Here’s why I don’t like the “natural = good, chemical/synthetic = bad” nonsense.
If I say bisabolol, what does that make you think? “Ugh, it sounds like a chemical. Will it kill me?!”
But, what if I say chamomile instead? “Oh, that’s one of the best natural remedies. Sooo soothing.”
It is soothing. Thanks to Bisabolol. It’s this little chemical that makes chamomile the gentle natural remedy we all know and love (and yes, chamomile – just like everything else – is made of chemicals. Shocking, I know…).
Here’s everything you need to know about Bisabolol:
- What Is Bisabolol?
- What Are The Skincare Benefits Of Bisabolol?
- What Are The Best Skincare Products With Bisabolol?
- Is Bisabolol In Skincare Safe?
- The Bottom Line
What Is Bisabolol?
A colourless and thick oily liquidy, Bisabolol is one of the major components of the essential oil made from the German chamomile plant. But, it can be made synthetically in a lab, too.
There are two forms of Bisabolol:
- Beta-Bisabolol: It’s found in cotton and corn.
- Alpha-Bisabolol: The type used in skincare, it’s found in several plants, including chamomile and tea.
Related: The Complete Guide To Chamomile In Skincare: Who You Should Use It And Who Should Stay Away
Struggling to find skincare products that don’t irritate your skin? Download your FREE “Skincare Ingredients To Avoid” cheat sheet to find out the most common culprits to remove from your skincare routine:
What Are The Skincare Benefits Of Bisabolol?
Bisabolol is a multi-tasker. Here are all the ways it benefits your skin:
1. Bisabolol Is Soothing
You already know that Bisabolol has soothing properties. But, how does it work?
A 2014 study discovered that Bisabolol inhibits pro-inflammatory cytokines, i.e. the molecules associated with inflammation.
Inhibit the activities of these molecules and you reduce both irritation and inflammation.
Related: 9 Soothing Ingredients To Calm Down Irritated Skin
2. Bisabolol May Help Fade Away Dark Spots
A 2010 study suggests that Bisabolol may help fade away dark spots by inhibiting melanin synthesis.
Melanin is the pigment that gives your skin its natural beautiful colour. But, out-of-whack hormones and excessive sun exposure can trigger the overproduction of melanin in certain areas. Hello, dark spots!
They’re not the only culprits, by the way. Inflammatory skin disorders, like eczema and contact dermatitis, can give you dark spots, too.
You already know how awesome Bisabolol is at treating inflammation, so it’s no wonder researchers tested it as a hyperpigmentation remedy, too.
They asked 28 women to apply a cream with alpha-bisabolol to their skin for 8 weeks as well as a control cream without it. The results?
“After 8 weeks of treatment of the alpha-bisabolol-containing cream, there was significant lightening effect in the pigmented skin for the majority of the subjects who tested the cream.“
I wouldn’t switch from Alpha-Arbutin yet (one of the most powerful skin-lighteners out there), especially because I have yet to see a cream with enough Bisabolol to do the trick. But, it’s good to know it helps.
Related: The Battle Of The Skin-Lighteners: What Is The Best Alternative To Hydroquinone?
3. Bisabolol Has Antimicrobial Properties
Bisabolol has anti-microbial properties that kill certain strains of fungi and bacteria.
This is just another way it helps to both prevent and treat skin infections. Plus, it may also kill the odd bacteria that finds its way into your skincare products, helping them last longer.
Before you get too excited, it’s not a valid alternative to parabens or other preservatives. But hey, every little bit helps.
Related: Parabens Alternatives: Which Ones Are Safe AND Effective?
4. Bisabolol Makes Your Skincare Products Smell Good
Bisabolol has a sweet floral scent with whiffs of spice and citrus. Does it sound divine?
Perfumers think so, too. They use Bisabolol as a fragrance ingredient to make your skincare products smell amazing.
Related: Is Fragrance In Skincare As Bad As Paula Begoun Says?
What Are The Best Skincare Products With Bisabolol?
- Niod Modulating Glucosides (£21.00): Available at Escentual and Look Fantastic
- Paula’s Choice Clear Regular Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment With 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide ($18.00): Available at Dermstore and Paula’s Choice
- Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM ($65.00): Available at Beauty Bay, Cult Beauty, and Ulta
Is Bisabolol In Skincare Safe?
Allergies to Bisabolol can happen, but they’re rare. For most people, Bisabolol is totally safe.
The Bottom Line
Bisabolol is the little chemical that gives chamomile its soothing properties. While it’s at it, it also helps fade away dark spots, kill bacteria, and make products smell good – without irritating skin.