For millennia, chamomile has been used all over the world as a herb to treat ailments like inflammation, rheumatic pain, muscle spasms, hay fever, gastrointestinal as well as menstrual and even anxiety and mild insomnia.
Although our ancestors may not have understood all the scientific details behind the ways chamomile benefits our health, they found many ways this humble plant can help. Chamomile is antibacterial, sedative, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial.
In ancient times, chamomile tea was used by the Indians, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans to treat wounds and promote healing. When drunk, it can ease upset stomachs, heartburn, nausea, and install a sense of calm for body and mind. As it has been used so widely for such a long time, it comes as no surprise that chamomile made the jump into skincare.
Chamomile is a herb. It is a shrub-like plant with flowers that look like daisies. It grows wild throughout the world. There are three types of chamomile: Roman chamomile (or English), German chamomile, and Moroccan chamomile. German Chamomile and Roman Chamomile are widely used in skincare. They are often used interchangeably.
Chamomile contains a long list of phytochemicals and phytochemicals which are individually known for their anti-inflammatory properties. These compounds are known to speed up cell regeneration, reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and scars.
Apigenin can improve the skin barrier function. The skin barrier is the outermost skin layer. When it is weakened, irritants can penetrate more easily and lead to irritation and sensitivity. Apigenin is an anti-inflammatory compound and can reduce DNA oxidative damage as well inhibit the growth of human cancer cells.
Bisabolol is a compound which helps protect the plant against fungal attacks. This compound has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-irritant, anti-fungal, and non-allergenic properties. It boosts tissue regeneration and has the potential to improve the absorption of other products on the skin.
Chamazulene is anti-inflammatory and thus provides soothing, calming, and healing properties. This ingredient reduces skin redness and irritation. It also stimulates cell regeneration. This compound is responsible for the blue color in the chamomile essential oil.
These three active ingredients have antioxidative properties. They help promote skin health to bring out an inner glow and even fade dark spots and under-eye circles (chilled chamomile tea bags can lighten the under-eye area and reduce puffiness).
Chamomile is a suitable ingredient for all skin types. It is especially suited to sensitive skin types that are prone to inflammation with its strong anti-inflammatory properties.
Chamomile is considered a very gentle plant. Even with the Bisabolol, the nonallergenic compound, allergic reactions have been reported. If you’re allergic to ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, or daisies you are most likely also allergic to chamomile. Always do a patch test before using chamomile or products, just like with any other products.
Adding Chamomile To Your Skincare Routine
The easiest way to add chamomile to your skincare routine is to start drinking a cup or two of chamomile tea. This way of including it into your skincare will take longer for you the see the effects. You can reap additional benefits like a more restful sleep when you drink it about an hour before going to bed.
If you use tea bags to brew your tea, don’t throw them away. You can use them for your skincare, for example as eye masks.
You can try the following recipes to soothe your skin:
You will need:
- 2 tbsp dried chamomile flowers
- 1 cup of water
- small towel or cloth
Bring the cup of water to boil. When it starts to boil add 2 tablespoons of dried chamomile flowers and let it boil 5 minutes. Let it stand for 3 minutes then strain the infusion into a bottle. You can store the bottle in the fridge. To make the mask, soak your towel in the cold infusion and apply it onto your skin. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes then rinse off.
Chamomile And Aloe Vera Mask
You will need:
Before you apply the mask, cleanse your face.
Gradually the chamomile infusion with the cosmetic clay and mix until you get a smooth paste. Add the other ingredients and mix until smooth. Relax for 15 minutes then rinse off. This mask will refresh and calm irritated skin.
Chamomile Essential Oil
If you want more convenience, you may want to consider using chamomile essential oil. The essential oil is extracted from Roman and German chamomile. The Roman chamomile oil has a watery viscosity and smells sweet, apple-like. The German chamomile smells more like straw and has a thicker consistency. Both types of oil are varying shades of blue.
Add 1-2 drops to your favorite toner or moisturizer. You can also add a small amount to your body lotion.
Calm Skin Irritation
You will need:
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1-2 drop of chamomile essential oil
Mix both oils. You can also mix more and keep a small bottle to the side. Dab this mix on your skin to calm any kind of irritation your skin might be experiencing. It will also moisturize your skin and add radiance.
If you want to relax before you go to bed but don’t want to brew the tea, add a few drops to a clean piece of cloth and inhale.
Add a few drops to a diffuser or apply to bottoms of feet at bedtime for a deep slumber.
Let us know in the comments below how you use chamomile in your skincare.