Chamomile is one of the most popular herbs in existence. You may have heard how it can help with sleep and stress, but did you know that chamomile extract also has wonderful skin benefits?
While this sunshiny herb is great for all skin types, it especially helps aging and dry complexions. Chamomile has natural soothing properties that skin responds incredibly well to and also has some hidden anti-aging effects.
Here’s more on the story of chamomile and why you might want to add it to your skincare routine.
Chamomile for Skin, Sleep, Stress, and More
Chances are good you know at least a little bit about chamomile. Experts believe it has been used for close to 5000 years, and it is still one of the most consumed herbal teas today. It has sleep-promoting properties and acts as a natural stress-reliever, among many other benefits.
The daisy-like flowers of chamomile are where the power of this plant lies for humans. They are filled with unique plant compounds that have soothing, anti-aging, and brightening benefits for skin.
If you are looking to use chamomile for skincare or health, it’s important for you to know that there are two main types of this plant.
German chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) and Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) look similar and are used for similar purposes. However, German chamomile has been the most studied and contains unique compounds with skin-boosting properties.
So while both have been valued throughout history, German chamomile is the more proven of the two (and the one we focus on in this article).
What Is Chamomile Extract?
Chamomile tea is the most traditional preparation of this herb but difficult to use for skincare. Chamomile extract, on the other hand, is much more concentrated and stable, which makes it excellent for skincare products.
The extract is derived from the flowers and contains a concentrated source of certain plant compounds and essential oils. Chamomile is particularly high in azulene, a powerful compound that can give the extract a blue color.
By using chamomile extract, your skin gets the maximum amount of benefits in just a small amount. It’s one of the most gentle extracts for skin and can easily be formulated into lotions, creams, cleansers, and hair care products.
The Anti-Aging Power of Chamomile Extract
Full of Anti-Aging Antioxidants
Antioxidants are superstars for your skin. They protect against free radicals that can damage your skin and accelerate aging, which makes them incredibly important for younger-looking skin.
Your skin naturally has its own network of antioxidant defenders, but this can get depleted with age because of all the stressors that affect your skin daily. Replenishing antioxidants is a much-needed part of any skincare routine.
Chamomile extract is particularly rich in antioxidants known as flavonoids. It also contains a specific, very powerful antioxidant known as apigenin. Apigenin has demonstrated anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties in studies and is a major contributor to the anti-aging effects of chamomile.
Another antioxidant present in chamomile is quercetin. This particular antioxidant has been well-researched and also has anti-aging potential for skin. It may be most beneficial for having a restorative effect on skin tissue, helping to prevent premature aging.
Protects Collagen (and Boosts Synthesis)
Collagen is an incredibly important skin protein that has gotten a lot of buzz in the last few years. Its central role in keeping your skin looking youthful and healthy cannot be overstated.
To put it simply, collagen helps to keep your skin plump and thick, which is key to preventing wrinkles and other signs of aging. As collagen diminishes, your skin may start thinning, and you’ll likely notice more fine lines appearing.
Unfortunately, the decline of collagen is a natural part of aging- unless you take steps to reverse it.
Simply applying collagen to your skin is not effective because the molecules are too large to be absorbed. Instead, you should focus on skincare ingredients that protect and boost collagen synthesis.
Chamomile extract is one such ingredient, mainly because of its antioxidant content.
Among their other jobs, antioxidants help protect the integrity of collagen and keep it from being degraded by free radicals. Apigenin, specifically, has also been shown to induce collagen synthesis, which means it may help boost production!
Fades the Appearance of Photodamage & Hyperpigmentation
Photodamage is something that happens to your skin when it gets exposed to too much UV radiation from the sun. UV rays are one of the number one accelerators of the aging process. They can cause signs of aging like dark spots, wrinkles, and even skin cancer.
Hyperpigmentation is a specific aspect of photodamage (and the more formal name for ‘dark spots’). It happens when your skin overproduces a pigment known as melanin. Melanin normally fades when you spend time out of the sun (like when your tan fades over winter) but not with photodamage, which is what leads to hyperpigmentation.
Chamomile contains a compound known as bisbolol (also called levomenol) that has shown a lightening effect on pigmented skin in at least one study. It also can help other forms of photodamage by fading their appearance.
In short, applying the extract regularly in your routine can really help photodamaged skin!
Soothing Benefits of Chamomile Extract
Improves Skin Hydration & Elasticity
One of the reasons chamomile is so good for dry skin types is because it contains levomenol, a ‘natural moisturizing agent.’ This helps to improve the hydration of your skin but won’t make your skin feel oily or greasy.
Levomenol also has another benefit: improving elasticity.
Elasticity refers to your skin’s natural ability to stretch and then ‘bounce back’ into shape. When you start losing it, your skin begins looking more saggy, crinkled, or weathered. Again, this is something that happens naturally with time and can be accelerated by factors like environmental pollution, poor nutrition, and UV exposure.
By improving elasticity, the levomenol in chamomile may help to reverse these effects and has the added bonus of improving skin texture as well.
Reduces the Appearance of Redness
This means that chamomile extract can improve the appearance of skin that looks red or inflamed. Once again, this may be especially helpful if your skin is on the dry side and tends to get irritated and;or red.
As a case in point, chamomile tea is a frequently used and effective natural remedy for sunburn. It soothes the burn and helps your angry skin recover. In fact, chamomile is so effective that it’s approved by the German Commission E (similar to the FDA) for the treatment of skin inflammation!
Soothing for Sensitive Skin
With its hydrating and anti-inflammatory properties, it should come as no surprise that chamomile is excellent for sensitive skin. Studies have even shown that it has an anti-allergic effect when used on the skin, possibly improving sensitivity.
Chamomile may be one ingredient you want to try if your skin reacts to products frequently. Just make sure you’re applying something with pure chamomile extract in it and not a synthetic ingredient or fragrance.
Of course, the one exception to this is if you are allergic to chamomile. In this case, it may irritate your skin instead of calming it. Chamomile belongs to the daisy family, so use it carefully at first if you have allergies to other flowers in this group.
Beneficial for Wound Healing & Damaged Skin
Another impressive aspect of chamomile is its ability to speed wound healing. It has antimicrobial properties, which help protect wounds from infection, and also supports collagen synthesis. These both likely play a role in this specific benefit.
In one animal study, chamomile (in this case the Roman kind) was used as an ointment on infected wounds. It outperformed both the control group and a third group that used a conventional tetracycline ointment!
German chamomile has similar benefits and has even been shown to potentially help wounds heal faster than corticosteroids.
Of course, you most likely won’t want to use chamomile for wounds yourself, but this does mean it can be very helpful for any type of damaged skin. This could be from a lot of time spent outdoors, harsh chemical treatments, and so on.
Chamomile Extract for Bright & Clear Skin
Brightens Skin Tone
The same properties that help chamomile lower inflammation and reduce hyperpigmentation also give it an ability to brighten your skin. One compound that hasn’t been mentioned yet is chamazulene. It has anti-inflammatory properties (like apigenin and levomenol) and contributes to the brightening effect.
Chamomile is also mildly astringent, which means it helps to tone skin and tighten pores. This is another contribution to a brighter, healthier-looking complexion.
May Help With Breakouts
Acne is a complicated skin issue that often involves many factors: bacteria on the skin, hormones, overproduction of oil, etc. In general, it’s considered an inflammatory condition and can be a nuisance well past puberty.
Chamomile has a lot going for it when it comes to helping your skin stay clear. It has anti-inflammatory properties that can calm inflammation and redness. It has antimicrobial properties that may combat bacteria on your skin. The antioxidants in chamomile also go a long way toward keeping your skin in balance.
There’s also a misconception that oily skin is always responsible for acne. However, dry skin can trigger an overproduction of oil or sebum, which ends up clogging your pores.
Chamomile can help with this because it provides hydration to dry skin without making your skin more oily.
Finally, you already know that chamomile extract can fade the look of hyperpigmentation. This is true for dark patches of skin left by acne scars as well as for dark spots that come from the sun.
May Calm Other Skin Issues
With its ability to calm inflammation and soothe skin, chamomile has a lot of potential for skin issues of an inflammatory or itchy nature.
For example, animal studies indicate that it may help to calm dermatitis, a skin condition that involves an itchy rash. German chamomile oil applied to affected areas of skin was able to lower allergy markers and reduce scratching.
There’s also some evidence that chamomile has a positive effect on eczema and rosacea, particularly when used in a cream. One study even found that it slightly edged out a hydrocortisone cream for effectiveness.
Although these findings are still preliminary, chamomile has been used for all types of skin conditions for hundreds of years. It has an excellent safety profile, which makes it definitely worth a try! Just remember to test for an allergy before applying to large areas of skin.
Chamomile Extract for Anti-Aging Skincare
If you want to get all the benefits of chamomile in skincare that also has powerful anti-aging effects, look into two foundational products from Purity Woods.
First up is the Age-Defying Dream Cream, which contains soothing organic chamomile extract and other antioxidant-packed ingredients like astaxanthin. Of course, the chamomile contributes to skin hydration, but the Dream Cream has other superb moisturizers like mango seed butter, cacao butter, and aloe vera as well.
It also contains collagen-boosting vitamin C ingredients (like camu camu) as well as revolutionary elastin-boosting maple leaf extracts.
The entire formula is USDA Certified Organic, which means it works to quickly erase signs of aging like wrinkles, saggy skin, and dark spots without any toxins. It’s excellent for all skin types and deeply nourishing for your skin. Learn about the Age-Defying Dream Cream here.
For under-eye bags, fine lines, dark circles, and puffiness, use the
Age-Defying Eye Cream for targeted care. It’s formulated specifically for the delicate skin around your eyes- with none other than organic chamomile (and 20+ more pure botanicals).
It contains super-antioxidant ingredients like bakuchiol, sumac berry extract, and smartweed extract. Moisturizers like evening primrose oil and rosehip seed oil combine with the chamomile to hydrate and brighten the appearance of your eyes.
The eye cream is also 100% USDA Certified Organic and a truly natural way to rejuvenate old- and tired-looking eyes. Look into the Age-Defying Eye Cream for yourself here, and explore all the ways chamomile can benefit your skin!