You might know chamomile best as a soothing bedtime aid in teas, but the plant is also a renowned skincare ingredient—calming skin that’s easily irritated and prone to flare-ups. Here, a brief explanation of some of its benefits and how it helps with skin of color. 

What exactly is bisabolol?

Technically, there are two versions of bisabolol: Alpha-bisabolol that’s extracted from the German chamomile plant, and beta-bisabolol which comes from corn and cotton. Our new Cloud Cushion moisture contains the alpha-bisabolol chamomile extract, which has deep roots in traditional medicine. Chamomile is one of the oldest, most widely-documented medicinal plants out there, used for treating everything from bruises and wounds to diaper rash.

What are its benefits? And what skin concerns does it address?

Chamomile extract, or alpha-bisabolol, contains substances such as flavonoids (powerful antioxidants) that are shown to possess anti-inflammatory and skin-soothing benefits. Bisabolol is also a good source of panthenol, a form of vitamin B, which visibly reduces irritation and blotchiness. 

Chamomile has been studied as an eczema treatment, and can help relieve skin that’s experiencing irritation and inflammation. It’s also shown to help increase the absorption of other topical ingredients applied to the skin at the same time, which is a big plus for the efficacy of your skin-care products. 

Why is it beneficial for skin of color? 

As a well-known soothing ingredient, chamomile extract can soothe inflammation which causes PIH (or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation), a common trait of melanated skin. 

How does it help hyperpigmentation or PIH? 

Some research suggests that alpha-bisabolol can reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation, as well. A small study showed that among 28 women of Asian descent who used a topical cream containing alpha-bisabolol on their backs for eight weeks, the majority of them experienced significant brightening effects upon the areas of pigmentation.  

How should bisabolol chamomile extract be used?

Generally, chamomile extract works well with other ingredients in your routine, from acids to moisturizing agents. Since it’s an antioxidant-rich ingredient, we’d recommend using it in the morning (if not morning and night) to protect your skin from sun and environmental damage. 

Anything else to know about chamomile extract? 

Some people experience allergies and sensitivities to chamomile, as a member of the ragweed family, so it’s always best to spot test any products containing the ingredient to detect potential negative reactions. 

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