If you were to take your best guess, who would…
Known and loved for its characteristic white bark, small, attractive, deep green leaves, and weeping-willow-esque drooping branch structure, the white birch tree is well loved as an ornamental plant in front or back yards, and a natural grove of them is definitely a sight to behold. They are also sometimes called Betula alba, but this is not a species name, rather a broad category which includes several white-barked birch trees in the same genus, such as European Betula pendula, the Silver Birch, and North American Betula papyrifera, the Paper Birch.
Betula Alba Extract for Skin
But while you might know white birches simply as a pretty tree, it turns out they may have hidden benefits for making you pretty too. Don’t worry though, we don’t mean you’ll become pretty in the same way and get bark for skin and sprout leaves; that would just be strange. Silliness aside, though, extract from white birch trees shows some promise as an up and coming anti-aging skin care ingredient. Read on, and Vine Vera will explain why, and what you should know about it.
As it turns out, extracts from various parts of these trees have various potential medical and aesthetic applications. The leaves and shoots have been used as a laxative and diuretic, interestingly enough, although the advent of modern medicine renders this use obsolete as refined, pure medications are generally better.
But what we’re interested is the use of extracts from the bark in anti-aging skin care. As it happens, this extract functions as an astringent, meaning it constricts pores and draws oil out of them. Unlike some astringents though, it also is said to purify and heal the skin. It acts as a natural anti-inflammatory, making it potentially beneficial for sensitive skin. It also contains a rich vitamin profile, containing vitamins B1, B2, A, C, and E. Supposedly, it also acts as an antioxidant, but this has yet to be confirmed.
There are two major things to take into consideration with extracts like these. The first is that they are often fairly untested, and this certainly holds true for white birch extract. Vine Vera was not able to find any clinical trials testing for any of the claimed effects we’ve mentioned here, so all the evidence that exists is anecdotal. That said, this doesn’t mean it doesn’t work, just that we can’t be sure if it does or not.
The other thing to be aware of is that natural does not automatically mean better or healthier. In many cases, the “artificial,” refined form of a compound is more effective, and/or has fewer side effects. That said, natural extracts do sometimes have advantages, but they don’t always have advantages. Once again though, white birch extract has not been tested enough to really know.
And finally, a few precautions specific to this extract. If you have especially sensitive and/or dry skin, use caution, as white birch extracts could cause dermal irritation due to their astringent properties. Also, if you are allergic to aspirin, avoid these extracts, as they are similar enough in chemical composition to trigger the allergy. Finally, avoid this extract if you have poor kidney and heart health, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.