The science behind caring for dry skin

Dr Alexander Filbry, Head of Product Development for Body Care at Eucerin, looks at the causes of dry skin and the science behind Eucerin’s UreaRepair PLUS range.

What causes dry skin?

Dry skin is a very common condition and often results in visits to dermatologists. Symptoms vary according to the severity of dryness, but skin can be tight and rough and/or prone to itching, scaling, flakiness and redness. In extreme cases, skin is pathologically dry.

The main reason for skin dryness is an impaired skin barrier function which results from:

  • A lack of lipids that help to protect skin from moisture loss.
  • A deficit of urea and natural moisturising factors (NMFs) which bind moisture into the skin.

The story behind Eucerin UreaRepair PLUS

In the 1990s, Eucerin skin scientists were the first to discover how to include a natural moisturising factor in a dermo-cosmetic product. The NMF they used was urea and it has gone on to become one of the most respected and widely used ingredients in the treatment of dry skin symptoms. (Xanax)

People who suffer from dry skin need more than just immediate relief. They need a long-term solution which will prevent symptoms, such as roughness, itchiness and flakiness from returning.

The Eucerin team set out to create an effective range of products that would deliver both immediate and long-lasting relief for dry, very dry and extremely dry skin.

What are the active ingredients in the formula?

Urea is the key ingredient in Eucerin UreaRepair PLUS and, as part of our formulas, it improves natural skin exfoliation and soothes and smooths the surface of dry skin.

As an NMF, urea helps skin to regulate its moisture content and, being a natural skin compound, it is well-tolerated even by dry and sensitive skin.

Urea more effective when combined with other moisturisers

Our formulas are enriched with additional NMFs too. These include amino acids, inorganic salts and lactate, and they work alongside the urea to improve skin’s water-binding capacity and increase its moisture content.

Another key active in the range is ceramide. Ceramides prevent moisture loss from evaporation, and help to keep out the irritants that cause itching and inflammation. It has also been proven to help repair and regenerate skin’s natural barrier, lock in moisture and prevent and treat dryness.

These ingredients work together in the Eucerin UreaRepair PLUS formulas to repair the skin barrier, reduce moisture loss and bind water into the skin and many of the products deliver immediate + 48h dry skin relief.


dry skinChoosing the right product for dry skin conditions

Eucerin UreaRepair PLUS offers a comprehensive range of products which includes a cleanser, body lotions and creams.

These products are available with different concentrations of the water-binding active urea: 5%, and 10%. The concentration of urea needed, depends on the dryness of the skin. Those with dry skin may want to use a body product with 5% urea whereas very dry skin will benefit from a 10% urea product.

Clinically and dermatologically proven products

All the 5% and 10% urea Eucerin UreaRepair PLUS moisturisers are clinically and dermatologically proven to replenish both lipids and moisture, delivering immediate + 48h dry skin relief. They leave skin looking and feeling smooth, soft and supple.

Research on Eucerin UreaRepair PLUS 5% Urea Body Cream indicates:

  • A significant improvement in moisturisation, both immediately and 48 hours after a single application.1
  • 95,9% of patients scored the cream as “very good” and “good” in terms of tolerability.2

Research on Eucerin UreaRepair PLUS 5% Urea Body Lotion and Eucerin UreaRepair PLUS 10% Urea Body Lotion indicates a significant reduction of dry symptoms with daily use.3

Eucerin’s UreaRepair PLUS 5% Urea Hand Cream scored equally well in research with the sample reporting:

  • An immediate and significant decrease in skin dryness and roughness after a single product application.1
  • 97,2% of patients scored the hand cream as “very good” and “good” in terms of tolerability.2

Research proves the effectiveness of Eucerin UreaRepair PLUS products. Clinical and dermatological studies have also shown that UreaRepair PLUS products are suitable for mature skin and for those with psoriasis, keratosis pilaris and diabetes.4


  1. Clinical grading and Corneometer measurements – Data on file BDF
  2. In vivo efficacy and tolerability study ¬– Data on file BDF
  3. Treatment of Xerosis with a topical formulation containing Gluco Glycerol, Natural Moisturising Factors and Ceramide; Weber et al., JCAD 2012
  4. Not all products are suitable for all conditions. Please refer to the information on pack.


Dr Alexander Filbry is the Head of Product Development for Body Care at Eucerin and leads an outstanding team of skin scientists. He has a PhD from the University of Hamburg and over two decades of experience in derma cosmetic research.

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