Willow bark is a natural herbal extract that has been used for centuries as a medicine to relieve pain, inflammation, and fever. Willow bark contains salicin, which is where salicylic acid comes from, due to this, they have very similar topical benefits. These include exfoliation and anti-inflammatory properties which aid in treating acne, breakouts, blackheads, and whiteheads. Continuous use will also prevent these skin conditions. Willow bark is pretty much a gentler version of salicylic acid.