Using Chamomile For Skin
Both Roman and German chamomile boast a variety of whole-body benefits, but they are also widely used in commercial skin care and cosmetic products. Numerous scientific studies have focused on the skin-boosting properties of this flowering herb for both everyday skin care and as a topical treatment for common skin issues. Learn how chamomile can help your skin and how to add this versatile herb to your daily regimen.
Chamomile Tea Benefits for Skin
Chamomile’s anti-inflammatory properties are well known, making it good for treating anxiety and mild insomnia, but the same compounds responsible for this effect also help soothe your skin. Chamomile has shown antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant and analgesic properties, which help it provide the following benefits:
- Calms redness and irritation. Historically, chamomile has been used to treat eczema, diaper rash and general skin irritation.
- Counteracts sun damage. Levomenol is found in chamomile and is known for reducing photodamage and improving skin elasticity.
- Speeds wound healing. Chamomile is a traditional treatment for burns and mouth ulcers, and one study showed that chamomile may be more effective at healing wounds than corticosteroids.
- Treats acne. Chamomile’s soothing effect and antibacterial properties combine to calm acne breakouts and kill the bacteria that is the root cause.
While chamomile can be a natural alternative if you’re looking to improve the texture and appearance of your skin, if you have a skin condition, it’s important to check with your doctor or dermatologist before using chamomile, especially if you are on any other kinds of medications.
Types of Chamomile Products
While most people know chamomile best in tea form, this herb can also be prepared as an extract, essential oil, tincture, capsule and tablet. Chamomile works well when planted outdoors as a ground cover, but it also may be possible to grow it for home use as a potted plant. Drying the flowers to use in tea or capsules is easy to do at home, but tinctures and oils can be more complicated.
If you don’t have a green thumb or prefer to get your skin care products already made and ready to use, you can find chamomile-infused skin care products at health food stores and online retailers. Offerings range from bar soap and facial cleanser to lotions and exfoliating scrubs. Make sure to read the ingredient list for any products you are considering — especially if you have sensitive skin — as many natural skin care products include a combination of herbs and botanical extracts.
Adding Chamomile to Your Skin Care Routine
While it may take longer to see a difference, drinking a cup or two of chamomile tea is one of the easiest ways to start adding chamomile in to your daily routine. Drinking it about an hour before bed gives you the added bonus of helping you relax and fall asleep easier. You can also use the cooled tea bags as a dark circles remedy. Place the tea bags over your eyes for approximately 20 minutes a few times a week for best results.
Using chamomile-infused skin care products also makes it easy to bring the benefits of this soothing herb to your skin. If you have normal or dry skin, apply a lightweight facial moisturizer twice a day — morning and night. Unless you have very oily skin, it’s best to only cleanse once a day at night because over cleansing can cause dry skin and make certain conditions, such as eczema, worse. If you are using a body scrub or facial exfoliator, start by applying just once a week to protect sensitive skin.