Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Skin Hydroxyethyl Urea vs Urea

  • Hydroxyethyl Urea vs Urea

    Posted by hanbit on July 13, 2020 at 9:26 am

    Hi, I am considering of adding urea as one of my humectants but realized that they are sold as urea and hydroxyethyl urea. Does anyone here know the difference between these two apart from one being solid (urea) and the other being liquid and is a derivative of urea (hydroxyethyl urea)? or perhaps has anyone worked with these ingredients before? 
    Thanks a lot.

    hanbit replied 3 years, 10 months ago 3 Members · 7 Replies
  • 7 Replies
  • amitvedakar

    July 13, 2020 at 10:05 am
    Actually we use urea in our cream. we don’t have any stability problem.
    but want to replace with hydroxyehtyl  urea.
    i want to know the equivalent amount against 10% urea.
    Price difference is high. 
  • amitvedakar

    July 13, 2020 at 10:13 am

    hydroxyehtyl urea assay/solid content-45% to 50%

  • hanbit

    July 13, 2020 at 1:54 pm

    @amitvedakar what buffer did you use to stabilise your urea cream (is it any of these : triacetin, lactate, citrate, gluconolactone)? I noticed that urea can be quite tricky to stabilise since it will degrade into ammonia and carbonic acid. I know the price difference is quite high hence i’m wondering whether hydroxyethylurea is much easier to formulate with. Based on the brochure I had (Hydrovance) hydroxyethyl urea still need buffer to stabilise and the one that they recommend is out of my reach except gluconolactone and lactate buffer. That being said gluconolactone doesn’t seem to be the best choice either, based on the graph they provided (and they didn’t provide any data for lactate buffer). I am torn and wish someone who had experienced with these materials could give some insight. 

    Suggested pH Range of final formulations: 5 - 8
    Some formulations may require the use of a stabilization system, to prevent the formulation from drifting to higher pH during stability testing. Potential stabilization systems include:
     Low molecular weight esters, especially triethyl citrate
     Cyclic esters or lactones
     Buffer systems, especially lactates and phosphates

    HYDROVANCE moisturizing agent can be stabilized with a variety of buffer systems.
    Buffer success is dependent on formulation pH. Care should be taken when selecting the appropriate buffer system and use levels, as
    these will be formulation specific. The following are examples of buffer systems that have shown success in stabilizing the pH 
    •Lactate Buffer
      o Blend of ammonium lactate and lactic acid
      o Useful pH range of 3.4-5.5
    •Phosphate Buffer
      o Blend of disodium hydrogen phosphate and potassium dihydrogen phosphate
      o Useful pH range of 6.8-8.3

  • jemolian

    July 14, 2020 at 9:30 am

    In the marketing brochure, you might find that the humectant they would compare the Hydrovance to would be Glycerin or others. I didn’t see that they have compared it to Urea? Not sure if you did, but i won’t assume that they would be replaceable for each other otherwise. I’d minimally say that hydrovance would be a more premium Glycerin. 

  • hanbit

    July 17, 2020 at 3:00 am

    @jemolian yes i noticed that they compared it to glycerin. I’m just curious whether it is easier to formulate with compared to urea which might raise some issues in formulas. 

  • amitvedakar

    July 17, 2020 at 11:27 am

    we use lactic acid + NaOH

  • hanbit

    July 23, 2020 at 1:10 pm

    we use lactic acid + NaOH

    For stabilising your urea cream?

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