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* Botanical Ingredient *
* Refers to several distinct plants of the Asteraceae species (sunflower and daisy family). On an ingredients list, it can appear in the form of many names, including: chamomilla recutita; matricaria recutita (German Chamomile or Blue Chamomile); chrysanthellum indicum (Golden Chamomile); anthemis nobilis (Roman Chamomile); ormenis multicaulis (Moroccan Chamomile); and matricaria discoidea (Wild Chamomile).
The chamomile flower is most often consumed as a bitter tea infusion, which is made by brewing its dried flower heads. It contains coumarin, a naturally-occurring compound with anticoagulant and blood-thinning effects. For thousands of years, humans have relied on chamomile tea for various medicinal purposes, such as the calming of the digestive tract, the pain relief of menstrual cramps, the easing of spasms associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and, perhaps most frequently, as an anti-insomnia sedative.
With regards to skin care, it's mostly known for its anti-inflammatory and skin soothing properties, and is used as a conditioning agent and skin cell rejuvenator in cosmetic products. As a conditioner, it enhances the appearance of dehydrated or damaged skin by reducing dry flaking and restoring suppleness to the skin. The plant's flowers are rich in flavonoids (namely apigenin, quercetin, patuletin and luteolin), which contribute to the ingredient's anti-inflammatory, anti-erythema (reddening of the skin) and anti-pruritic (itchiness) properties that all help improve the speed at which damaged skin heals. It is often used as a natural treatment for various skin disorders such as ezczema and psoriasis.
In vitro human tests have demonstrated that topically applied chamomile works as an antioxidant, anti-microbial and anti-platelet agent. Furthermore, animal studies seem to suggest that the ingredient may also possess anti-mutagenic, anti-spasmotic and cholesterol lowering abilities. However, further research is warranted to confirm many of these findings and claims, particularly those regarding the sedative effects of the ingredient.
An oil extract of this ingredient is the most common way for it to be incorporated into a skin care product. The primary component of the essential oil extracted from chamomile is bisabolol. Because of bisabolol's high panthenol concentration, it can effectively stimulate and promote the skin’s healing process. It also increases the skin penetration of other cosmetic ingredients, which can be particularly useful when feeding the skin antioxidants. In addition to its skin soothing and healing abilities, it also exudes a subtle floral aroma that is often used to add fragrance to cosmetic products. Another extract of chamomile, azulene, is often used as a blue dye in personal care products as well. You can find this ingredient in just about every type of cosmetic product, including but not limited to moisturizer, sunscreen, anti-aging treatment, eye cream, acne treatment, hair dye, shampoo/conditioner, concealer, mineral powder foundation, cleanser and lipstick.
Safety Measures/Side Effects:
Despite the fact that specific extracts of chamomile (i.e. bisabolol) are well absorbed by the body following dermal application, it does not appear to be toxic of irritating. The CIR Expert Panelhas assessed this ingredient as safe to use in cosmetic products. However, because of it may increase the dermal penetration of other ingredients, they caution formulation manufacturers to be alert of this possibility.
In addition, while it's generally non-irritating and non-sensitizing, many adverse reactions have been reported by individuals who suffer from allergies to other plants in the daisy and sunflower family. So one must factor in all his/her allergies and take preliminary cautions wen using this ingredient.
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