Spiraea Ulmaria Extract



Spiraea Ulmaria Extract at a glance

  • Calms factors in skin that would otherwise lead to signs of irritation
  • Helps reduce sensitivity-related redness
  • Potential to inhibit an oil-triggering enzyme in skin
  • Antioxidants, flavonoids and phenolic acids in meadowsweet are believed to be the key contributors of this ingredient’s benefits
  • Contrary to claims on the internet, this is not a natural exfoliating alternative to salicylic acid

Spiraea Ulmaria Extract description

_Spiraea ulmaria_ extract, commonly known as meadowsweet, is a plant whose various parts have been shown to calm factors in skin that lead to signs of irritation. Antioxidants compounds such as flavonoids and phenolic acids are believed to be the key contributors to this benefit. _Spiraea ulmaria_ is also a natural source of salicylates such as salicin, and it is sometimes claimed to be a natural source of the exfoliating ingredient salicylic acid. However, this comparison doesn’t hold up because the salicylates require a digestive system to convert to salicylic acid (this process doesn’t happen on skin). On the plus side, these compounds share salicylic acid’s skin-soothing benefits, so there’s benefit in that regard. This yellow-to-amber-colored plant extract seems to inhibit an enzyme in skin (5-alpha reductase) that can trigger excess oil production. Therefore, it’s likely that meadowsweet will have a noticeable positive effect for those struggling with oily skin. Standard usage levels of this ingredient aren’t firmly defined; however, amounts between 0.5–1% are necessary for helping control signs of oily skin. Antioxidant and soothing benefits are seen in much lower amounts, a testament to the potency of this plant. It is not known to sensitise or otherwise irritate skin.

Spiraea Ulmaria Extract references

  • Journal of Applied Research on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, December 2017, pages 1-26
  • Journal of Ethnopharmacology, December 2016, pages 627-636 and pages 652-666
  • Phytotherapy Research, April 2013, pages 588-594

Peer-reviewed, substantiated scientific research is used to assess ingredients in this dictionary. Regulations regarding constraints, permitted concentration levels and availability vary by country and region.

Ingredient ratings


Proven and supported by independent studies. Outstanding active ingredient for most skin types or concerns.


Necessary to improve a formula's texture, stability, or penetration.


Generally non-irritating but may have aesthetic, stability, or other issues that limit its usefulness.


There is a likelihood of irritation. Risk increases when combined with other problematic ingredients.


May cause irritation, inflammation, dryness, etc. May offer benefit in some capability but overall, proven to do more harm than good.


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Not rated

We have not yet rated this ingredient because we have not had a chance to review the research on it.