We have been preaching the gospel of clean beauty for over 25 years.
Chamomile is one such holy grail ingredient that has a real affinity with the skin.
Let’s face it – mum always knows best, or so the saying goes; she knows the awesome healing powers of chamomile, especially when treating skin infections and chickenpox.
If you’re keen to know what mum knows and learn more about chamomile’s many under-the-radar benefits, then join us, as we look at how it solves one of the skin’s biggest issues: sensitivity.
The Chamomile Family
This family of exotic oils includes three chamomiles: German, Roman, and Moroccan.
The Chamomile plant belongs to the daisy family; the oil is extracted from flowers by steam distillation. Roman chamomile yields up to 1.7% from fresh flowers, and German chamomile yields about 0.5%. Roughly around 500 tonnes of Chamomile flowers are harvested per year – wow, that is a lot of flowers!
Like every family, there is always going to be a black sheep. In this case, it is Moroccan Chamomile. Its oil is obtained from the flower of ormenis multicaulis, and its chemical profile is quite different from the other chamomiles. It has no use in skincare or aromatherapy.
You can check out the awesome skin-loving benefits of German chamomile here.
Roman Chamomile is steam-distilled from the anthemis nobilis plant. The flowers have an apple-like scent, which is why it is often referred to as kamia melon, which means “ground apple”.
What makes Roman Chamomile so special is its high ester count which sits around 80%. Very few essential oils have such a high percentage of esters.
The really unique thing about these esters is that they are adaptogenic, meaning they respond to how the body is feeling. For instance, if the body is warm or cold or needs uplifting or sedating, esters help bring the body back into balance; promoting peace and harmony within the body. It also offers emotional stability and induces a gentleness of spirit in very stressful times.
Whilst this oil may not be as effective on skin conditions as its more famous German cousin; it is the unique characteristics of Roman Chamomile that we love to harness in our formulae, because of its affinity with the skin.
Chamomile’s Benefits in Skincare
So, what’s the big deal about chamomile? It’s an anti-phlogistic – meaning it reduces inflammation and fever and is an excellent wound healer – and it is extremely calming.
One of the major components of chamomile is α-bisabolol; let’s take a look at its benefits on the skin in more detail:
- an awesome anti-inflammatory and anti-irritant, which takes the fire out of the itch and helps to prevent redness and stinging
- α-bisabolol can penetrate the skin to promote production in the granular tissue under the stratum corneum, which improves the skin’s texture and elasticity as well as helping to reverse some of the damage done through UV exposure
- it is also thought to reduce transepidermal water loss (TEWL) for up to 48 hours
The other major property of chamomile is apigenin which also has potent anti-inflammatory properties. The skin absorbs apigenin well to inhibit adhesion between skin cells, leading to exfoliation of the upper and lower layers of the stratum corneum. Here is an interesting study on apigenin and inflammation.
This is why we harness the gorgeous anti-inflammatory properties of Chamomile Azulene in the Ceramide Barrier Repair Balm, with its serum-to-balm like texture, it infuses easily into the skin, replenishing missing ingredients in areas where your skin requires it the most.