While you might not be familiar with chamomile tea, you’ll certainly be familiar with the plant it’s sourced from – chamomile tea is sourced from matricaria chamomilla, also known to you and I as daisies! You might have heard chamomile tea be touted as an effective natural stress-reliever, but does drinking chamomile tea help acne?
Ever since I’ve written about the benefits of herbal tea for acne, I’ve had emails from readers asking about various herbal teas and their effectiveness for acne-prone skin. Today, I thought it would be a good time to write an article about the herbal tea I received the most questions about: chamomile tea. In this blog, I’m going to go over the benefits of chamomile tea, explain how chamomile tea is used, and assess its effectiveness in improving acne-prone skin. Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
What Is Chamomile Tea?
Chamomile tea is a herbal tea sourced from the Asteraceae plant family. It’s been used in alternative and natural medicine for thousands of years, having been touted as a natural remedy for wounds, cuts, and stress. Chamomile tea can help manage stress, improve sleep quality sleep, and reduce painful period cramps. It can also help alleviate some side effects of diabetes that are typically treated with prescription medications like Metformin. There are three key compounds that are responsible for chamomile’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant properties: they are known as chamazulene, matricin, and bisabolol.
Types of Chamomile
When it comes to chamomile teas and chamomile skin products, you can expect to find two key types of chamomile used:
Roman chamomile (also known as Anthemis nobilis)
Roman chamomile might also be referred to as “true chamomile” or “English chamomile,” and is used in a wide array of cosmetic products, as well as herbal chamomile teas.
German chamomile (also known as Maricaria recutita)
German chamomile is often referred to as “false chamomile”, yet is widely used in both cosmetic and herbal chamomile products. German chamomile contains a higher concentration of chamazulene, an essential oil in both german and roman chamomile.
How Is Chamomile Used?
Chamomile can be used as a topical product (such as a manufactured skincare product infused with chamomile essential oils) or drank as a daily herbal tea. You can also buy pure essential chamomile oil, which I’ll talk about further on in the article. Put simply, chamomile can be used in the following forms:
- Drinking chamomile tea
- Applying chamomile-infused skincare products to the skin
- Using 100% essential chamomile oil or chamomile extract
Health Benefits of Chamomile Tea
Used for thousands of years as a natural herbal remedy, chamomile tea has been used to treat the following health concerns:
- Improving symptoms of PMS and other related period pain
- Aiding sleep and relaxation
- Helps management of diabetes
- Improves symptoms related to osteoporosis
- Can aid weight loss and weight management
- Used to ease symptoms of common colds and fevers
Chamomile Tea Skin Benefits
A powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and skin-lightening remedy, chamomile tea has been proven to aid and enhance the skin in several ways when consumed on a regular basis.
Is Chamomile Tea Antiseptic?
Chamomile tea is a great natural antiseptic, which makes it ideal for helping acne-prone skin stay clear of bacteria and avoid breakouts. Topical chamomile products are great as natural alternatives to chemical toners: certain skincare products marketed as “anti-acne” miracles won’t be able to protect the skin’s surface from bacteria as well as chamomile. Proving its efficacy at clearing the skin of bacteria, you can even use chamomile for cuts and wounds and prevent skin infections.
Is Chamomile Tea Anti-Inflammatory?
Full of powerful antioxidants, chamomile tea is a potent anti-inflammatory and helps protect the skin from free radical damage. Free radical damage breaks down the skin’s collagen and accelerates skin concerns such as aging, fine lines, dark spots, UV damage, and hyperpigmentation.
Chamomile Tea Hair Benefits
Regular consumption of chamomile tea can help give your hair a healthier appearance, increasing its shine and helping to improve the appearance of dandruff.
Chamomile Oil Benefits for Skin
If you don’t like the idea of drinking chamomile tea, you can always apply chamomile topically to the skin. Applying topical skincare products infused with chamomile can actually be a great way to send all those powerful chamomile antioxidants directly into the skin, reaping the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant benefits.
Chamomile for Hyperpigmentation and Skin Lightening
Due to its skin lightening properties and astringent properties, chamomile is a powerhouse skincare ingredient in treating hyperpigmentation. You can use topical chamomile if you suffer from the following skin concerns related to hyperpigmentation:
The skin lightening properties in chamomile can help even out and lighten existing dark spots caused by free radical damage, aging, or hyperpigmentation. You’ll want to opt for a skincare product that also boasts hydrating properties, as dehydrated skin will exaggerate the appearance of any existing dark spots.
If your skin shows visible sun damage, you can apply a skincare product infused with chamomile extract to help reduce its appearance.
Under Eye Circles
Under Eye circles can be genetic, so no matter how hydrated or well-rested you are, they can show up and persist! Chamomile has been proven effective in helping reduce the severity of dark circles when applied directly to the under eye. Simply boil two chamomile tea bags, let them cool, before applying them underneath the eye area for around 5 minutes.
If your acne-prone skin has left you with visible scarring, chamomile can be effective at reducing their appearance and giving you an all-over more even, uniform skin tone.
Does Chamomile Soothe Sensitive Skin?
Yes! As a herbal tea, chamomile has been known to soothe the mind and body, allowing for better sleep, relaxation, and calm – and it does the same for the skin! Chamomile is scientifically proven to be a natural anti-inflammatory, making it ideal for soothing irritated, inflamed, acne-prone skin. One of my favorite chamomile-infused skincare products to use during a breakout is Clearstem’s Vitamin Infused Scrub Cleanser, infused with chamomile, mango fruit extract and Vitamin C. I find that the mix of the natural fruit extracts, along with the soothing presence of chamomile, really delivers a nutrient-packed punch to the acne, and my breakouts clear up a lot quicker.
“I’ve always been hesitant to use any type of scrub or exfoliator because it typically aggravates my sensitive skin. However, this vitamin scrub is exactly what I needed! The bamboo particles are great for clearing out my pores without drying out my skin. I typically use it 2-3 times a week and have never been more confident in my skin!” – Ashley, 37, Female
Is Chamomile Anti-Aging?
Chamomile is a great natural anti-aging ingredient, as it contains astringent properties which help speed up the skin cell renewal process and, over time, helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Combining chamomile with a potent anti-aging product such as retinol would significantly boost any anti-aging skincare regime.
How To Use Chamomile For Skin
So, now that you know just how potent chamomile can be in soothing, de-puffing, and smoothing the skin, what’s the best way for those of us with acne-prone skin to approach it? Here are a number of ways you can incorporate chamomile into your skin routine:
Apply Chamomile Topically
If you want to deliver the antioxidant benefits of chamomile directly to any problem areas on the skin, I’d recommend using topical skincare products. As I already mentioned, one of the best chamomile skincare products I’ve used this year was Clearstem’s Vitamin Infused Scrub Cleanser. However, if you’re looking for something with a higher concentration of chamomile, you might want to opt for a skin spray. Unlike wash-off cleansers, skin sprays sit on your face and can deliver a higher dose of key ingredients to the skin. One of my go-to skincare brands is Mario Badescu, and their Aloe, Chamomile and Lavender facial spray is ideal if you want something natural and lightweight to soothe and hydrate the skin. This spray is super soothing, and won’t clog the pores with any heavy ingredients.
Drink Chamomile Tea
For an all-over antioxidant kick, I’d recommend drinking high-quality chamomile tea. While it might not be as potent a herbal tea as matcha tea (at least, when it comes to overall antioxidant benefits) chamomile tea is nonetheless a great all-rounder at providing natural anti-inflammatory benefits and a boost to the immune system. In addition, if your acne is linked to your hormones and you suffer with heavy periods, drinking chamomile tea can provide some pain relief, and even help to stabilize your cycle.
How Often Can I Drink Chamomile Tea?
There’s no limit on how much chamomile tea you can drink per day. Most experts would recommend around 1-2 cups a day if you want to truly feel the benefits of the herbal tea.
DIY Chamomile Toner
If you don’t want to apply any manufactured skincare products to your skin and prefer to keep things natural, you can create your own DIY chamomile toner. You can switch up ingredients if you have any allergies, but one of the most popular DIY chamomile toners is made as follows:
- Gather one tablespoon of chamomile tea flowers or a chamomile tea bag, 1 cup of water, 1 teaspoon of honey, and 3-5 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.
- Boil the tea, before letting it steep for around 10 minutes.
- Strain the tea, before adding the apple cider vinegar and honey to the tea.
- Using cotton pads, apply the DIY toner to the face after cleansing, before applying your moisturizer.
Chamomile Side Effects
As with any new herbal tea or skincare product, it’s important to be aware of any potential side effects. As I pointed out in my blog about peppermint tea, some herbal teas can produce unwanted side effects that massively outweigh their purported benefits.
Fortunately, chamomile tea doesn’t appear to provoke any undesirable side effects, either when ingested as a herbal tea or applied topically to the skin. Those with sensitive skin should always do a patch test before using any new product, but as chamomile is typically recommended for sensitive skin, you normally shouldn’t have a problem.
So, Does Drinking Chamomile Tea Help Acne?
Yes! Drinking chamomile tea helps acne-prone skin, as its antimicrobial properties and antibacterial properties help to keep bacteria away from the surface of the skin, preventing the pores from becoming clogged. Here’s a brief overview of all the ways chamomile tea can help acne:
Chamomile tea has been known to soothe the skin; if you’re an acne sufferer, you’ll be used to dealing with red spots and inflamed breakouts. Chamomile can help reduce the appearance of redness and soothe the skin during periods of inflammation or breakouts.
Being antiseptic, chamomile can help reduce breakouts by keeping the skin free from bacteria.
A natural anti-inflammatory, chamomile can help soothe existing breakouts. Natural remedies are best when dealing with an angry, cystic breakout: you don’t want to overload your skin with abrasive, chemical products. Treating a breakout from within with chamomile tea is a failsafe way to avoid exacerbating the breakout further.
If you’re looking for a herbal tea that can offer numerous skin and healthcare benefits, I highly recommend chamomile tea. As always, I find that natural remedies work best when dealing with sensitive and acne-prone skin; I personally find that it’s better to treat the skin from within than to aggravate it with abrasive products. If you want to learn more about how you can treat acne from within and adapt your diet to achieve clear skin, you can check out my eBook, Unmasking Acne.