DIY Willow Bark Serum for Acne

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DIY Willow Bark Serum

Did you know there is a natural ingredient you could be adding to your DIY skin care that will not only help clear up breakouts but also diminish fine lines and wrinkles? Willow bark extract is a multitasker ingredient that you’ll want to use! Today, I’m sharing my DIY willow bark serum that is meant to help gently clear and hydrate skin.

Why Incorporate Willow Bark in Recipes?

You can read a full post about the skin benefits of willow bark but in a nut shell-Willow bark is the natural form of salicylic acid. One particular study showed that after just one week of use, 29 women found substantial improvement in the overall health of their skin! Willow bark is a common ingredient in natural acne treatments and is effective in dissolving acne causing bacteria

Finding the Cause of Blemished Skin

I have created a DIY willow bark serum for my daughter who is 12 and experiencing a lot of acne on her forehead and nose. This serum will be used morning and night and I will report back the results. Because her acne is hormonally induced, it is very hard to control breakouts. There is nothing to do about a teenager’s hormones-it is what it is and it’s a necessary part of life.

However, if you are dealing with adult breakouts, I would recommend addressing your diet and lifestyle. Many acne sufferers want a quick fix to their skin and I 100% understand but a topical product can only do so much. 

Unfortunately, adult acne is so often due to a food intolerance or unhealthy lifestyle.

This first piece of advice I tell people looking for an answer to their skin is to cut out wheat and dairy. Both these food groups are often the culprit of many skin issues.

A high quality, living probiotic will make a difference on every level of health, especially your skin.

Of course, getting enough water, sleep, not smoking, reducing or omitting alcohol, exercising and managing stress are big factors in achieving healthy skin.

Another factor to think about-Are you drying out your skin with harsh products? Drying out the skin can lead to a major imbalance which ultimately leads to major skin issues, namely blemishes. Adding a non comedogenic oil to your skin care routine will help balance your skin, believe it or not!

Other Ingredients in the DIY Willow Bark Serum

10% DIY Willow Bark Serum

1/2 tsp. Willow Bark Extract (find it HERE)

1 TBSP. Witch Hazel (find it HERE)

6 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil (find it HERE)

3 drops Ylang Ylang Essential Oil (find it HERE) *optional*

Top off with Aloe Vera Gel (find it HERE)


To Use:

  1. Apply 2-3 pumps to the skin after cleansing.
  2. Can and should be used morning and night.

DIY Willow Bark Serum for Acne

5-10% is the recommended amount of willow bark extract that should be used in a product. However, (according to lotion crafter) you can use a higher percentage than 10%. Willow bark is much gentler than salicylic acid so depending on what skin issue you are working to resolve, you may want to increase the percentage. 

Willow bark for skin issues is a natural, yet effective ingredients you need to incorporate into your skin care routine if you are dealing with acne. Be sure to check out my post on the benefits of willow bark for skin to learn how to incorporate this double duty ingredient into other DIYs!

This is a very easy to make DIY serum. It literally takes 2 minutes and willow bark extract is cheap and ships fast. Please keep me posted on how your DIY serum is doing and I will do the same!

More DIYs for Problem Skin

xx, Jenni


DIY Willow Bark Serum

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Jennifer Phillips worked as a licensed aesthetician for over 8 years before creating the green beauty blog, Jenni Raincloud and her natural skin care line, J. Raincloud Organics. Jennifer has been blogging full time for 7 years and loves to gain and share knowledge on living a natural lifestyle.

6 thoughts on “DIY Willow Bark Serum for Acne”

  1. once again you write a great article. i don’t have acne, can i still use this for large pores and exfoliation? would it work to make as an infused oil? also, will this make you skin sensitive to the sun because it’s a BHA?
    thank you!

    1. Jenn-Thank you so much! You for sure can use this if you don’t have acne. Willow bark has been known to also be an anti aging tool. I’m not sure what you mean as an infused oil? The extract is a water based ingredients so it would not blend with oils. You might be able to find willow bark in it’s natural form and infuse it that way. I’ve not looked into that. Doing it that way would be hard to know how strong you’ve made your oil though.
      I believe with the small proportion (10%) of this recipe, you should not be extra sun sensitive but if you burn very easily, I would take extra precaution.

  2. I really appreciate you for publishing this blog here about diy willow bark serum for acne; it’s really a helpful and very useful for us. This is really appreciated that you have presented this data over here, I love all the information shared. Great article!

  3. Hi Jen, Thank you so much for this!
    How long would this last without preservatives and do you need to store it in the fridge?
    Also, can you please give us an update on how your daughter is doing using this for hormonal breakouts?
    Tash x

    1. Tash-I would say this serum would last about 2 weeks and that’s in the fridge. You could cut this recipe in half if you prefer to not use the preservative.
      I had her on Juice Beauty’s acne wash (amazon and ulta carry it) and this serum. She cleared up fast with these 2 products. However, she’s fallen off the routine and her forehead is broken out again. I’m hoping this summer we can get on a good routine and get it under control. She’s too young to have hormonal issues!! I think if her skin bothered her or embarrassed her, she’d be more religious about it!

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