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Out of the Woods: Bark Appears in Skin Care

By Nica Lewis

The natural trend is branching out from a focus on fruit, flowers and berries. Mintel's Global New Products Database (GNPD) reports there is a growing use of bark, leaves and roots in skin and hair care. This year has already seen the launch of at least 200 products including tree-based ingredients. While the use of wood for scent is well-established, beauty manufacturers are highlighting the active benefits of tree-related ingredients. This development has its origins in traditional Chinese medicine where roots and bark were used for antiseptic, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory purposes.

Azzaro Lab Azzaro Skinforce is a new men’s skin care line that claims “all the strength of trees for the skin.” The company's theory is that the skin has the same vital needs as a tree, i.e., hydration, nourishment and protection against the environment. The product range is formulated with a the company's wood energy complex featuring extracts of baobab, sequoia bark and bocoa (iron wood). Extracts from these emblematic trees were selected for their hardiness. The dermatologist-tested moisturizing fluid is said to provide long-lasting hydration, as well as prevent the appearance of first lines. It is also formulated with vitamin E, caffeine and an anti-pollution complex.

UK spa brand ESPA launched Super Activ, a new range of products formulated with ultra-concentrated plant, marine and bio-enzymatic ingredients. The Tone & Firm Concentrate contains witch hazel bark/leaf/twig extract, as well as extracts from mulberry leaf and bearberry leaf. It claims to help restructure the skin, enhance cellular communication and stimulate collagen synthesis. The concentrate is designed as a four-week treatment. In keeping with the natural positioning, the products are free from synthetic colors, fragrances, parabens, SLS and SLES.

Salix nigra (American willow) bark extract is a natural source of salicylic acid, a beta-hydroxy acid, reports Mintel. It is mildly antiseptic and clears skin. Similarly, Salix Alba (white willow) bark calms and smoothes the skin. In the past, white willow extract was used to treat rheumatism, headaches and arthritis. Today, both white and black willow bark are formulated into skin care products. Recent examples include the following.

John Allan’s Skin Face Replenishing Moisturizer contains willow bark, shea butter, cocoa butter and oat extract. It provides antiaging correction and prevention due to vitamins A, B2, C, D, E and K. John Allan is a New York-based stylist who launched his hair care brand in 1998; skin care and shaving lines have since been added.

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.

Yves Saint Laurent's Freshness Cleansing Milky Veil Radiance Revealer for normal to combination skin is a makeup-removing milky gel. It transforms into a fresh fluid to dissolve traces of makeup impurities and pollutants. The product is enriched with revitalizing aloe vera sap and the antimicrobial Enantia chlorantha bark. It is said to refine and improve the quality of the skin, giving it a pleasant and fresh sensation.

From www.CosmeticsandToiletries.com

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