Boswellia cream is a facial cream marketed towards those who wish to prevent or lessen the effects of aging on the skin. It is derived from the sap of a Boswellia tree, also known as frankincense. Frankincense has a long history of being used in medicine and is even now being researched as a possible treatment for arthritis.
The frankincense used to create Boswellia cream is harvested from the Boswellia tree, which sometimes can be found growing out of solid rock. The plant's bark is slashed in several places, so that the resin drips out and hardens into "tears". The tears are then collected for use in incense and cosmetics. When pure, the resin is edible and is commonly prescribed for digestive and skin ailments in Asia.
The history of Boswellia cream being used as a skin treatment comes from the tradition of frankincense being held sacred in Egypt. Though the exact time of when frankincense was first traded is difficult to pinpoint, it was reportedly used widely in religious rituals before the birth of Christ. Around the 4th century Anno Domini (AD), the trade in frankincense ended in response to the growth of Christianity. Biblical accounts report that frankincense was brought to the baby Jesus at his birth as a gift to mark the beginning of a new life.
Though the consistency of Boswellia cream varies by what the manufacturer decides to put into it, the cream often carries the scent of the frankincense used to produce it. It can be heavy and oily in consistency. Such creams are suggested for moisturizing dry skin, or for use as a night cream applied before bed. Though the cream is named for frankincense, it has additional ingredients. Other natural herbs such as wolfberry may also be used in it.
Though reports from those who use this cream vary, there has been no formal study to ascertain whether or not frankincense truly helps minimize wrinkles. None of the ingredients in Boswellia cream are known for producing collagen, a protein which helps keep the skin elastic and wrinkle-free. There has been some success, however, in studying Boswellia cream for relieving inflammatory diseases. This gives implications that the cream can be used to treat disorders such as arthritis, inflammation of the bowels, and asthma. Another ingredient found in the cream may also facilitate the flow of nutrients and oxygen in the skin.