Boswellia Review

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Editor's Review: 3.3 / 5.0

What You Should Know

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One of the newest trends to hit skincare shelves is an extract hailing from the hills of rural India, aptly called Boswellia. For centuries Indians have used this extensively to treat joint issues, and it has only recently joined the western world as a cure-all for stubborn wrinkles and fine lines — and according to L’Oreal, the company that first began using Boswellia in its anti-wrinkle cream, this extract works. Despite the controversy surrounding its Boswellia-based offering (it has been slammed for making inaccurate claims about this extract), it is still considered today’s newest trend in modern skincare.

Boswellia itself is fairly cheap on its own — visiting your local natural foods store should yield some results — but plenty of anti-wrinkle creams offer this ingredient in their product as well. Boswellia itself is designed solely to be an anti-inflammatory for joints and muscles, so for those seeking a complete anti-wrinkle product, they may want to purchase a commercial product instead. Either way you go, you won’t spend more than $30.00 per bottle. With all the controversy surrounding this legendary Indian extract, what exactly is so special about it? Boswellia itself is not well researched, but some companies claim that it help prevent wrinkles on the face in a Botox-like fashion. The facts don’t match its claim, however.

Product Details

Very little research has been conducted on this leaf extract, but the research that has been done shows no link between its benefits and the skin — more specifically, stubborn wrinkles and signs of aging. Research shows that Boswellia helps relieve pain, sometimes better than traditional pain relievers, and relaxes muscles when applied topically. This extract is very popular with people suffering from arthritis and is recommended by many herbalists. This is about as far as research goes, however, and other companies, such as L’Oreal, have taken the liberty of making their own claims based on this evidence. They believe that Boswellia helps relax facial muscles (the main cause of wrinkles aside from weak skin cells) and will therefore prevent the formation of wrinkles. They even go so far as to say Boswellia reverses wrinkle formation, but no evidence why is provided.

It should be noted that L’Oreal, the company that first used Boswellia in its anti-wrinkle cream, recently came under fire for making false claims about its product. There is currently no conclusive evidence supporting any anti-wrinkle benefits associated with Boswellia. This does not mean it does not have any – it simply has not been tested for this benefit. Consumers interested in Boswellia are neither at a disadvantage or advantage, and they will need to try it for themselves to see what results it produces.

The Good

  • Boswellia is known to be a natural, fairly effective anti-inflammatory.

The Bad

  • There are no studies concluding any positive effects when applied on the face.
  • Some side effects seem to include skin rash and diarrhea, if used in excess.


Boswellia is relatively new to the western world, and currently no studies have evaluated its anti-wrinkle potential. Its anti-wrinkle benefits cannot be guaranteed or denied, and consumers interested in it should try it for themselves to gage how effective it is, or wait and see the results of further corporate testing.

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One Comment/Question/Answer to Boswellia

  • 1

    Susan Taylor

    Boswellia proven safe to use for arthritic cats (ie in Cosequin for Cats)?

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