For the Celts it was the tree of poets. The mythical goddess Ceridwen blew between its lithe branches that resonated in the wind and in this way her inspiration spoke to the only human beings, according to tradition, who had ears to capture it and transform it into musical notes. We are talking about the bards, the holders of knowledge and skilled singers of epic deeds, and of the willow, the plant that provided the wood to make the bard's lyres. But the willow is not only poetry for the ears, also for the skin! As we will see today, in fact, a powerful remedy against skin aging is obtained from willow bark.
Willow bark and its anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties
Willow bark, salix alba or white willow, contains salicin, a powerful anti-aging agent for the skin. Salicin, in fact, counteracts the formation of wrinkles, enlarged pores, dark spots on the skin, dry skin and dull complexion (Gopaul et al, J Cosmet Dermatol, 2010). In fact, it has been observed that the application of a serum containing 0.5% salicin has led to an improvement in the texture of the skin, with less enlarged pores, in the appearance of the skin, with an attenuation of wrinkles and greater brightness, and in hydration already after a week of use. By the fourth week, the hyperpigmentation had decreased, the skin appeared firmer and the facial features, especially the jaw line, more toned (Gopaul et al, J Cosmet Dermatol, 2010). Not only that, the willow bark is anti-inflammatory, therefore useful to calm redness and irritation but also to counteract, as has been observed, acne (Di Caprio et al, G Ital Dermatol Venereol, 2019 - Bassino et al, Skin Pharmacol Physiol , 2018).
Anti-aging and anti-acne remedies with white willow
Let's see how to prepare simple but effective natural remedies for radiant and rejuvenated skin based on white willow bark. Willow bark is easily found in chemist’s and herbalist’ shops. Boil a cup of water along with 2 tablespoons of dried willow bark. Let it simmer for 3-4 minutes, then remove from the heat. In case of impure and acne-prone skin at this point you can add a teaspoon of dried lavender flowers, with an antiseptic action, while in case of mature skin 1 teaspoon of rosemary needles or green tea leaves, with a powerful antioxidant action and useful against photoaging (Lee et al, Toxicol Res, 2014). Leave everything to infuse for another ten minutes and filter. Pour into a spray bottle to keep in a cool dark place. You can spray the anti-aging and anti-inflammatory water on your face morning and evening. Alternatively, you can use this water as the liquid part of clay masks. In a bowl, pour two tablespoons of clay, ventilated green or white, whatever you have at home is fine. Add as much willow water as you need to make a cream. In case of mature skin you can also add a teaspoon of argan oil. Apply to cleansed face and leave on for ten minutes, then rinse. Then apply your cream or a few drops of serum oil.