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by Chloe McCormack
November 04, 2019
Salix alba, more commonly known as white willow bark, is a botanical powerhouse. White willow bark has been used for centuries for its many healing properties. As the name suggests, white willow bark comes from white willow trees, which are native to parts of Asia and Europe. Although it is best known as a homeopathic pain reliever, white willow bark contains ingredients such as salicin, tannin, and flavonoids, making it remarkably beneficial to our skin.
Many of us have heard of or use skin-care products that contain salicylic acid. However, what many of us don’t know is that salicylic acid is the metabolized derivative of salicin, which is found in willow bark. Salicylic acid is an all-natural skin-care ingredient. There are two acids commonly used in skin-care products; beta hydroxyl acids (BHA) and alpha hydroxy acids (AHA). Simply put, these two acids differ in their structure, AHA is water-soluble and BHA is oil-soluble. Salicylic acid is considered a beta hydroxy acid. So salicylic acid, being an oil-soluble ingredient penetrates through the layers between skin cells more readily. Once it penetrates the skin, it dissolves skin debris that clogs pores, targeting acne and acting as a natural, gentle exfoliator.
Willow bark, due to its strong anti-inflammatory properties, promotes healthy skin, making it radiant, smooth, and regenerated. The astringent properties are due to the tannins present. Tannin is derived from the bark and skin of trees and fruits. The anti-microbial activities of tannins fight against bacterial infections such as acne and are also effective in balancing and cleansing the skin because of its ability to control sebum production and helping to unclog pores. Tannin is also rich in antioxidants and can help to tone and reduce inflammation, including redness in the skin caused by acne.
White willow bark contains many ingredients that are rich in antioxidants making it great for anti-aging skin-care needs. Flavonoids are another naturally occurring ingredient found in willow bark. Flavonoids are a type of polyphenol, which act as an antioxidant against free radicals that cause cell damage, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Flavonoids are also effective in protecting the skin’s barrier from environmental damage, such as UV exposure.
Willow bark is remarkably beneficial to our skin due to its anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-aging and exfoliating properties. It is safe for all skin types, and just might be the natural skin solution you’ve been looking for. Find this power-house ingredient in our Brightening Face Mask!
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