Whether derived from plants or synthesised, bisabolol is an active ingredient increasingly used in skin and hair care. It has numerous benefits, but are there any risks to be aware of before using it topically or on the hair?
Are there any risks associated with the use of bisabolol in cosmetics?
- Bisabolol: The Essential Knowledge
- Are there any contraindications to the topical application of bisabolol?
Bisabolol: The Essential Knowledge.
Bisabolol, also known as levomenol, is a monocyclic sesquiterpenic alcohol found in certain essential oils. It is notably present in wild chamomile and candeia. Whether of natural or synthetic origin, the bisabolol is an active ingredient with multiple virtues incorporated into various cosmetic treatments. Its use is suitable for all skin types, and is particularly suitable for sensitive, irritated or dry skin.
Bisabolol offers numerous benefits to the skin as well as the scalp. Acting as a humectant, it retains the water present in the epidermis and minimises insensible losses, thus helping to maintain the skin barrier. Bisabolol also possesses antioxidant properties, enabling it to protect the skin from oxidative stress. Finally, several studies have highlighted the potential healing and soothing effects of this ingredient, as well as its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial actions.
Are there any contraindications to the topical application of bisabolol?
The bisabolol incorporated in skincare or haircare products is a safe ingredient. To date, no side effects have been associated with its use. In HRIPT (Human Repeat Insult Patch Test) hypoallergenic tests, which aim to determine whether an ingredient can cause harmful, irritating or allergic reactions on the skin, no sensitisation of the skin was noted for the application of 5500 μg/cm2 of bisabolol.
Similarly, it has been demonstrated that the topical application of a 5% bisabolol solution on shaved guinea pigs followed by exposure to UV radiation does not lead to photo-allergy or photo-toxicity. Considered very gentle, bisabolol is indeed the preferred active ingredient for delicate skin prone to irritation, itching and inflammation.
Even at low doses, bisabolol is effective and is typically incorporated at 1% in cosmetic formulations. However, it should be noted that there is currently no limit in terms of concentration in European cosmetic regulations. Furthermore, the topical application of bisabolol is safe during pregnancy.
Finally, one last thing to know about the potential risks of bisabolol: this active ingredient has the ability to increase the penetration of other cosmetic actives present in a formula. However, this does not pose any risks when they themselves have proven safety.
ARNAO M. & al. Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla L.): A Review of Ethnomedicinal Use, Phytochemistry and Pharmacological Uses. Life (2022).
OJHA S. & al. Health Benefits, Pharmacological Effects, Molecular Mechanisms, and Therapeutic Potential of α-Bisabolol. Nutrients (2022).