Chamomile in Skin Care

Chamomile in skin care 

Chamomile (Chamomila Recutita) is a flower in the Asteraceae species commonly used as a tea leaf; it serves many functions in skin care too.

Since the days of ancient Greece, scholars and scientists at the level of Hippocrates (the father of medicine) have recognized the beneficial attributes of chamomile. (18)

It is anti-inflammatory, contains antioxidants, and has uses in acne treatments as well. 

Hyperpigmentation treatments may contain chamomile extract in combination with tyrosinase inhibiting and other skin lightening ingredients.

It is one of the seven most commonly used and studied herbs in medicine. (19,8)

To find out if chamomile is right for your skin care routine, whether it is safe for your skin, and what it is capable of, keep reading this article and take our skin type questionnaire!

What is chamomile extract?

Chamomile extract is a liquid pressed from chamomile leaves and petals.

Chamomile extract is used across skin care and general medicine for centuries to treat various skin conditions such as eczema, acne, rosacea, skin inflammation, and hyperpigmentation. (5,6,7)

It is rich in anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, hydrating, and antimicrobial properties.

It has a floral, desirable aroma; it is often considered an essential oil.

Because it does not have any fatty acids, it is not a dry oil, nor a true oil.

What are the active compounds?

The most significant active compounds in chamomile extract are the terpenoids chamazulene and a-bisabolol (AKA levomenol). (4,14)

Bisabolol is a potent anti-inflammatory compound, and is essential to the functions of chamomile extract, composing half of its oil weight. (22)

Other notable compounds found in chamomile extract are the terpenoid matricine and the flavonoids apigenin, luteolin, and quercetin.

The flavonoids present in chamomile extract are known effective anti-histamines which help with itching, as well as for their antioxidant properties. (24,27)

Chamomile benefits

The traditional uses of chamomile are as an anti-inflammatory for conditions such as eczema, gout, and even some discomfort related to arthritis. (1,12,16)

It has even demonstrated significant benefits towards wound healing on the skin. (13)

There are antimicrobial, antioxidant, and moisturizing benefits commonly attributed to chamomile extract as well.


Chamomile is generally considered as safe for use in skin care unless you have an allergy to it.

In skin care, there is some evidence to support it causing contact dermatitis on the skin following topical use of chamomile. (20,47)

In most cases, allergic reactions to chamomile appear to be minimal, and only happen to individuals with a specific relevant allergy to chamomile. (48)

It has also been deemed safe for use in cosmetics by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review panel.

Chamomile is one of the most common allergens used regularly in skin care, so it is extremely important to your skin health that you determine whether or not you are also allergic to it if you plan on purchasing/applying chamomile products.

Depending on where your chamomile was grown, there are actually different levels of allergenicity present in the ingredient.

It is particular chemicals within chamomile such as anthocotulide that cause allergic reactions, and some varieties of the plant contain more of some allergenic chemicals than other varieties do. (7)


Chamomile extract is a common allergen in skin care. It is a member of the Asteraceae species, so if you are allergic to ragweed, daisies, fever few and dahlias, you are likely to also be allergic to chamomile. (71)

Products that commonly cause allergic reactions containing chamomile can include facial cleansers, soaps, serums, lotions, creams and room sprays.

Reports have shown that it can cause contact dermatitis (irritation, redness) if you have an allergy to it. (28,54)

If you are allergic to chamomile as a tea, you are likely also allergic to it as a skin care ingredient.

Is it safe?

Chamomile extract is considered safe for topical use in many circumstances, barring known allergy or other related sensitivities.

If you are not allergic to chamomile, it can be safe for use in your regimen.


Chamomile extract has long been used for multiple functions in skin care such as an anti-inflammation and photodamage prevention treatment. (18)

It is also a natural moisturizer despite not containing any fatty acids, because it increases fluid permeability on the outer layers of skin (the stratum corneum). (18,34,35)

However, it should be included with barrier repair moisturizers to treat dry skin and eczema.


Chamomile extract is safe for use while you have acne because it is not comedogenic, and it can eliminate acne causing bacteria on the skin.

Products that clog pores often contain specific comedogenic fatty acids like stearic acid, but chamomile extract does not.

There are many effective acne routines depending on your skin type, so be sure to shop by your Baumann Skin Type for the best acne products for you!


Chamomile can be quite good to use in treatments of eczema depending on your skin type and personal skin concerns.

Chamomile contains the compound levomenol, a natural moisturizing agent, as well as chamazulene which is known to sooth inflammation. These compounds together in chamomile are considered good for treating eczema.

Dark spots

Chamomile extract does have some skin lightening capabilities, meaning it can be used in the treatment of many kinds of hyperpigmentation such as dark spots.

Skin lightening ingredients derived from natural sources, like chamomile or rose oil, are best used together with other skin lighteners like tyrosinase inhibitors, PAR-2 blockers, or unsaturated oils.

Chamomile could be good in treatments of melasma, PIH, or freckles.


Chamomile has been shown to demonstrate some antioxidant properties in multiple studies. (26)

Antioxidants bind free radicals on the skin, keeping them from causing long term damage to the skin, preventing skin aging.

Like many anti-aging ingredients, they are only really effective as part of a whole routine that targets each of the factors responsible for skin aging.

Which products contain chamomile?

Whenever you shop for skin care products, it is important to keep your skin type in mind.

Shopping with your custom skin care regimen can make a huge difference in the effectiveness of your skin care.

Here are some of our favorite products containing chamomile:

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Here are some of the best references on chamomile in skin care:

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59. Wilkinson SM, Hausen BM, Beck MH. Allergic contact dermatitis from plant extracts in a cosmetic. Contact Dermatitis. 33:58, 1995.

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66. Mamalis A, Nguyen DH, Brody N, et al. The active natural anti-oxidant properties of chamomile, milk thistle, and halophilic bacterial components in human skin in vitro. J Drugs Dermatol. 12:780, 2013.

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