Willow Bark Extract
* A cleansing ingredient and anti-inflammatory
Willow Bark Extract is used in cosmetics and personal care products for its astringent, anti-inflammatory, soothing and conditioning properties. It has been used for centuries as a treatment for headaches and other ailments due to its aspirin-like properties, as well as as an antiseptic, according to The University of Maryland Medical Center
. Willow Bark Extract contains salicylic acid
, a BHA that is a natural exfoliant and is used in many acne treatments because of its ability to help skin shed dead cells and clear pores; it can also stimulate new cell formation. Willow Bark Extract also contains "phenolic acids; such as salicin, salicortin, fragilin, populin, triandrin and vimalin, as well as flavonoids, tannins (gallotannins and catechin-type tannins) and minerals," which all allow it to aid in skin rejuvenation (Dermaxime.com
The acne benefits of Willow Bark Extract are mostly thought to derive from the salicylic acid (which can increase the skin's sensitivity to sun, and should always be used with an additional sunscreen). Salicylic Acid is created by the conversion of salicin to this acid compound, and is generally thought to only be converted when digested, but not when applied topically. The additional anti-inflammatory and anti-septic properties of Willow Bark Extract may soothe acne-ravaged skin, but it is not proven that this ingredient will actually prevent or clear away acne. Willow Bark Extract's astringent properties are, however, thought to soften and loosen dry, scaly, or thickened skin so that it falls off or can be removed easily.
Safety Measures/Side Effects:
Willow Bark Extract is considered a low hazard ingredient by the Cosmetics Database
, and the negative side effects that derive from salicylic acid (such as burning, peeling, and sun sensitivity) are thought to be lessened because of the low levels of salicin actually found in this ingredient. However, Willow Bark Extract should still be used with an additional sunscreen product for safety reasons.
The FDA has issued a warning about the use of Willow Bark Extract as an oral supplement, because it can cause gastrointestinal, reproductive, cardiovascular and immune system toxicity. No other negative side effects were found regarding this ingredient.
Recommended Products w/ Willow Bark:
, Burt’s Shea Butter Hand Repair Creme
, Epicuren Discovery Milk Cleanser
, Skyn Iceland’s The Antidote Mineral Sunscreen SPF 18
, Victoria Principal’s Secret Eyemazing Eye Cream
, Murad’s Clarifying Body Spray
, Jurlique’s Biodynamic Beauty Refining Treatment
, Suki Color Tinted Active Moisturizer