Did you know that the word "cosmetic" appeared in the 14th century, from the Greek word kosmêtikos which means "relating to adornment", and that the Dictionary of the French Academy defines it as: "What serves to maintain and beautify the skin, the hair, the beard”? Maintaining and beautifying, yes, but not at any price, and today, with supporting standards and regulations, consumers are increasingly demanding about the quality and safety of the ingredients used in the composition of products, on the transparency and clarity of labeling and claims that accompany them.
So what about the benefits of birch sap for the skin? What are the cosmetic properties of this product that the Native Americans or the peoples of Northern Europe already considered a treasure, and which is making a strong comeback today in the composition of organic or natural cosmetics? What active ingredients give it its antioxidant, detoxifying, protective against UV damage, regenerating, moisturizing and soothing properties?
Benefit #1: antioxidant/detoxifying action
Birch sap is rich in minerals such as zinc, which has the power to stimulate detoxifying enzymatic endocrine systems, the antioxidant defenses. In doing so, it protects our cells from oxidative stress and therefore from the damage and inflammation caused by these attacks. It cleans our skin and hair of oxidizing molecules. In this sense, it has a depolluting effect and helps to slow down premature skin aging.
Benefit #2: It protects against UV damage
The high mineral content of birch sap gives it protective effects against damage caused by UV rays. In particular, zinc chloride protects DNA and skin cells from the attacks and changes caused by UVA and UVB rays. This also slows down premature aging of the skin.
Benefit #3: It has a regenerating action
The high mineral content of birch sap, especially calcium and magnesium chlorides, stimulates the process of epidermal regeneration, i.e. skin repair. Thus, birch sap contributes to the restructuring of the skin layers: it strengthens the 3D dermal network (the extracellular matrix of the dermis) and the barrier function of the skin. Birch sap contributes to maintaining the flexibility of the hypodermis cushion, as well as the resistance and tone of the skin barrier.
Benefit #4: A moisturizing action
At the same time, birch sap is particularly rich in moisturizing components: glucose, sodium, calcium and potassium. This saccharide and these minerals are an integral part of the “Natural Hydration Factors (NHF)”. They are hygroscopic compounds that trap surrounding water particles and bind them to the stratum corneum of the epidermis. Birch sap thus helps to limit skin dryness, and therefore to improve the hydration and comfort of the skin and scalp.
Benefit n°5: A calming and soothing action
Finally, birch sap has an additional protective property: it has a strong anti-inflammatory action, thanks to its magnesium chloride which inhibits the antigen-presenting function, an essential process triggering inflammation. Thus birch sap calms irritations caused to the skin and scalp by stress and environmental aggressions such as pollution, smoke, aggressive and irritating detergents, etc.
What cosmetic uses for birch sap?
Thanks to the multiple benefits of birch sap for the skin – antioxidant, detoxifying, protective against UV damage, regenerating, moisturizing and soothing – it is a very interesting active ingredient in skin care: anti-aging care, moisturizing range, restorative formulation, restructuring...
Birch has many properties, in particular thanks to its bark or its leaves, to find out more it is here !
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