Chamomile for Skin
As the chamomile in my garden is blooming profusely, I thought it was a good time to tell you about why I love it so much. I encourage you to buy some seeds, it’s very easy to grow (use a pot if you don’t want it to spread) and picking the flowers each evening for a cup of fresh tea is a ritual I am enjoying right now. Our new baby bunnies love the stalks and stems so I’m happy to share with them too.
Along with the cooking herbs of mint, rosemary and sage, chamomile is probably one of the best known and well used herbs. A cup of chamomile tea before bedtime has been taken for centuries to aid a good night’s sleep, even Peter Rabbit and his sisters drank it regularly. But chamomile has many more benefits on top of its sedative effect, many of which are skin specific. When creating my skin care products, I always like to look at the plants which have been used traditionally for a long time. I love that cultures discovered, used and revered the plants long before there was any scientific data on why they worked. Of course, it’s also fascinating to now understand the science too.
Chamomile has been used since the time of Hippocrates, “the Father of Medicine” around 500BC and was used by the Romans, Greeks and Egyptians. To have been used so extensively for so long is an indication of its remarkable benefits.
Of the many benefits of chamomile, the main properties which help with skin are anti-inflammatory, analgesic (pain relieving), anti-bacterial and anti-microbial and anti-anxiety. The skin conditions I think chamomile has the biggest and most positive impact on are acne, eczema, psoriasis and rosacea.
Many skin care companies try to attack acne and breakouts with harsh, drying alcohol based antibacterial ingredients. Although these provide some short-term improvements, they don’t support the long-term health of the skin. Often resulting in recurring bouts of acne and pimples, and long-term damage, most commonly seen as scarring. Chamomile tackles the acne causing bacteria whilst calming the inflammation, resulting in reduced redness, and clearer skin. Cystic acne in particular, benefits from the analgesic properties as it is characterized by large, red and painful breakouts.
You can find organic chamomile essential oil in my Sea Buckthorn & Geranium Balancing Facial Oil, created to calm the inflammation, redness and pimples.
Organic chamomile hydrosol can be found in my Calming Chamomile & Rose Geranium Hydrating Mist and Hyaluronic Serum. We often only think about oil when combating acne, but making sure the skin is properly hydrated (with water) is also very important. It is through the water components of the skin that many waste products are removed (cleansed) and many nutrients are brought in.
Although these three skin conditions are very different, they all exhibit inflammation, redness, and painful damaged skin. Again, the anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of chamomile help to calm and soothe. Healing cannot occur when the skin is in an inflamed “red-alert” state. It struggles to absorb nutrients, internally or externally when inflamed. Reducing inflammation is a key first step with all of these skin conditions.
I based the Calming Chamomile & Rose Geranium Hydrating Mist and Hyaluronic Serum around organic chamomile hydrosol, the gentlest yes still very effective way to use this herb. Sometimes these skin conditions find oils too “hot” on the skin. In these water-based formulations you can get the calming, skin healing benefits in an incredibly gentle and cooling way.
I mentioned that the anti-anxiety properties of chamomile can also help with skin health, which may not be immediately obvious. I am a big believer that our mental health is linked to our skin health, and vice versa.
If we suffer with a skin condition that is visible to the world it will likely affect our self-confidence and our ability to engage and enjoy life. My own experience of chronic, ugly, painful eczema through my late teens and early twenties had a huge impact on me. At its worse it went from my hands all the way up my arms and across the back of my neck. I still want to cry when I think about how much it impacted my life back then. In fact, my passion to help people heal their skin is fueled by these memories and the long difficult journey I had to take to heal my skin.
And turned around, our mental health, our emotions, our relationships can have a huge impact on the health of our skin. The easiest way to describe this (but not necessarily the best way) is by attributing skin issues to “stress”. Yet stress is a small word which can mean so many things. I like to dig deeper into the emotional triggers, the real reasons why.
Chamomile isn’t going to heal to heal past trauma, or help to identify the root cause of emotionally triggered skin issues but calming the nervous system and reducing anxiety can help with the day to day immensely.
I recently discovered there is a new field of medicine called Psychodermatology…the treatment of skin disorders using psychological and psychiatric techniques by addressing the interaction between mind and skin. This is very exciting to me as I have personally, and I’ve helped many people heal their skin by identifying and addressing the emotional causes of their skin problems. For mainstream medicine to be considering this is wonderful news.
Products in the line containing Chamomile:
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