Recovery

    best allantoin skincare medik8

    Whether your skin has become inflamed or is suffering from a lack of moisture, this soothing ultimate recovery cream will work wonders to repair and protect the skin, as well as lock in lost moisture.

    Remember sunscreen should always be the last step in your skincare routine, so use this before applying the rest of your skincare.

    Shop Medik8 Ultimate Recovery at Cult Beauty, £39

  • Glossier Super Pure Serum

    best allantoin skincare glossier

    Glossier really knows how to treat the skin and this serum is proof. The lightweight formula nourishes the skin with its blend of skin-loving ingredients such as niacinamide and allantoin for smoother skin and is free from any potential irritations. 

    Shop Glossier Super Pure Serum at Glossier, £25

  • Dr Barbara Sturm Hydrating Face Mist

    best allantoin skincare dr barbara sturm

    Dr Barbara Sturm’s antioxidant-rich mist is a great way to get a continued burst of hydration to the skin while on the go. Pop it in your bag or on your desk and your skin will thank you later.

    Shop Dr Barbara Sturm Hydrating Face Mist at Cult Beauty, £75

  • Paula’s Choice 1% Retinol Booster

    best allantoin skincare paula's choice

    Retinol is a great way to improve skin texture, along with the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. While the thought of adding a retinol product into your routine might seem scary, this booster features a blend of soothing ingredients including allantoin, making it the perfect pick for beginners and those who are retinol-curious.

    Shop Paula’s Choice 1% Retinol Booster at Cult Beauty, £51

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