Cork Oak – A truly renewable anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredient

A study was highlighted in this month’s Cosmetics & Toiletries journal that evaluated the anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, free radical scavenging, anti-aging, and anti-fungal properties of the Quercus Suber L. species or cork oak. Cork oak is found in approximately 6.6 million acres of Mediterranean forest in Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. It is especially unique because it is a truly renewable resource, it has the capacity to regenerate after cork extraction, producing a new thick layer of its bark. In fact, cork oak is the only tree which you can remove all of the bark without harming the trunk at all.

The study concluded that QSB particles had meaningful synergistic protection against oxidative stress and in vitro studies revealed QSB to demonstrate antioxidant activity and the capacity to inhibit the oxidation of other molecules!!! This is a picture of “The Whistler Tree” which is Portugal’s oldest and largest cork oak tree.

The Whistler Tree (credit:

It was planted in 1783 and stands 45 feet tall and 13 feet wide and has harvested more than 20 times in its lifetime.

Some interesting facts about cork oak:

  • For over 240 years, cork has been an indispensable material in the original BIRKENSTOCK insole. However, its beauty benefits were only discovered recently by scientists in the cosmetics industry.  Last year, the shoe company officially launched its first skincare line with 28 skin care products containing an anti-aging substance found in Cork Oak Extract.
  • A natural extract called suberin is taken from the cell walls (outer layers) of cork oak. Suberin gives cork its elasticity, so on your skin, it can help promote suppleness.
  • A single cork tree can cork 4,000 bottles.
  • Here are 2 ingredient manufacturers that sell a cork oak ingredient:

Suberlift™ biofunctional

Displays an instant smoothing, lifting and tensor effect and helps improve skin roughness.


Diam Oléoactif® effectively combines the cork oak and coconut active ingredients to create a unique highly protective complex for sensitive and reactive skin. Tests carried out have demonstrated its double anti-inflammatory and anti-free radical efficacy. It provides a natural shield against “inflammaging”—part of the aging process characterized by chronic, low-grade inflammation.

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