The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of chamomile have made it one of the go-to plants for anyone who wants to soothe inflamed skin. In fact, the tea has some fantastic benefits for acne-prone skin. But what about the essential oil – is chamomile oil good for acne?
Like many essential oils, chamomile oil has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that could be helpful for acne. Furthermore, some studies show that chamomile oil has some antibacterial properties against p. acnes, which is the bacterium associated with pimples.
In addition, we can’t ignore the simple fact that chamomile oil is used in a variety skincare products…it really is a skin-friendly oil (as long as it’s used safely).
Now, to help you understand understand how you could potentially benefits from using chamomile oil for acne, this article is going to cover:
- General benefits and research around the use of chamomile oil on the skin.
- Which type of chamomile oil to use for acne.
- How to safely use chamomile oil to clear up the skin (including an anti-acne spot treatment that you can make at home).
BENEFITS OF CHAMOMILE OIL FOR THE FACE
Both anecdotal and scientific reports indicate that chamomile essential oil is particularly helpful for inflamed skin. This seems to mainly be due to chamazulene, a compound that has both anti-allergy and anti-inflammatory benefits (source).
Now, here are some examples of the research regarding the benefits of chamomile oil for the skin:
- In a study comparing chamomile oil with other essential oils, chamomile oil exhibited promising antimicrobial properties against p acnes (the bacterium that is linked to acne). More specifically, chamomile oil completely killed p acnes after 20 minutes (source). Overall, chamomile performed better than oils like ginger (which was effective after 45 minutes) but less better than oils like rose and lavender (which were effective in 5 minutes).
- Human study shows that chamomile oil doesn’t just sit on top of the skin; it is absorbed into the deeper layers of the skin. This makes it beneficial for soothing inflamed and irritated skin (source).
- An animal study done with mice showed that compared to a placebo, 3% chamomile oil is effective at relieving atopic dermatitis (aka the most common type of eczema). Now, it might be tempting to write off these results because it’s mice, not humans. But keep in mind that the success (or failure) of remedies that are tested on mice usually predicts their success (or failure) in humans.
CAN YOU APPLY CHAMOMILE OIL DIRECTLY TO THE SKIN?
Chamomile essential oil should never be applied directly onto the skin. Instead, it should be diluted in a carrier oil and then the resulting blend can be used topically. Not only does dilution prevent burns, irritation and other mishaps, but it slows down the evaporation of the essential oil. Ultimately, this enhances the skin’s ability to absorb the oil.
There’s a lot that goes into using essential oils safely and effectively in our beauty routine. Not only is dilution necessary, but you also need to know which essential oils are safe for the skin and how much you can safely use.
If you’d like more details on this aspect, don’t miss out on reading this complete guide on how to dilute essential oils for the skin.
WHICH CHAMOMILE ESSENTIAL OIL IS BEST FOR SKIN?
Both Roman and German chamomile essential oils have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that are beneficial for the skin. In addition, animal and human studies that have been done on the topical use of chamomile show successful results with both types of chamomile.
In addition, one of the studies I cited earlier in this article mentions that Roman chamomile is frequently used in cosmetics for its skin soothing and softening properties.
But on the flip side, the essential oil retailer, Eden’s Garden, states that German chamomile is better suited for inflamed or sensitive skin (source).
So, which one should you use? The best way to know is to test one of them. If it works out, great! If it doesn’t then test the other variety.
No matter how much research has been done on an oil, it’s still important to approach skin care with the mindset of “exploration.”
It’s all about finding what works for your skin.
HOW TO USE CHAMOMILE ESSENTIAL OIL FOR PIMPLES
The most effective way to use chamomile essential oil for acne breakouts is to make a spot treatment. To do this, you’ll need a few basic ingredients:
- Chamomile oil: choose from German or Roman chamomile.
- Carrier oil: this is necessary for diluting the chamomile oil. Common carrier choices are jojoba, almond and coconut oil. However, since we’re dealing with acne, you might want to actually consider using evening primrose oil as your carrier. Evening primrose contains essential fatty acids, which are potent anti-inflammatory agents that can be very helpful for the skin (source).
- Glass bottle: to store your DIY chamomile anti-acne remedy.
DIY Chamomile Oil Acne Spot Treatment
4 drops chamomile essential oil
Carrier oil such as evening primrose oil
10ml glass bottle (ideally one that has a dropper)
- Add the essential oil drops into the glass bottle
- Fill with carrier oil.
- Close the bottle and shake to mix.
- To use, apply a drop onto the spot you’re treating (or if your bottle doesn’t have a dropper, dip a Q-tip into the bottle and dab onto pimples). If you need to cover a larger area, simply release a larger amount of the blend from your dropper. Then massage over the desired area of your face.
- This recipe uses a 1.5% dilution. That’s considered the maximum safest dilution level when applying essential oils onto the face. If you’d like to change the dilution level, make sure to first read this guide on how to dilute essential oils for the face.
WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS OF CHAMOMILE ESSENTIAL OIL?
If applied undiluted, chamomile oil can lead to redness, burns and other forms of irritation.
In addition, chamomile is related to ragweed. So if you’re allergic to ragweed then you might have an allergic reaction to chamomile oil as well.
As mentioned before, do not apply undiluted chamomile oil to your skin because this can lead to severe or permanent skin damage.
FAQS ABOUT CHAMOMILE OIL AND ACNE
Does chamomile oil clog pores?
There’s no evidence that essential oils like chamomile oil can clog pores. However, because essential oils are always diluted in a carrier oil, there’s a possibility that the carrier oil might be comedogenic. So, it’s important to choose a non-comedogenic carrier oil like jojoba oil.
Also, keep in mind that an oil that is comedogenic for one person may not have the same effect on another person. Therefore, it’s best to test and see which carrier oil your skin actually responds to.
How do I apply chamomile tea to my face?
To apply chamomile tea to your face, you can brew a standard herbal tea with 1 cup of boiling water and 1 tablespoon of dried chamomile flowers. Steep the leaves for 5 minutes then allow to cool down to room temperature. At this point you can use a cotton ball to apply it as a toner.
For more on how chamomile tea can improve acne and more ideas on how to use it, check out this article on the benefits of chamomile tea for acne.
Is chamomile good for sensitive skin?
When used in the tea form, both German and Roman chamomile is soothing and calming for sensitive skin. As for the essential oil, some sources state that German chamomile is better suited for sensitive and inflamed skin.
Is chamomile oil good for oily skin?
Chamomile is a natural astringent and as such can be beneficial for oily skin. Whether or not the essential oil retains those astringent properties is unclear.
Although chamomile oil may not be as fast as rose or lavender oils when it comes to killing acne-causing bacteria, it still has many properties that make it useful for acne-prone skin.
So, if you’re thinking about using essential oils to help clear your skin, you might want to consider testing out chamomile for yourself.
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