Feverfew, a flowering plant, has a long history of use in traditional and folk medicine, especially among Greek and early European herbalists. It has been increasingly utilized in skincare due to its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Known for its soothing effects, feverfew can help alleviate irritation and topical redness, making it a valuable ingredient for sensitive and reactive skin types.
What is Feverfew?
Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium L.) is a medicinal plant native to the Balkan Peninsula, but now commonly found all over the world. In the mid-19th century, feverfew was introduced in the United States where it is now found in gardens and along roadsides. Scientifically known as Tanacetum parthenium, its common name is derived from the Latin word "febrifugia," which means "fever reducer”. It has also been referred to as midsummer daisy, Santa Maria, wild chamomile, and chamomile grande among other names. Feverfew is a perennial plant with known anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is increasingly recognized in the skincare realm for its calming properties and potential in addressing various skin concerns.
What Does Feverfew Do to the Skin?
Feverfew works on the skin by reducing inflammation and neutralizing harmful free radicals. It contains a compound called parthenolide, which inhibits the release of inflammatory substances in the body, helping to soothe irritated skin. Feverfew's antioxidant properties also help protect the skin from environmental stressors. When applied topically, feverfew helps soothe and calm the skin, reducing the appearance of redness and irritation.
Benefits of Feverfew:
Feverfew has many beneficial properties in skin care including:
Soothing Irritation: Feverfew can help calm and reduce skin inflammation.
Antioxidant Protection: Its antioxidant properties help protect the skin against environmental damage.
Sensitive Skin-Friendly: Feverfew is known for being gentle on the skin, making it suitable for sensitive and reactive skin types.
How Does Feverfew Work?
The chemistry of feverfew is not well defined. The most important biologically active principles are the sesquiterpene lactones, the principal one being parthenolide. A proposed mechanism of action involves parthenolide specifically binding to and inhibiting IκB kinase complex (IKK)β. IKKβ plays an important role in pro-inflammatory cytokine-mediated signaling.
In a clinical study, the purified feverfew extract (Tanacetum parthenium) extract was found to increase ARE (antioxidant response element) activity in a dose-dependent manner, resulting in over two-fold induction of the ARE promoter. The increased expression of antioxidant and detoxification genes was confirmed using polymerase chain reaction array of feverfew-treated human skin equivalents in vitro. Feverfew was also found to reduce ultraviolet light–induced reactive oxygen species production from human skin equivalents, and clinically was found to decrease free radicals measured on the forehead of human subjects using chemiluminescence detection of skin. Through the ability to scavenge free radicals and increase endogenous antioxidant levels by activation of the Nrf2- antioxidant response element pathway, a purified feverfew extract may protect the skin from the numerous external aggressions encountered daily by the skin and reduce the damage to the oxidatively challenged skin.
In summary, Feverfew works by delivering a potent dose of antioxidants that help to neutralize harmful free radicals in the skin. Its anti-inflammatory properties help to reduce skin irritation and inflammation, promoting a calmer, more even complexion.
Concentration Levels & Recommended Usage for Feverfew:
Feverfew is typically found in low concentrations in skincare products, in correlation with other antioxidants and soothing ingredients. Creams, lotions, serums and washes might all contain Feverfew when formulated to help soothe irritated and sensitive skin. For best results, it's recommended to use feverfew products consistently over a period of several weeks to ensure maximum effectiveness.
Is it Okay to Use Feverfew Daily?
Yes, it is generally safe to use feverfew daily. However, as with all skincare ingredients, it's advisable to patch test any new product to ensure it doesn't cause any adverse reactions.
Who Should Use Feverfew?
Feverfew is suitable for most skin types, but it's particularly beneficial for those with sensitive, easily irritated skin, or those dealing with visual skin redness. However, individuals with allergies to other plants in the Asteraceae/Compositae family, such as daisies, marigolds or sunflowers, should exercise caution. As always, it's best to consult with a skincare professional or dermatologist to determine if feverfew is right for your specific skin concerns.
DISCLAIMER: All skin care articles are intended to help educate on specific ingredients and skin care topics. Our articles are written to be informative and informational. Any reference to a specific patient experience is not a medical suggestion for treatment. Please note that any Prequel products with referenced ingredients are formulated for Cosmetic Use Only and NOT intended as replacements for physician advice and/or pharmaceutical product recommendations.