Willow bark has been used for centuries as a traditional medicine throughout China and Europe. The active ingredient in willow bark, salicin, would later serve as the foundation for aspirin. When ingested, willow bark extract has similar properties to aspirin, helping reduce pain and fever. Other healing properties of willow bark extract have also been discovered.
Willow bark extract has been shown to have topical benefits on the skin. That’s why it’s now being found as a natural ingredient in some skincare products. And for good reason. Willow bark extract has anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe irritated skin and clear pores. For men who are balding or are already bald, willow bark may especially be useful for the exposed skin on the scalp.
Read on to learn more about willow bark benefits for your skin.
What’s in willow bark extract?
Willow bark extract contains several natural compounds that can help benefit the skin. These compounds include:
Salicin is the core active compound in willow bark extract. It’s anti-inflammatory effects can help relieve acne and irritation. Studies have also shown that salicin may have anti-aging properties on the skin. Salicin can serve to help decrease the appearance of roughness, pores, and wrinkles on the skin.
Tannins are organic substances that can help tighten and tone the skin. They work as an astringent, which helps to constrict skin tissue. Tannins isolated from other plants have been shown to have anti-acne activity.
These micronutrients, which are naturally found in many plant foods, have high antioxidant activity. With high antioxidant activity, topical polyphenols are able to fight free radicals, which are partly responsible for skin aging. Flavonoids are a subclass of polyphenols that may help protect against UV damage from the sun. These polyphenols can act as a protective barrier to fight DNA damage while keeping the skin healthy and toned.
How does willow bark benefit the skin?
It helps clear pores
Willow bark extract can act as an exfoliator to get rid of dead skin cells from the skin’s surface layer. In turn, this can help unclog pores and clear the skin. Otherwise, dirt and oil can build up and lead to irritation and inflammation.
It fights acne
Willow bark contains natural compounds with anti-inflammatory properties to fight acne at the source. Salicin acts as a gentle agent to relieve inflammation and redness from acne. Studies have shown that willow bark can even help prevent acne without the side effects of other topical therapies.
It lessens wrinkles
Topical salicin has been shown to improve skin texture and radiance. This translates to younger-looking skin and less wrinkles. Salicin in willow bark extract can therefore reduce visible signs of skin aging.
The skin on the scalp can be especially prone to dryness, irritation, or increased oil production. In addition, since the scalp is often exposed to the sun, an effective scalp moisturizer should contain willow bark extract. The natural substances in willow bark extract can help clear the skin of the scalp and fight inflammation from clogged pores.
The Folicule Mattifying Moisturizer contains willow bark extract as one of its main natural ingredients. With other soothing ingredients, like tea tree leaf and aloe, the Folicule Mattifying Moisturizer could be one of the better options to improve the health of the scalp. These ingredients can also help prevent shine on a bald head.