You may recognize its name from the labels of skin care products you've used over the years. And while it may not bear the ranking of a skin superhero like salicylic acid for instance (although they are related), Willow bark extract is anything but insignificant in the beauty world.
The Sumerians may have relied on it 4,000 years ago as a pain reliever specifically for low back pain, but it's far more versatile than that, serving as a superb skin care ingredient to treat all kinds of complexion complaints. Although it's still beneficial in easing back pain, the use of willow bark has also been proven to offer wonderful beauty benefits. But first off, let's find out what this bark product actually is.
Derived from the bark of the white willow tree (salix alba), native to Europe and Asia, willow bark extract has been used for centuries for its medicinal and pain relief properties such as easing low back pain.
There are actually many types of willow trees and willow species, each with their own unique extracts. For example, black willow (salix nigra) is native to the United States and is used in the treatment of headaches, fever and coughs. It is more famously known as an antipyretic. However, willow bark extract is normally derived from white willow bark from the white willow tree.
White willow contains salicin - the ingredient from which salicylic acid is derived - which is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, making it highly effective in alleviating acne, shrinking pores and soothing irritation. It's also packed with tannins, flavonoids, phenolic acids, and minerals that aid in cell regeneration and promote healthy, youthful skin.
White willow bark extract isn't just a pain-relieving dietary supplement used for back pain, joint pain and menstrual cramps. Although it is extremely effective for treating lower back pain especially, you can also take advantage of its skin care benefits.
As it's an anti-inflammatory thanks to its salicin content, with a whole load of antioxidant activity, willow extract can quickly minimize redness, swelling and pimples. Read on to hear the top 5 beauty benefits of this natural astringent.
Blackheads, uh. They've got to be the hardest thing to get rid of, right? So you've tried exfoliation, you've tried those blackhead strips that go over your nose and yet, somehow, those teeny tiny black dots seem to be going nowhere. Between its antibacterial properties and exfoliating effects, willow bark extract stw can balance oil production and separate oil from dead skin cells to help remove and prevent blackheads.
This herbal extract is a natural astringent that can tighten the pores and make them appear smaller. Of course, we're not short of beauty products claiming to shrink pores with one or two uses of a product. But thanks to the high content of tannins in this extract, it can effectively constrict body tissue and also help control excess oil, preventing acne. So, try a toner or cleanser containing willow bark for help in minimizing pores and making them look less obvious. It's definitely a superstar ingredient you should be looking out for.
Rules out wrinkles
An active ingredient in this bark extract is polyphenols - nutrients found in plants. Polyphenols boast high antioxidant activity which help fight free radicals that destroy the skin's DNA and cause aging. Flavonoids - a type of polyphenol - reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. In other words, regular use of this anti-aging herbal extract will leave you with smooth and youthful, glowing skin. And to further promote its anti-aging properties, you can also use it as a dietary supplement to treat lower back pain.
Drives out dryness and irritation
Its phytonutrients also help your skin to stay hydrated, aiding moisture retention. As willow bark extract is also an anti-inflammatory, it is exceptional at calming your skin and preventing irritation altogether. So if you have sensitive skin, willow will be particularly useful for you to add to your skin care regimen. This phytomedicine offers anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe and calm the skin, as well as providing moisturization and increasing your skin's tolerability to the stw 33-i. Just make sure you use gentle products that contain willow bark that aren't filled up with too many other ingredients that could end up irritating your skin more. The more natural, the better.
Protects against UV rays
Another excellent benefit of willow bark extract is its ability to protect skin against UV rays. As you know, the sun - regardless of how nice it feels from a sunbed - is a major skin enemy that not only causes premature aging, but increases your risk of skin cancer. The flavonoids in this extract protect your skin from environmental damage such as UV rays and pollution, thus preventing DNA damage. Flavonoids also inhibit photodamage caused by excess UV exposure. Still, if you don't find the willow bark ingredient in sunscreen, you will still need to use sunscreen in addition to your willow bark lotion for full protection.
According to Phytother Res, willow bark extract has been used for thousands of years for its anti-inflammatory effects. The research of Phytother Res confirms it is safe to use. It has also been approved as a topical treatment for acne, warts and corns by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Overall, it is considered a safe and effective herbal medicine and topical treatment in the beauty and health care industries. There are no dangerous side effects to be concerned about. You can also use it as an alternative to ibuprofen to help ease low back pain and joint pain. Some say you can even use it for weight loss.
If you're interested in trying willow bark extract for its skin care benefits, you'll be able to find it in a slew of beauty products from cleansers to toners to lotions and even acne treatments. Fortunately, is is proven to be a safe product powerful in soothing skin irritation, fading fine lines and wrinkles, clearing acne and shrinking large pores. No doubt, more benefits will emerge in the years to come in regards to this magical herbal extract.