Bisabolol at a Glance
- Famous skin-soothing ingredient
- Often included as a calming agent in bio-active formulas or products designed for sensitive skin
- May offer some discolouration-fading properties
- Commonly derived from chamomile but can also be created synthetically
- Bisabolol is a colourless to light yellow, oily liquid
Bisabolol is a well-known skin soothing agent. It comes in two different structural forms: alpha-bisabolol, derived from chamomile and other plants (although it can also be lab-created) vs. beta-bisabolol which is found in cotton and corn. The alpha form is the one used in skin care products.
Bisabolol is commonly found in many personal care products, including moisturisers, cleansers, and serums. It often plays a bio-active skin-calming role thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties and shows up in many products designed for sensitive skin.
Beyond its soothing properties, research indicates bisabolol may offer some discolouration-fading capabilities.
The naturally sweet, slightly floral scent of bisabolol means it is sometimes used in higher amounts to impart fragrance to a formula. However, in lower amounts it doesn't impart much, if any, scent and its soothing compounds easily outweigh any risk of irritation.
Because bisabolol is typically derived from chamomile, and chamomile is a member of the ragweed family, it may be best to avoid it if you have a confirmed allergy to ragweed.
As a raw material, bisabolol is a colourless to light yellow, oily liquid.
In 2017, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review council concluded that bisabolol is safe used up to 1% concentration in leave-on formulations.
CosmeticsInfo.org, Accessed May 2021, ePublication
International Journal of Cosmetic Science, August 2019, pages 299-303
International Journal of Toxicology, September 2017, pages 24S-25S
Cutis, November 2015, pages 337-342
Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, 2014, pages 173-181
Food and Chemical Toxicology, October 2011, pages 2580-2585
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About the Experts
Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books about skincare and makeup. She is known worldwide as The Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula’s Choice Skincare. Paula’s expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international radio, print, and television including:
The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to busting beauty myths and providing expert advice that solves your skincare frustrations so you can have the best skin of your life!