Bisabolol, or more formally α-(−)-bisabolol or also known as levomenol is a natural monocyclic sesquiterpene alcohol. It is a colourless viscous liquid that is insoluble in water and glycerin, but soluble in ethanol. It has a faint, sweet and flowery aroma.
Bisabolol is naturally present in German Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla or Matricaria recutita), as well as the bark of the Candeia tree (Vanillosmopsis erythropappa) of Brazil, which is the primary global source of this ingredient. Recently, manufacturers have also begun crafting it in labs as a nature-identical ingredient in order to prevent deforestation of the rainforests in Brazil.
While the medicinal use of chamomile goes back thousands of years, bisabolol was only recently isolated from the plant in the twentieth century. Since then, studies have proven it to be an incredibly beneficial compound – especially when used in body care products like moisturizer, lotion, sunscreen, anti-aging treatment, eye cream, cosmetics, facial cleanser, deodorants and lipstick.
It has anti-inflammatory effect, it acts as a skin penetration enhancer, it acts against the herpes simplex virus and it inhibits the synthesis of melanin.
There have been a very small number of cases of contact dermatitis reported after using a product containing bisabolol. This has been shown to be more common in children with atopic dermatitis
When buying bisabolol, you should make sure that it does not contain impurities that may cause skin irritation.