White Willow Bark
Willow bark comes from either the black or white willow bark tree, and offers both health and beauty benefits. The use of willow bark dates back thousands of years, to the time of Hippocrates (circa 400 BC), when patients were advised to chew on the bark to reduce fever and inflammation. White willow bark is traditionally known to ease aches and pains and reduce fevers, and has been used throughout the centuries in Ancient Egypt, Europe and China, and continues to be used today for the treatment of pains and ailments.
In combination with this herb’s powerful anti-inflammatory plant compounds and salicin is thought to be responsible for the pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects of the herb. In fact, in the 1800s, salicin was used to develop aspirin. The white willow appears to bring pain relief more slowly than aspirin, but its effects may last longer.
Willow bark is used in formulas due to it’s natural content of salicylic acid. Salicylic acid removes old and dead skin cells from your face and body and helps make way for new and fresh skin cells. As you know, dead skin cells can make your face look dull and haggard. As we age, we need to dissolve skin cells more often. Willow bark also offers anti-inflammatory properties that can relieve swelling and sensitivity. This makes willow bark ideal for conditions of rosacea as well as sensitive blemishes, cystic acne and even aging skin. Inflammation can lead to premature aging, so it is essential to minimize inflammation of the skin. Willow bark can also minimize age spots and discoloration due to it’s mild exfoliating properties.
Salicin helps correct the abnormal desquamation process that occurs in acne-prone skin. It is especially helpful in treating acne because of its ability to penetrate the follicle. Salicin encourages the shedding of dead skin cells from within the follicle, keeping the pores clear of cellular debris and reducing pore blockages and skin breakouts.