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Out of the Woods: Bark Appears in Skin Care

By Nica Lewis
Posted: May 7, 2008

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Shiseido-owned Carita Ideal Controle is a line of antiaging preventive care for combination to oily skin types. The products are designed to offer a balance between matte finish and moisturization, purity and softness. Products in the range are formulated with sebo-balancing and pure-youth complexes. The oil-free purifying serum is described as a powerful mattifying product. It contains oak root, said to reduce redness, and willow bark extract that has gentle antiseptic and skin-clearing properties.

Pinus pinaster (French marine pine) bark extract is another tree-derived active reported to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is sourced from the largest maritime pine forest in Europe, located in the Landes region of Southwestern France. The Organic Pharmacy Firming Body Cream is described as a “luxurious slimming cream” with a 95% organic formula. It contains organic marine pine bark as well as garcinia, guarana, ivy, horsetail and other decongesting plant extracts. It also includes DMAE, said to improve the appearance of sagging skin and boost the effects of other antioxidants.

In Japan, Restgenol released Active Collagenol Day Swat Serum N as a makeup base. It is said to camouflage unevenness and pores, brightening skin and adding elasticity. It provides sunburn protection factors of SPF28/PA++ to block daytime UV exposure and contains “moisture-up fitting powder” that smoothes and moisturizes skin. It is formulated with Pinus pinaster bark extract, hawthorn, marjoram leaf, rice bran oil, rose and peanut oil.

Phytomer Sculpteur Ventre Plat reportedly is one of the first products to highlight pink bark on the package. It emphasizes the contouring benefits of the ingredient and claims that the oligomeric procyanidins contained in maritime pine help the body “resume the natural elimination of fat.” The company finds this re-establishes the process of fat combustion, resulting in better-toned and firmer skin, as well as a more defined waistline, a flatter stomach and a more shapely figure. It also contains caffeine and brown algae, as well as jojoba, sweet almond and sunflower oils.

Clarins’ new hydrating face care range contains an ingredient from katafray, a tree grown in Madagascar. The products contain the company's patented  pollution protection complex to protect skin against environmental aggression and a complex of hyaluronic acid and fair trade Cedrelopsis grevei (katafray) bark extract. Research reportedly has shown that katafray bark extract can improve the skin’s barrier function and be used to treat skin roughness and loss of radiance. The HydraQuench Intensive Serum Bi-Phase features a hydrolipidic bi-phase formula. It also has Inca peanut oil and alfalfa extract.