Lean in to azulene

by Kate Lee

Azulene has been popping up in a number of anti-inflammatory skincare products. We take a quick look at its chemical structure, how it reduces redness and inflammation in irritated skin, and which products have this skin-calming ingredient.


As a chronic sufferer of allergies, skin redness, and irritation, I am constantly on the lookout for anti-inflammatory and soothing skincare ingredients in the products I purchase. While there is no panacea for every possible reaction to the environment, there are certain products that do help calm down irritated skin, controlling for other factors, such as diet, air pollution, and use of irritants in cosmetics. Azulene is one such compound that helps to reduce redness and soothe skin that is prone to redness and irritation.

Azulene is an organic compound, a hydrocarbon with blue crystals. This is the component typically responsible for the vibrant blue colors of the skincare products it's included in, azul being Spanish for 'blue.' Azulene is typically derived from distilling chamomile (either German or Roman), yarrow, or blue tansy (Moroccan chamomile). It's been purported to have anti-inflammatory properties, with one study showing it reduced the intensity of erythema (superficial reddening of the skin) and increased its fading course. 

Below are several products you can use to integrate more calm into your skincare routine.

Photo courtesy of Sephora.com

Photo courtesy of Sephora.com

Sunday Riley Blue Moon Tranquility Cleansing Balm, $50

Start off your routine by gently washing off the day with this anti-inflammatory balm made with German chamomile and blue tansy. The balm turns into a milk that gently removes makeup and impurities and rinses off effortlessly.

Photo courtesy of HerbivoreBotanicals.com

Photo courtesy of HerbivoreBotanicals.com

Blue Tansy AHA + BHA Resurfacing Clarity Mask, $48

Post-cleansing, treat your skin to a gentle exfoliating treatment. Leave the gel mask on for about 15-20 minutes until dry and carefully wash away. Continue to touch your now resurfaced and ultra smooth face. 

Photo courtesy of Aesop.com

Photo courtesy of Aesop.com

Aesop Blue Chamomile Facial Hydrating Masque, $55

If your skin is in need of a tall drink of water, layer on this mask to instantly balance and soothe skin at the end of the day. Bisabolol is one of the constituents of German Chamomile so look for this key ingredient as well.

Image courtesy of Khus-Khus.com

Image courtesy of Khus-Khus.com

KHUS+KHUS Sans Age Hydrolat, $38

A spritz of this floral water (aka a hydrosol) will leave your skin refreshed and can assist with other face oils or serums to evenly blend into skin. This anti-inflammatory concoction can help relieve itchiness, redness, and symptoms of eczema.

Image courtesy of MayLindstrom.com

Image courtesy of MayLindstrom.com

May Lindstrom Blue Cocoon Beauty Balm Concentrate, $180

This beauty balm is a luxurious and sensorial experience for your skincare routine (at a luxurious and also sensorial price tag). The balm melts to the touch and can be used during your morning or evening routines to relieve reddened skin, while doubling as aromatherapy.


  1. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/azulene#section=Top
  2. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/wol1/doi/10.1046/j.1468-3083.2001.00340.x/full