Allantoin is a cosmetic ingredient renowned for its regenerative and healing virtues. As a very gentle active ingredient, it imparts suppleness and softness to the skin. It is also sometimes said that allantoin possesses lightening and depigmenting properties, which are beneficial in combating brown spots. Let's explore this together.
Allantoin, an active ingredient with brightening properties?
What is Allantoin?
In its pure form, allantoin appears as a white, odourless powder. This active ingredient can be found in numerous botanical extracts, particularly in comfrey, a perennial plant common in Europe. Allantoin can be extracted from the leaves and roots, where its content varies between 0.7% and 2.5%. Amniotic fluid, mammalian urine, and snail mucus also contain allantoin.
In cosmetics, this active ingredient is highly valued as it is very well tolerated, even by those with sensitive skin. Furthermore, the moisturising and healing properties of allantoin make it a key component in many creams and nourishing balms. Its concentration typically ranges between 0.5 and 1% of the total weight of the product. Beyond these benefits, it is also suggested that allantoin can lighten the skin. What does the scientific literature say about this?
Allantoin to mitigate hyperpigmentation marks?
Skin lightening is often driven by the presence of brown spots on the skin. These form as a result of an accumulation of melanin in the epidermis, the brown pigment that protects the skin from UV rays. While the synthesis of melanin is essential, when it is produced in excess, it impacts the uniformity of the complexion. In this situation, can the use of allantoin help?
Regrettably, no scientific study has to date demonstrated that allantoin possesses lightening properties. Indeed, prima facie, this active ingredient does not act on the process of melanogenesis and has no effect on hyperpigmentation. Allantoin also does not have any antioxidant activity, which is relevant for preventing pigmentation disorders.
However, this ingredient has a keratolytic effect, enabling it to stimulate cellular regeneration. Indeed, allantoin removes corneocytes by loosening the intercellular cement or desmosomes (protein bridges) that maintain the adhesion of corneocytes to each other. In doing so, it contributes to making the skin more supple and radiant.
Key Takeaway : Allantoin is a noteworthy cosmetic ingredient, particularly renowned for its moisturising and healing properties. However, it does not have a proven lightening effect and should not be used to fade brown spots.
DINICA R. M. & al. Allantoin from valuable romanian animal and plant sources with promising anti-inflammatory activity as a nutricosmetic ingredient. Sustainability (2021).