Ingredients With A Purpose: Let’s Talk Willow Bark Extract Skin Benefits!

September 12, 2018

Ingredients With A Purpose: Let’s Talk Willow Bark Extract Skin Benefits!

Just as a chef carefully prepares a meal with the right blend of ingredients, the ingredients that go into our skincare are chosen with a specific purpose in mind.

In our ongoing mission to empower you, our lovely Yellow Bird familia, we’re focussing on one of our most special ingredients today.

And by the title of this blog post, you already know, we’re about to get real intimate with Willow Bark!

Now I don’t know about you, but when I hear the word “willow,” nostalgia sets in, and I’m taken back to a Disney classic from my childhood, Pocahontas.

Without giving away the whole story, I will say there comes a time in the film when the bark of dear Grandmother Willow provides much needed medicine, much like Willow Bark Extract is useful (and has been for centuries) for easing pain and inflammation in the skin, as you’ll find out today…


The Skinny: What is Willow Bark Extract and how is it derived?

Earth is blessed with not just one, but many different types of willow trees, each with their very own special extracts. (Seriously, there are over 400 species!)

What we’re most interested in for the sake of this blog post (and for making you all the wiser of course), is the white willow bark from which skin care products are typically derived.

As the name suggests, the extract comes from the white willow tree, or in fancy sciency speak, salix alba.

In order to get to the good stuff, strips of bark are removed from the tree after being harvested (usually in the Spring), after which the inner bark is then processed to get to the beneficial liquid extract.


The Good Stuff: What do the ingredients in Willow Bark Extract do for my skin?

Willow Bark Extract is absolutely brimming with skin loving ingredients such as salicin, tannins, flavonoids, polyphenols, and many more vitamins and minerals that all target the skin in their own special way.

You know that tightening feeling you get when you apply a toner? Or when you put on a face mask and try to pull a funny face?

That’s what astringents like Tannins do; and when it comes to your pores, makes them smaller in appearance. You know we’re all about the small pore, firm skin life! Tannins also happen to help to reduce excess oil in the skin! 

Polyphenols in willow bark extract fight free radicals that do damage to our skin’s DNA. They help to protect our skin and reduce signs of aging, helping keep it hydrated, and lessening the appearance of wrinkles. The anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agents in polyphenols also work to reduce acne, and give you relief if you suffer from rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis. Now that’s a mouthful! 

Flavonoids are a type of polyphenol, especially effective for providing protection for the skin’s barrier function, reducing the risk of environmental damage!


The Imposter: What’s the deal with salicylic acid?

Salicin is a powerhouse anti-inflammatory ingredient in willow bark and is beneficial for most skin types. It helps target acne, reduce irritation (bye bye redness!), and has even shown promising results in the battle against aging.

If the name sounds familiar, you may be thinking of the metabolized (broken down) derivative of salicin; salicylic acid, which is commonly used in acne and exfoliating products. Salicylic acid works by going deep (real deep) into the pores and stripping protein that holds together your skin cells… making it an excellent pore exfoliator!  

Even though salicylic acid can be derived from plant sources, the supply and demand for this ingredient has caused chemical synthesis to become the go to choice for many skin care brands. Unfortunately what they’re sacrificing is having an end ingredient that is no longer considered natural or naturally derived anymore.

At Yellow Bird, we’re sticking to the good stuff, natural salicin in willow bark that may not be as effective as the chemical stuff (technically speaking), but gosh darn we’re not willing to sacrifice the health of our, and your skin, for anything!


The Next Step: Reap The Benefits Of Willow Bark Extract! 

Try incorporating our Charcoal Salt & Sugar Scrub into your natural beauty routine. Gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin, the Willow Bark Extract in this scrub will provide a gentle exfoliation, deep cleanse, leaving you with silky smooth skin without added sulfates, parabens, fragrances, or other chemicals that may cause skin irritation.

the yellow bird activated charcoal scrub with willow baek

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