We’ve all heard of salicylic acid. It’s a fantastic BHA that really gets down into hair follicles and unclogs pores. It also promotes cell renewal and won’t dry out skin. But, salicin, where salicylic acid actually comes from, is something you may have never heard of.
What is Salicin
Salicylic acid comes from salicin and is the active ingredient in aspirin. Technically, salicin is an alcoholic β-glucoside that reduces inflammation, acne, and signs of aging. For skincare, it’s a potent anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agent that also soothes skin and reduces irritation. Plus, it’s been found to have anti-aging benefits in as little as 4 weeks.
Salicaceae, or Salix purpurea, and Populus are two species of trees and flowering plants with naturally occurring salicin in their leaves and bark. Salicaceae are now mainly the Willow family, but used to include Populus as well. And Populus is a huge tree family with Aspens, Cottonwoods and Tulips, to name a few.
Salicin for Skin Care
Salicin is a natural preservative. Conventional skin care products use parabens and other toxins to increase shelf life. But salicin can actually do this without adding on nasty chemicals. Plus, it has added benefits for anti-aging, acne, and improving radiance.
Salicin has been proven to improve acne, signs of aging, and irritation. There have been only a few studies done with salicin (way more done with salicylic acid), but one we like was done with men and women 35-70 years, who showed mild to moderate signs of aging. They used salicin 0.5% twice a day and after 2 weeks they had some improvements, but after 4 weeks, they found it made significant improvements.
- Reduce signs of aging, like fine lines, wrinkles
- Improve dry patches and texture
- Reduce pore size
- Improve firmness and jawline contour
- Uneven skin tone
- Treat and prevent acne
- Overall radiance
Willow bark, which is salicin from the Willow tree’s bark, is a popular natural skin care ingredient for acne. It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial benefits and shows significant improvements in irritated skin with clogged pores.
One of our favorite willow bark-containing skin care products is Eminence Clear Skin Willow Bark Booster Serum. Eminence is totally organic and toxin-free, and in this serum, you’ll find Willow Bark as the first ingredient, plus Tea Tree Oil and CoQ10, among others. This serum treats, heals, and prevents acne plus has the anti-aging and skin smoothing benefits of salicin and CoQ10.
Aspen Bark and Leaves
Salicin is also found in all varieties of Aspen trees, but the Quaking Aspen is the most prevalent in North America. They are considered one of Earth’s largest living organisms. Have you ever wondered why all the leaves turn colors at once? They are all connected by a massive single root system, so they communicate with each other. This also is why they live for thousands and thousands of years. Even if one tree dies, the root system stays intact and another tree is born in its place.
To find natural skin care products with salicin from Aspen, check the label for:
- Populus tremuloides
- Aspen bark
- Aspen bark extract
One of our favorites, and seriously, one of the few we have found, is Annmarie Skin Care Neroli Toning Mist with Neroli Essential Oil, Aloe Vera, and Aspen Bark Extract. It’s a nice luxurious smelling spray you can spritz on throughout the day (without ruining your makeup!!) and it will keep your skin hydrated and looking radiant.
Salicin is a naturally occurring BHA that fights acne, signs of aging, and improves radiance. You can find it in products mainly in products with willow bark and aspen leaves. It won’t dry out skin and will give you long lasting benefits, naturally.