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Why Poplar Buds Make Your Skin Look and Act Younger

Would you love to feel a true, heart-felt connection with your hair and skin care products? Think this is a ridiculous question? Who feels close to their soap?! For me, a connected life is the best life. The most content life. So, I’m looking for connection in every tiny, teensy, and massive part of my life. There’s bliss that comes when my heart is wide open and I’m feeling close to the beauty all around. Whether that’s while I’m eating a home-cooked meal, taking a walk on the beach, or, yes, slathering my face with night cream before bed. How about you?

Maple Beach, Point Roberts with blue sky and fluffy white clouds at low tide

I feel the wonder when I’m with flowers and herbs, with tree buds and lichens, with mushrooms and seeds. Every single bloom, each root single root, any individual leaf, gives us something a little different. Each are worth getting to know. Even when two flowers are the same kind, or even from the same plant, they’re not the same. Each is an individual. I think about this when I’m blending up skin cream and when I’m pouring soap. Every batch of skin cream, of soap, of tincture, has its own thing going on and is a little bit varied from the next. Even the same recipe.

So, I open a new jar with excitement. I anticipate how it will feel to get in the shower with a new bar of soap. I wonder what very specific treat my skin is in for. Since no two natural, handmade products are exactly alike, I connect with each and every one.

glass jar of slow botanicals anti-inflammatory cream surrounded by pieces of hand picked and dried wild turkey tail mushrooms

In anticipation of my first batch of Anti-inflammatory + Antioxidant, my hopes were high. And from the first time I dipped my finger into this product and spread it on, the ways my skin reacted were above and beyond my wildest dreams. This is a relationship that began with surprise. I love herbs. As an important priority in my daily life, I meet with healing herbs in many ways, every single day of the year. But on that first day, and the following weeks, I found myself in more awe than ever. I’m still in awe now. The delight never grows old.


Anti-inflammatory + Antioxidant cream turned out to take the itch and irritation out of mosquito and black fly bites. It soothes swollen, painful sinuses. It eases redness in your skin. It takes the pain out of bruises and sore muscles. It diminishes the puff of puffy skin. It puts an end to allergic reactions that irritate your skin. It fades age spots and darkness under your eyes. It comforts psoriasis.

Glass jar of slow botanicals skin cream, wild winter blend plus calendula cream, surrounded by dried rose hips, calendula petals and turkey tail mushrooms

How does it work? This is the answer I wanted. While I think the unknown compounds in any plant are just as important as the active components science has already quantified and qualified, I really wanted to find out what the knowns are. I wanted to learn from a scientific perspective, how this skin cream is so fabulous.

How does this skin cream perform its magic? Since this skin cream has only two ingredients, I decided I would focus on only one, to start. All the ingredients act together in beautiful concert. But I wanted to learn about the soloist: Wild Poplar.

Two tops of poplar trees with an eagle in one and an eagle's nest in the other at maple beach in point roberts washington, against blue spring sky

Wild poplar buds, populus trichocarpa, are a native deciduous tree where I live in Washington State. When people feel like denigrating this beautiful, marvelous tree, they reach for the name “Cottonwood”. This tree is the Black Cottonwood and it’s anything but backwards or useless.

In order to explain how this tree bud does what it does, I want to share a bit about your skin, itself. In order for your skin to be at its most shining, glowing, smooth and soft best, your skin cells need to renew and replace themselves over and over at a fast clip. As we age, the pace slows and your skin needs help if it’s going to keep on looking and feeling its fabulous, youthful self.

This is where the oft-maligned Poplar -or Black Cottonwood- comes in. This tree and I have some serious chemistry going on. And my heart aches for every threatened or chopped healthy Poplar in my neighbourhood – like the one that used to reign majestically at the end of my street.

Natural handmade poplar bud soap by slow botanicals on white handmade pottery soap dish in white bathroom by frosted window

Why Poplar Buds Make Your Skin Look and Act Younger

But, back to the chemistry. In addition to the love it stirs in my heart, Poplar buds contain many skin-soothing chemicals such as salicin, 3 different flavonoids and a whopping 6 phenolic acids. Regular words for what these do, include antioxidant (research says Poplar’s is more potent than even vitamin E) and anti-inflammatory. And what this means is when you use poplar buds on your skin, an important gene for inflammation ends up decreasing its activity. From my experience, this decrease in inflammation happens FAST. And, exciting to me, research shows that the action of skin genes responsible for new skin cell growth, cell survival, and DNA synthesis in the skin are also dramatically increased by rubbing on Poplar bud cream. This means Poplar bud cream makes your skin act a lot younger than its age. And look younger. This cream will let you fool everyone. This is wonderful. Who doesn’t love to hear: “I can’t believe you’re (fill in the blank) years old!” There’s one particular chemical most of us have never heard of. It’s a phenolic acid called phenol-Coumaric. Poplar buds are particularly high in this. I’m quoting scientific facts, so I can’t say p-Coumaric has supernatural powers. But this is the language I’d rather be using because it really does seem this way. P-Coumaric prevents age spots, dark circles under your eyes, and freckles. Oh, you already have a host of these? Well, get ready for this: p-Coumaric actually fades those you already have. At the same time, poplar buds reverse UV damage. See? It IS like magic: poplar buds are a great natural skin lightener that heals instead of harms. You can get p-Coumaric from some foods. However, research indicates this beneficial, naturally occurring chemical reaction is most effective when rubbed onto your skin. Easy peasy. All this info makes me really happy. Because I have this cream on my bathroom counter. And in my purse, too. Check out all the Slow Botanicals skin cream blends and natural soap bars made with wild Poplar buds! You'll find them all here 💖

Stack of glass jars of wild poplar bud and wild turkey tail mushroom skin cream by slow botanicals

If you’re wondering which one’s best for you and can’t quite decide, feel free to drop me a line! I can help you choose.

Let me know your favourite result after you start using one of these Slow Botanicals skin creams.

Wishing you a fantastic week ahead!

All my best to you,


PS I talk a bit about these creams in this podcast episode: Deep Wisdom with Chwynyn of Slow Botanicals

PPS if you’re just skimming, look for all the bold sections to find out what’s to love about Wild Poplar Buds and why poplar buds make your skin look and act younger.

Chwynyn Vaughan with wild rose on whole woman health podcast

Talking Poplar Buds on Thriving Thru Menopause - Watch the Clip!



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