If you think a tree is just a tree, then you really aren’t seeing the forest through the trees… so to speak. In a day and age in which the average woman uses over 500 synthetic chemicals on her skin, body and hair before lunch time, many of us are turning to more natural products for personal hygiene, health and beautification purposes. The sourcing for key, active ingredients in these natural counterparts can originate from anything such as plants, nuts, flowers and even ocean water. But one ingredient, in particular, is finding a fast rise to stardom in both the medicinal world and the beauty and skincare industry. Birch Bark Extract.
Like so many natural remedies whose benefits and true value have been diminished with time, due to a rise in chemical manufacturing of synthetic ingredients, Birch Bark Extract has been used for centuries. Native Americans, Europeans and Russian cultures utilized the bark, sap and leaves of the trees for their medicinal properties. In Scandinavia, the birch leaves and twigs are bound together and used to enhance circulation during traditional sauna sessions. Regardless of geographical or cultural origin, the Birch Tree and its bark, have consistently delivered dramatic healing properties throughout time.
“People love the idea of using birch bark but not all people understand that it can be used for health. It is time to educate people on the benefits of the extracts,” said Pavel Krasutsky, Ph.D., director of the Chemical Extractives Program, a division of the Center for Applied Research and Technology Development at the University of Minnesota Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) at Duluth. He has conducted research on birch bark extracts and technology for over 20 years, has authored 150 papers for publication in national and international chemistry journals, and has written 20 patents. He even takes birch bark extract as a dietary supplement which he says helps him maintain his health at 68-years-old.
But what can the extract from Birch Bark specifically do for the skin? For one, it is a supreme healer. According to Krasutsky, there is historical evidence of people using birch bark for different healing processes dating back five to 15,000 years ago. It protects the skin because it is non-toxic, is water repellent and doesn’t allow moisture to get out of the skin. “In Germany, they have an institute devoted solely to birch bark products,” said Krasutsky.
The extract is both an anti-inflammatory and skin energizer, depending on the formulation of use. For dull, sluggish skin, Birch Tree Extract can increase healthy circulation when applied as a physical exfoliant. This is much for the same purpose that Scandinavian cultures have used Birch to detoxify the skin during sauna sessions.
When applied in stronger doses topically, especially in a non-comedogenic (non-pore-clogging) carrier oil, Birch Bark extract can be incredibly anti-inflammatory. Couple this property with its antibacterial nature and it is a very effective treatment for inflammatory acne. As adult skin can oftentimes not handle the aggressive ingredients found in most OTC acne treatments, products formulated with Birch Bark Extract can be simultaneously powerful, yet gentle.
Although the science is not fully understood as of yet, Birch Bark Extract also exhibits brightening
properties on the skin. It seems as though the extract has the capability of suppressing melanocyte (pigment cell) activity. Some scientists believe that this is a protection mechanism of the tree itself to keep its coloration.
Finally, Birch Bark Extract is quite literally, an anti-aging product. As we age, our collagen and elastin matrix of our skin breaks down and does not replenish as quickly. This matrix is what gives our skin volume, lift and firmness. Birch Bark Extract, over time, has been shown to not only encourage the growth of new collagen, but to also inhibit the enzyme responsible for elastin breakdown.
As you can see, a tree can be so much more than just a tree. The properties of its leaves, bark, sap and even roots can have transformative results on our health and skin. The Birch Tree is no exception. Its extracts can heal, sooth, invigorate, brighten and literally restore youth and vitality to the skin.
Enjoy the amazing properties of Birch Tree Extract in ALL of the Kosmetikos 100% Natural Products!