Although there are various types of willow trees, each with their own unique extracts, the Willow Bark Extract used in skin care is usually derived from the tree salix alba, or white willow.
It is extracted by harvesting strips of the willow bark from the branches of two to three year old trees. The inner bark is then processed to remove the beneficial extract.
Willow bark has been used for centuries to assist in relieving minor pain and reducing fever and soothing irritated skin.
It is rich in salicin, tannins, phenolic acids, flavonoids, and various minerals, all of which help soothe the skin and aid in cell regeneration. This ingredient is both anti-inflammatory and antibacterial which can aid in clearing pores and alleviating acne and irritation.
🌿 Salicin has excellent anti-inflammatory properties. It is used in Aspirin to help reduce swelling and pains. In skin care, salicin can assist to alleviate acne, redness and irritation and is suitable for most skin types. Salicin’s anti-inflammatory effects have also been shown to reduce the appearance of pores, and even out skin tone while promoting increased firmness. It is a natural exfoliant, which is gentle and non-irritating, making it safe for nearly all skin types.
🌿 Polyphenols are nutrients found in plants with high antioxidant activity, polyphenols help fight free radicals, aid in moisture retention, allowing our skin to stay hydrated and healthy. They protect our skin during sun exposure and assist to minimize inflammation afterward. Polyphenols’ anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties also help to reduce acne.
🌿 Tannins are organic substances found in bark and other plant-based tissue. They are highly astringent, which means they shrink or constrict body tissue, including the skin. Tannins are often used in toners and other skin care products to help the skin retain a firm, youthful look. Tannins also help control excess oil, which may alleviate acne.
🌿 Flavonoids are a type of polyphenol, which are high in antioxidant properties, making them excellent anti-agers. They help diminish the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines and protect the skin’s barrier from environmental damage, and have even been shown to inhibit photo damage after UV exposure.
It’s no wonder that white willow bark is a favourite ingredient for blemish-prone skin.
Wikipedia. 2022. Salix alba – Wikipedia. [ONLINE] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salix_alba. [Accessed 18 June 2022].
MŪN. 2022. Ingredient Spotlight: Willow Bark Extract Benefits in Skin Care – MŪN . [ONLINE] Available at: https://munskin.com/blogs/skin-beauty/willow-bark-extract-benefits-in-skin-care. [Accessed 18 June 2022].
Byrdie. 2022. Willow Bark Extract for Skin: The Complete Guide. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.byrdie.com/willow-bark-extract-for-skin-the-complete-guide-5094076. [Accessed 18 June 2022].