Chamomile is one of the most popular and well-known clean ingredients. It’s used far and wide in homeopathic remedies, incense, teas, cooking, and aromatherapy. Today, we’ll be focusing on chamomile benefits (and more specifically, its extract) as a skincare ingredient.
Chamomile is a small flowering plant indigenous to eastern and southern Europe. Due to it's ability to grow under cooler conditions, it has spread to many other regions of the world. There are two key types of chamomile, which itself is a member of the Asteraceae family. These are German chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) and the less frequently used English chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile).
Belonging to the same family as daisies, it bears a strikingly similar resemblance to the flower but is typically much smaller in size. Because of this, in the wild is often mistaken as “mini daisies.”
As the name suggests, Germany is the largest producer and is the origin of the highest-quality product. One thing about the plant that makes it very sustainable, is that even when the oil is extracted, the chamomile flower can still be dried and made into herbal teas.
Historically, is one of the oldest medicinal herbs in the world. So, when you settle down to relax with a cup of chamomile tea, you’re connecting yourself to the plant’s long, rich heritage. It is also used to help reduce inflammation both internal and external, such as indigestion, gum pain, and menstrual cramps. Though historical uses were not backed by science, today we can identify the chemicals that support these health benefits.
The benefits of chamomile extract
Despite that the plant itself is yellow and white, when extracted, the plant’s essential oil has a blue color. This is because it is composed of sesquiterpene derivatives—specifically chamazulene and Alpha-bisabolol. These are naturally-occurring chemicals found in plants and sometimes insects. They have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anti-tumor qualities.
In herbal medicine, it's used to treat multiple things, including anxiety, insomnia, muscle spasm, ulcers, and upset stomachs. As a potent anti-inflammatory, (brewed as a tea) treats sore throats and skin irritation.
In a study from 2010, German chamomile was used to treat induced eczema in mice. After four weeks of applying its oil, researchers saw a significant reduction in the dermatitis. Their conclusion was that German chamomile significantly reduces histamine reduction as well as itching and scratching.
Chamomile soothes skin through its anti-inflammatory properties and helps prevent the development of blackheads and acne caused by bacteria. In our Deeply Cleansing Milk, chamomile soothes the skin and helps it appear dewy and fresh after being washed.