Bisabolol: What Is It, Skin Benefits, Cosmetic Uses & Side Effects

Priya Singh
Fact-Checker: Priya Singh
This article was last updated on: October 9, 2023
Table of Contents

We’ve all been there. You flip over your favorite moisturizer or makeup product and skim through the list of ingredients, and suddenly, you’re swimming in an alphabet soup of chemical nomenclature.

Amidst this whirl of scientific jargon, you might stumble upon an ingredient named Bisabolol.

This article aims to demystify Bisabolol and dissect its role in the cosmetic world. We’ll delve into its characteristics, benefits for skin, usage in cosmetics, and even explore any potential side effects.

What is Bisabolol?

Bisabolol, also known as α-Bisabolol or levomenol, is a naturally occurring compound found in various plants, most notably the Chamomile plant. This ingredient has been used for centuries in traditional medicine due to its beneficial properties for the skin.

Generally, Bisabolol is incorporated into skincare formulations as a skin conditioning and soothing agent; it enhances the appearance of dry or damaged skin by reducing flakiness and restoring suppleness.

Bisabolol functions by enhancing the penetration of other ingredients in a product, thereby boosting its overall effectiveness. It also interacts with the skin’s proteins and lipids, promoting hydration and preventing moisture loss.

You’ll often find Bisabolol as a component within a wider formulation of ingredients, such as creams, lotions, and serums, but it’s also available as a standalone product for those who want to incorporate it directly into their skincare regimen.

Who Can Use Bisabolol?

Given its soothing nature, Bisabolol is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive and problematic skin. It’s a gentle ingredient well-tolerated by most people, making it an excellent choice for varied skincare routines.

Bisabolol is plant-derived, so it’s suitable for vegetarians and vegans. It’s a cruelty-free ingredient, aligning perfectly with ethically conscious cosmetic choices.

As for pregnant and breastfeeding women, Bisabolol is generally considered safe to use; however, research into this exact subject is somewhat limited. As with any skincare ingredient, it’s advisable for expecting or nursing mothers to consult with their healthcare provider before adding new products to their skincare routine.

Bisabolol Skin Benefits

Bisabolol offers numerous advantages for the skin, including:

  • Skin Conditioning: Bisabolol acts as a prolific natural conditioner for the skin. It works by restoring and preserving the skin’s suppleness, crucial in maintaining a youthful and healthy appearance. Bisabolol exhibits outstanding absorption properties, which means it can penetrate deep into the skin’s layers, delivering essential nourishment where it’s most needed. This characteristic is particularly beneficial for dry skin types, providing much-needed moisturization. Furthermore, Bisabolol has an affinity for skin lipids, the natural fats present in our skin. This compatibility enables Bisabolol to influence the skin’s texture positively, boosting its softness and overall appearance. Over time, consistent use of Bisabolol can lead to noticeably smoother, softer, and more hydrated skin.
  • Soothing Effect: Another prominent benefit of Bisabolol lies in its natural anti-inflammatory properties. As an anti-inflammatory, Bisabolol can soothe irritated skin, helping to quell signs of inflammation such as discomfort, redness, and swelling. This makes Bisabolol a vital ingredient in products intended for sensitive skin or skin conditions like rosacea and eczema. Moreover, the ingredient’s calming effects can also benefit those with normal skin types, as it can help alleviate occasional skin irritations or inflamed blemishes.

It’s important to note that these beneficial effects are not permanent. To sustain the benefits, continued and regular application of products containing Bisabolol is necessary.

Bisabolol’s Non-active Cosmetic Uses

Beyond the direct benefits to the skin, Bisabolol serves other roles in cosmetics. These include:

  • Fragrance Ingredient: Bisabolol’s naturally sweet and floral scent, similar to chamomile, makes it an ideal fragrance ingredient in many cosmetics and personal care products. Its aroma not only enhances the product’s appeal but could also provide a calming effect.

Bisabolol Potential Side Effects

It’s worth noting that individuals can react differently to skincare ingredients due to variations in skin type, sensitivity, and overall physiology. Factors such as your skin’s sebum production, hydration levels, and texture can greatly influence how a particular ingredient interacts with your skin. If you’re unsure of your skin type, refer to our helpful guide to find your skin type.

With Bisabolol, potential side effects may include:

  • Allergic Reactions: These can include redness, irritation, or itching after application. These kinds of reactions could be a result of individual sensitivity to the ingredient.
  • Skin Dryness: While rare, Bisabolol can sometimes cause the skin to dry out, especially in higher concentrations or with prolonged use.

If you experience any of these side effects, it’s advisable to discontinue using the product and consult with a dermatologist or healthcare professional. It’s essential to identify the cause of any skin reactions to prevent future occurrences.

Despite these potential side effects, adverse reactions to Bisabolol are relatively rare. This ingredient is generally well-tolerated and considered safe and effective for most individuals.

Nevertheless, to stay on the safe side, it’s always beneficial to conduct a patch test before incorporating a new ingredient or product into your skincare routine. Our patch testing guide may assist you in this process.

Comedogenic Rating

Bisabolol receives a comedogenic rating of 0/5. This means it’s non-comedogenic and does not clog pores. The rating is based on its lightweight structure and ability to penetrate the skin without causing blockages.

Its soothing properties can even be beneficial to acne-prone skin, as it can help soothe inflammation and redness linked to breakouts. So, if you are predisposed to acne or skin breakouts, Bisabolol can be a suitable addition to your skincare routine.


Like most things in life, successful skincare is often a result of experimentation, trial, and error. We each have unique skin types and conditions, and what works for one might not work for another. Once you identify skincare components that mesh well with your skin, consistency is key.

Bisabolol is one such ingredient that might be worth the exploration. Its active effects, such as skin conditioning and soothing properties, benefit the skin immediately. Simultaneously, its non-active effects, like enhancing the solubility and efficiency of other compounds in the product, contribute to overall product effectiveness.

Despite its impressive attributes, Bisabolol remains modestly celebrated in the expansive world of skincare ingredients. It’s not often featured as a primary ingredient but tends to play a supporting role in enhancing other components within a product. The ingredient bears similarities to others known for their soothing and skin conditioning properties, like Allantoin and Panthenol.

The results from using Bisabolol are not overnight miracles. Consistent use over several weeks is required to see substantial improvements and benefits.

For any lingering concerns about Bisabolol, remember that it’s generally safe, well-tolerated, and has a low risk of side effects. As with any new skincare ingredient, it may be worthwhile doing some personal research and possibly consulting with a skincare professional to ensure it’s suitable for your specific needs and conditions.

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