Nature’s Salicylic Acid “Willow Bark” and Vitamin C: When To Use Each

10. Feb 2023

What ingredients to combine?

When To Use Each

Salicylic Acid and Vitamin C are well-known ingredients in the world of skincare. If you don’t already have one or both somewhere in your medicine cabinet, you’ve likely considered adding one to your routine at least once before.

Whether you’re looking to upgrade your skincare regimen or are just looking to wrap your head around these two ingredients and when you should be using them, look no further. We’re here to help you better understand Vitamin C and Nature’s Salicylic Acid otherwise known as Willow Bark.

What Is Salicylic Acid?

Salicylic Acid is a Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) derived from Willow Tree Bark. It’s often used as a spot treatment or in the formulation of serums and creams intended to help improve breakouts. 

Compared to Alpha Hydroxy Acids, BHAs have a slightly different structure, making them oil-soluble. That means that Salicylic Acid is better able to penetrate your pores than other breakout-busting ingredients. If you’re looking for a vegan Salicylic Acid, there’s nothing better than Willow Bark.

This is good news for your breakouts because it means Willow Bark can get into your pores to help dissolve any build-up of dead surface skin cells, dirt, and other impurities that may have taken up residence there. Even your most stubborn blackheads are no match for Nature’s Salicylic Acid Willow Bark.

Willow Bark

Willow Bark also helps slough away dead surface skin cell buildup. This can lead to brighter, smoother, and more even skin overall. It can also help maintain a healthy balance in your skin’s natural oil.

Willow Bark is particularly effective when it comes to minimising comedones. Comedones are lesions like blackheads, which are open comedones, and whiteheads, which are closed comedones. If you struggle with whiteheads and blackheads, we have good news – Salicylic Acid could be a great fit, but nature’s Salicylic Acid, also known as Willow Bark, could be an even better fit. We’ll explore that shortly.

Salicylic Acid can be found in lower concentrations in over-the-counter products. It also may be prescribed to you by your doctor or dermatologist in higher concentrations.

Are There Any Side Effects?

Like most BHAs and similar chemical exfoliants, Salicylic Acid can have some side effects. These effects are visible signs of irritation, such as redness, dryness, and flakiness.

Generally, Salicylic Acid is most likely to cause a problem when you’re using too much of it or using too high of a concentration for your skin. However, when you use nature’s Salicylic Acid equivalent, Willow Bark, these side effects are less of a concern because this ingredient is compatible with your skin. 

And since this ingredient is a gentle chemical exfoliant, it’s important to keep your skin hydrated while using it.

We recommend using a highly active cream moisturiser like our Everyday Day Cream. Our Everyday Day cream is an anti-ageing moisturiser that 100% of subjects agreed made their skin look and feel smoother, softer, more glowy and deeply hydrated.

This formula features a combination of highly effective biocompatible actives to maintain your timeless beauty. A breakthrough, cascading antioxidants that targets five signs of ageing. It offers anti-ageing protection alongside potent plant actives, including Butterfly Flower Extract, Centella Asiatica Leaf Extract, and low and medium hyaluronic acid to help soothe skin and improve moisture levels.

What Is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C, known in the skincare world as L-Ascorbic Acid, is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants are crucial to a well-rounded skincare routine because they’re what your body needs to maintain healthy surface skin cells.

Many factors, including sun exposure and other environmental irritants, can stress out your skin cells and contribute to signs of ageing. Antioxidants like Vitamin C can help support and maintain your skin during exposure to irritants and stressors, working to ensure that your skin stays radiant. 

Vitamin C also supports youthful-looking skin, which is important if anti-aging measures are a priority for you. This is because as we get older, our body’s production of collagen decreases, and this can contribute to fine lines. Vitamin C may help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improve the appearance of dark spots, and help your skin look more plump and firm.

This is why we love our Antioxidant Defence Booster. Add some of this simple three-ingredient booster to your cream moisturiser and apply lavishly to your skin.

This vitamin-rich booster can give you the look of dramatically brighter skin and help reduce the appearance of dark spots with its potent, oxidation-proof formulation. The added power of Deserticola and Schisandra helps to support proper surface skin cell turnover and protect overall skin integrity.

How Should I Use Nature’s Salicylic Acid and Vitamin C Together?

Depending on your skin type, conventional Salicylic Acid and Vitamin C may cause irritation if used at the same time or layered directly on top of one another. In general, the easiest way to get around a potentially adverse reaction between these two ingredients is to apply them at opposite ends of your routine.

However, you can also use an ingredient that has all of the properties and benefits of Salicylic Acid without any of the potentially drying effects — or any of the possible negative reactions with Vitamin C. That ingredient is Willow Bark Extract, also known as nature’s Salicylic Acid. 

Let’s walk through an example routine using nature’s Salicylic Acid, Willow Bark, and Vitamin C to make sure your skin is bright, glowing, and even — and that breakouts become a thing of your past. 

1. Use a Breakout-Busting Cleanser

Let’s be clear — by breakout-busting, we’re not talking about those super drying, astringent cleansers that leave your skin feeling tight and dry. We’re talking about our Everyday Cleansing Oil. 

Most cleansers marketed to oily, breakout-prone skin use synthetic ingredients and harsh surfactants that disrupt the skin barrier and exacerbate those exact problems. But our Everyday Cleansing Oil was specifically formulated to help cleanse oily skin while nourishing and supporting your skin barrier.

It uses Willow Bark Extract, which is nature’s Salicylic Acid, to slough away dead surface skin cells while Helichrysum helps clear away blemish-causing bacteria. Rather than stripping your skin, Aloe Vera leaves you feeling balanced and hydrated. 

2. Apply an Antioxidant-Rich Serum

Although Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, another powerful one we recommend working into your routine is Superoxide Dismustase. Superoxide Dismustase or also called SOD is a special antioxidant as it functions like a surveillance system for your skin. 

Most antioxidants are more or less used up after they fight off one free radical — but Superoxide Dismustase gathers all the antioxidants together to fight off the free radicals and converts itself into a new form after it fights off every free radical, helping to protect your skin over and over again.

Our Aura Essence makes use of this super-effective antioxidant to deliver anti-ageing results that are clinically proven. This is the last anti-aging serum you’ll ever need — it fights five signs of ageing AND helps prevent future damage before it happens.

This serum can help ensure your skin is left hydrated, balanced, and prevents premature ageing through inflammations. 

While you can use Aura Essence in the morning or evening, we love a specific night treatment, and our Everyday Day Cream fits the bill. This treatment features nature’s Salicylic Acid, Willow Bark Extract, to help reduce the look of blemishes and fights signs of skin ageing – all while you sleep.

But this all-in-one nightly treatment doesn’t just fight blemishes and breakouts. It also has powerful anti-aging properties thanks to hydrating Hyaluronic Acid, brightening Butterfly Flower Extract, and a replenishing Passionfruit Seed Oil that nourishes the skin with free radical-fighting antioxidants and accelerates the skin's wound healing abilities.

3. Moisturise & Apply Vitamin C

If you love efficiency as much as we do, this dynamic duo will make your favourites list. Combine our Glow Serum with our Antioxidant Defence Booster to safely use the effects of nature’s Salicylic Acid with Vitamin C — plus the extreme hydration and antioxidant benefits of our Glow Complex — to get the best glow of your life. 

In Conclusion

Choosing the right skincare products for your individual needs can be challenging, but with a little bit of help, it doesn’t have to be! 

If you’re looking to ease breakouts, even your skin tone or texture, or brighten your complexion overall, Vitamin C and Salicylic Acid’s natural equivalent, Willow Bark Extract, might be just what you need.



Salicylic Acid Topical | Medline Plus

Beta Hydroxy Acids | Food & Drug Administration

Comedonal Acne | Dermnet NZ

Decreased Collagen Production in Chronologically Aged Skin | PubMed Central


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