In addition to the traditional medicinal uses of the Chamomile plant discussed earlier, Chamomile extract can be used to treat a variety of cosmetic and surface-level ailments like acne, skin discoloration, skin irritations, rashes, and many others. A few of Chamomile extract's topical uses include:
1. Helps in Faster Wound Healing
Chamomile extract's high content of α-bisabolol and apigenin will reduce inflammation, cleanse the wound, bring much needed moisture to the damaged tissues, and soothe any discomfort. This combination of effects will increase the rate of cell regeneration and accelerate the healing process.
2. Minimizes Skin Aging
Premature skin aging can be caused by various different sources. Among these causes are ionizing radiation, excessive physical or psychological stress, overconsumption of alcohol, poor nutrition, and UV radiation. These various sources of free radicals accelerate the aging process of the cells that compose our skin.
α-bisabolol has been shown to inhibit the production of new free radicals when present in concentrations of 7.7-31microg/mL. Due to α-bisabolol’s high concentration in Chamomile extract, it may serve as a deterrent in the production of new free radicals that could cause premature signs of aging.
3. Fades Dark Spots and Hyperpigmentation
Hyperpigmentation is the technical term for the darkening of the skin. This darkening is usually caused by contact dermatitis, inflammatory skin conditions like acne and psoriasis, and contact with skin allergens. Similarly to the way that the sun causes our bodies to produce melanin, tanning our skin, these conditions can cause the body to produce excessive melanin at the location of the irritation. This is what is responsible for the darkening of the skin.
α-bisabolol has been shown to be capable of inhibiting the melanogenesis, or our body's production of melanin, which causes unwanted and unsightly hyperpigmentation of the skin. This makes chamomile a great ingredient in topical treatments for dark spots on the skin.
4. Relieves Eczema and Dermatitis
Thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties of Chamomile extract, it can be used as a topical treatment for the symptoms of pronounced skin irritations like eczema and dermatitis. The terpenoids chamazulene and α-bisabolol are responsible for the reduction of inflammation. The topical application of the Chamomile extract is effective because it allows the 2 terpenoids to inhibit the signaling of an enzyme involved in the inflammation process.
One of the best methods for treating eczema or dermatitis is to dilute about 10-15 drops of the extract in a bathtub and soak the afflicted area for approximately 15-20 minutes. If you aren't a fan of baths, you can always create a warm compress instead.
5. Moisturizes Dry Scalp
With the winter quickly approaching, many people tend to suffer from a dry and itchy scalp. To avoid those embarrassing white flakes and the discomfort, try doing a hot oil treatment for your hair. Heat up a carrier oil like coconut oil or jojoba oil in a pot until it’s warm to the touch. Once heated, add a few drops of Chamomile extract. The terpenoid α-bisabolol in Chamomile extract is known to assist in the binding of moisture and will help to soften and add suppleness to the scalp.
6. Enhances Skin Penetration
In addition to having its own benefits when applied topically, Chamomile extract is also a penetration enhancer, which can improve the absorption of other topical products into the skin. The increased penetration into the skin makes Chamomile extract a useful additive to moisturizing creams and lotions.
Although there are a few other substances that can penetrate the barriers of the skin, Chamomile extract is particularly well suited for the job. Chamomile extract's success as a skin permeating agent can be attributed to its high content of the terpenes chamazulene and α-bisabolol, as well as, its natural and non-toxic nature.
Warnings and Potential Side Effects
Due to the many medicinal and cosmetic uses of Chamomile extract, you may be anxious to get your hands on some. You should, however, always exercise caution when experimenting with new herbal remedies. Although allergic reactions to Chamomile and its extracts are rare, they are possible. Several studies have been conducted on the safety of the consumption of Chamomile and its extracts. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review deemed Matricaria Recutita and its extract as non-irritants and safe for use in cosmetics, whereas the FDA has classified the primary active constituent, α-bisabolol, as Generally Regarded as Safe (GRAS). People with known allergies to plants of the same family, such as daisies, ragweed, marigolds, and chrysanthemums should exercise caution before consuming Chamomile or its purified forms.