Beauty Ingredient 101: Chamomile

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Like the dainty flowers it produces, the chamomile plant is a source of gentle strength when used as a beauty ingredient.

Chamomile may first remind you of the soothing tea that is often used to comfort you to sleep or soothe your stomach. The chamomile found in natural products is also incredibly calming, particularly for skin prone to rosacea, sensitivity  or redness.  Chamomile gets its powerful anti-inflammatory properties from its natural chemical component, azulene.  It's wonderful for healing and balancing rough or damaged skin.

To take advantage of the soothing properties of chamomile, brew a strong  cup of chamomile tea, cool and mist over clean skin. Or add 5  to 10 drops of chamomile essential oil to purified water and apply as a toner. These products will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.

Blondes and light brunettes might also like to know that  chamomile works as a brightening hair rinse. You'll find it in many natural shampoos for blondes, to bring out golden yellow tones.

Take advantage of chamomile's effect on your entire body:  if you experience anxiety or inability to sleep, draw a warm bath and sprinkle a few drops of chamomile essential oil on a tea bag.  Soak the bag in your bath as you relax. Its delicate, floral scent will soothe and calm both your skin and your senses.