Allantoin is naturally occurring chemical compound found in botanical extracts of the comfrey root (the flower's shown here) as well as the urine of mammals. However, nature-identical, non-toxic varieties have been synthetically manufactured to be compatible with other raw materials to be used as an active ingredient in conventional cosmetics. Organic skin care products should contain the natural version. The Rosa Fina Creamy Face Wash, for example, contains allantoin in the forms of comfrey extract as it's active ingredient.

So, how exactly is allantoin good for our skin? Firstly, it has a keratolytic effect, which means it increases the smoothness of our skin. It does this by increasing the water content of our skin cells helping the dead ones to shed more easily. As it is so good at promoting new cell production it is useful for healing wounds, burns, skin ulcers, eczema and psoriasis.

It is also a good anti-irritant as it soothes and protects the skin from external aggravating agents. This explains why it is often used as an active ingredient in a whole host of skin care and toiletry products from toothpaste to shampoo to anti-acne products to make up and sun care products. Many Neal's Yard moisturising products feature comfrey for this soothing effects.