Chamomile tea has some remarkable, skin-friendly properties that deserve to be front and center. In fact, if you’ve spent any amount of time looking into alternative acne remedies, you’ve probably already come across information stating that chamomile is beneficial for inflammatory skin conditions. But you might still be wondering “is chamomile tea good for acne?”
Here’s the quick answer:
Chamomile is a natural anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial herb that has historically been used to address a variety of skin conditions. In addition, studies show that chamomile tea has great potential when it comes to improving blood sugar, which is an important aspect of preventing and improving acne breakouts.
Now, there’s a whole lot more to what chamomile can do for your skin, including the fact that it speeds up the healing of damaged skin and also supports digestive health (also linked to acne).
So, in this post we’re going to cover the research about what chamomile has to offer, as well as:
- The different ways in which you can use chamomile tea for acne.
- Which type of chamomile to use.
- How much chamomile tea to drink for clear skin.
To start things off, let’s dive into the benefits that chamomile has to offer for the skin.
IS CHAMOMILE GOOD (AND SAFE) FOR YOUR SKIN?
Chamomile is a soothing and gentle herb with proven anti-inflammatory properties. These properties are the reason why it has a history of being used – both internally and externally – for various inflammatory conditions.
In addition, chamomile preparations are used topically without issue in most people (as long as you don’t have a chamomile allergy of course).
Now, when it comes to why chamomile is good for your face, most of the information comes from this extensive medical review paper. It covers the historical uses of this herb, as well as what modern research has to say about it. Feel free to refer to it if you want to dig deeper into all the various medicinal aspects of chamomile.
Now, here are the 5 main benefits of chamomile and how it could help with acne.
1. Regulates Blood Sugar
In a study done with 64 diabetic patients, those who drank chamomile tea with their meals had significantly lower blood sugar levels, compared to those who drank water (source).
Regulating blood sugar is an important aspect of improving acne because elevated blood sugar triggers inflammation.
And an increase in inflammation also means an increase in hormones that cause the sebaceous glands to produce more oil, ultimately making acne worse (source).
So, consider sipping on some chamomile tea throughout the day to help balance your blood sugar and skin.
2. Enhances Wound Healing
Some studies have shown that topical use of chamomile can actually speed up wound healing.
More specifically, chamomile speeds up the epithelialization process which occurs when epithelial cells in the skin move toward the top of the skin (in order to heal a wounded area).
This process is a must for repairing wounds.
This ability to speed up wound healing provides a clue as to why chamomile has historically been used for wounds, burns, bruises, eczema and other skin irritations.
Basically, what we’re seeing here is that chamomile has a history of soothing inflamed skin and this just might be beneficial for acne too.
3. Rich in Antioxidants
Chamomile contains a variety of antioxidants, such as flavonoids, which have been shown penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin.
This is yet another clue as to why chamomile has a history of being used topically.
In addition, studies show that flavonoids (source):
- can inhibit enzymes that are part of the inflammatory response. The inflammatory response system is a complex process that involves not only the immune system, but also hormone-producing glands like the adrenals (which makes cortisol, a hormone that can trigger excessive sebum production).
- influence the skin’s defense mechanisms and potentially regulate how the skin responds to environmental factors.
4. Supports The Gastrointestinal Tract (aka Gut)
Chamomile tea relaxes the digestive system and improves a variety of GI problems, such as diarrhea, ulcers, gas and colic.
And chamomile seems to be one herb that can play its part in supporting healthy function.
5. Natural Antibacterial and Astringent
Propionibacterium acnes is the bacterium that is often blamed for the development of progression of acne. And one study found that when comparing the antibacterial activity of plants against that bacterium, extracts from chamomile were the most effective (as are extracts from rosemary and the gum arabic tree).
In addition, chamomile acts as a natural astringent, meaning that it can tighten, dry or constrict tissue.
So, chamomile tea can basically be used as a DIY astringent to help shrink pores and dry up pimples.
Do keep in mind that as far as herbs go, chamomile is a mild astringent. However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing because some stronger astringent can also have its drawbacks (such as more irritation, especially if your skin is very sensitive).
IS CHAMOMILE TEA GOOD FOR ACNE SCARS?
Because of its antioxidant content, chamomile can support the body in fading acne-related scars, particularly the ones that cause discoloration. This is because as a whole, antioxidants support skin regeneration. Or as one expert puts it:
“antioxidants are the foundation of skin rejuvenation.” – source.
Now, do keep in mind that since chamomile isn’t as strong as some other scar removal methods, patience is key when using it for this purpose.
Also, scars that cause indentations are generally more difficult to get rid of. Chamomile alone may not be enough.
Ultimately, whether you use it internally or externally, consistent use of chamomile is essential for ensuring that your body gets the nutrients that it needs to renew the skin.
WHICH CHAMOMILE IS BEST FOR SKIN?
German, Roman and Moroccan (aka Maroc) chamomile are the three main types of chamomile plants that are grown. Of these two, German and Roman are the most common and are ideal for skin care.
Now, when it comes to tea, most chamomile tea bags sold in grocery stores use the german variety. In some cases you might even see the latin name for german chamomile – matricaria recutita or matricaria chamomilla – in the ingredients list.
As for roman chamomile, you can buy the dried herb, but it’s not usually available in regular grocery stores. You’ll have to visit a specialty herb store or online retailer.
HOW DO YOU USE CHAMOMILE FOR ACNE?
There are three different ways to use chamomile for acne. These are:
- Drink in the form of a tea.
- Use the tea as a natural, DIY astringent and skin balancer.
- Blend it into a gentle, soap free cleanser.
Chamomile Tea Recipe for Acne
The basic recipe for making chamomile tea is:
- 1 tsp dried herb (1 tbsp fresh herb or 1 tea bag).
- 1 cup boiling water.
- Allow to steep for 5 to 10 minutes.
Personally, I like to aim for at least 2 cups a day when I’m using an herbal tea as a natural remedy. But you can do more or less if you prefer.
Also, if you’d like a stronger tea, simply use more herb and/or allow the tea to steep for a longer period of time.
Chamomile and Oats Cleanser
If you have very sensitive skin and would like to try a gentle cleanser, this 3-ingredient cleanser just might be what you need.
1 tsp dried dried chamomile flowers (or 1 tea bag)
5 tablespoons old fashioned rolled oats (or oat flour)
1 cup of boiling water
- Prepare the chamomile tea using the standard ratio of 1 cup water boiling water to 1 tsp (or 1 tea bag) dried chamomile. Allow the tea to cool down to room temperature (strain the herbs if using loose leaf tea).
- If using rolled oats, grind them down to a fine powder using a blender or food processor. It should feel very soft when you’re done. Transfer to a bowl.
- When the tea is cool enough, stir it into the oat powder until it makes a paste. If necessary, add more oat powder to reach the right consistency.
- Wet your face and gently massage the cleanser all over your face (being careful to avoid the eyes).
- Rinse with warm water.
This blend will keep for about a couple of days.
HOW DO I APPLY CHAMOMILE TEA TO MY FACE?
The easiest way to apply chamomile tea to your face is to dip a cotton ball or pad into the tea, and then, lightly pat it onto your face after cleansing. You can follow this up with a gentle moisturizer of your choice.
To make your chamomile tea, follow the steps below (the ratios used here are different from the previous recipes in this article).
DIY Chamomile Toner/Astringent
1 cup water
1 tbsp dried chamomile flowers (about 2 or 3 tea bags depending on the brand)
- Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and add in the chamomile.
- Cover and allow to steep for 5 minutes.
- Strain into a bowl or glass container. Allow to cool, then use as you would any other toner.
- Store in the fridge and use within a few days (2 to 3) since herbal teas lose their potency as the days go by.
NOTE: always do a patch test first to make sure you’re not allergic to chamomile, before you apply it to your entire face.
IS IT OK TO DRINK CHAMOMILE TEA EVERYDAY?
It’s definitely ok to enjoy chamomile tea on a daily basis. For adults, anywhere from 1 to 4 cups a day is considered okay.
One thing to note: like many teas, chamomile tea can have a diuretic effect, which means more trips to the bathroom. The price of beauty, right? 🙂
Also, since chamomile is an herbal tea, you don’t have to worry about caffeine content. That means you can enjoy it at any time of day. And since it’s most known for inducing a sense of relaxation and sleep, you can enjoy a cup before bedtime (right after taking care of your skin!).
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE CHAMOMILE TEA TO WORK ON PIMPLES?
Even though there are no studies that focus specifically on chamomile’s effects on acne, there is research showing noticeable improvements in blood sugar levels after 8 weeks of consuming chamomile tea. However, there’s no knowing exactly how much of a reduction in pimples that would equate to.
Since chamomile tea is a natural remedy, how fast it works can be affected by:
- the quality of the herb you buy (I suggest organic, from a reliable source).
- how much systemic inflammation you’re experiencing.
- the quality of your diet and lifestyle.
- How long you’ve been struggling with acne and how severe it is.
If you choose to use chamomile tea internally, it’s a good idea to wait a few weeks to a month to see if you notice any changes.
WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS OF CHAMOMILE?
First off, chamomile is part of the ragweed family. So, if you’re allergic to ragweed, it’s important to avoid chamomile, or do a patch test to see how you react to chamomile.
Also, even though chamomile is generally considered safe, there are always exceptions. In some cases it can cause (source):
- Vomiting (if taken in large doses)
- Irritate the eyes
- Allergic eczema
In addition, chamomile could interact with blood thinners (it has mild blood thinning properties), sedatives, painkillers or other natural supplements. So, always check with your doctor before adding it to your current mix of prescriptions.
Furthemore, if you’re going to have surgery, avoid chamomile for about two weeks beforehand because it can interact with anesthesia.
Lastly, if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding check in with your health care provider to make sure that you can use chamomile.
FAQs FOR: IS CHAMOMILE TEA GOOD FOR ACNE
Does drinking spearmint tea reduce acne?
Spearmint tea has proven anti-androgenic effects, meaning that it can reduce the levels of androgens (such as testosterone) that are known to worsen acne. In addition, spearmint tea lowers inflammation and has been found to be as effective as antibiotics like minocyline, when it comes to acne.
For more on mint and how it affects acne, make sure to check out this article: Peppermint Tea vs Spearmint Tea for Acne: Which Is Better?
As far as herbal remedies go, chamomile has a long track record of being used to address a long list of skin issues.
Now that modern science is investigating this herb, we’re starting to get more validation of chamomile’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Not to mention the fact that preliminary studies show that chamomile balances blood sugar (a major acne trigger for some women).
Now that you’re armed with his information, I hope you feel more confident when it comes to deciding whether chamomile is for you or not.
And if you’d like more natural remedies that you can use to improve your skin, then check out the articles below!
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