These days, it seems birch juice is showing up more and more on Korean products’ ingredient lists. Since it’s really easy to become overwhelmed when searching for a new product, Ingredient Spotlight is here to break down the basics. Here we’ll teach you how an ingredient works and leave you with product recommendations to help you with your search.
Korean skin care has seen some pretty bizarre, though effective, ingredients, not limited to snail slime, pig collagen, and placenta. Another one that’s very unique to the Korean beauty market is birch juice extract, which is probably not as weird sounding as some of the others, but is still less commonly used in Western products. Today we’re diving into this ingredient to tell you what it is and how it benefits skin.
What is birch juice extract?
Birch juice extract—also referred to as birch tree sap or birch tree water—is extracted from the beautiful white and black birch tree the same way syrup is extract from a maple tree. It’s not as sweet as maple syrup, though, and its consistency is much thinner. It’s actually bottled and sold for consumption, partly because it tastes so good, and partly because it’s loaded up with wonderful nutrients, including amino acids, vitamins, minerals, proteins, and xylitol.
Because of the tree’s natural purification process, you can technically drink the water straight from the source (similarly to maple syrup or coconut water). When we say birch juice extract, we’re talking about this tree-to-cup, water-like substance, and it is a dream ingredient for your skin!
Birch juice’s benefits:
As mentioned, birch juice is chock-full in skin-loving nutrients. It’s also incredibly hydrating, and its molecules are very tiny, allowing the skin to better absorb it.
Charlotte Cho told PopSugar, “Birch juice is being called the next coconut water for the skin thanks to its abundance of amino acids, sugars, and minerals…it helps your skin to retain moisture and maintain a positive oil-moisture balance. And it has increasingly been replacing water in many Korean beauty products.”
Most notably, birch juice contains vitamin B3, a niacinamide that helps even out your complexion, and vitamin C, which does more of the same while also brightening and stimulating cell turnover. It also boasts amino acids, enzymes, proteins, and antioxidants that help bolster the skin’s barrier function, refine skin texture, and protect it from environmental factors. These nutrients also help reduce inflammation, and make it especially wonderful for sensitive or irritated skin.
Remember how Charlotte said that birch juice is replacing water in many Korean skin care products? That’s precisely the case with Cosrx Oil-Free Ultra Moisturizing Lotion, which contains 70% birch sap to help calm and soothe sensitive, irritated, and freshly exfoliated skin. It can be used daily in the morning or at night.
Another great product to try is Neogen Real Ferment Micro Essence which, as the name implies, is comprised of 93% naturally fermented ingredients. Those include bifida ferment lysate, a yeast that reverses and prevents UV-related damage, and saccharomyces ferment filtrate to brighten, hydrate, and to encourage cell turnover. In addition to those two ingredients, it contains 17% birch juice to promote absorption and hydration.
Finally, let’s talk about the entire Enature Birch Juice Hydro line, which puts birch juice front and center as the hero ingredient. This line includes the Birch Juice Hydro Serum, Emulsion, Essence Skin, Hydro Mist, and Sleeping Pack. Enature also makes a Callus Phyto-Eye Serum, which utilizes birch sap along with edelweiss flower extract, adenium flower extract, and hyaluronic acid to combat eye aging. All these products can be layered for max effect, or used individually depending on your skincare needs.