Extract that can be very irritating to skin and can trigger allergic reactions if a specific constituent of the feverfew plant known as parthenolide (technically, sesquiterpene lactone) is present. If the parthenolide is removed from feverfew, the ingredient is not a problem for skin and may actually be beneficial because parthenolide-free feverfew has potent anti-inflammatory properties and may reduce redness in skin. [1,2,3]
Interestingly, when parthenolide is present and feverfew is taken orally it has been shown to relieve migraines and have anti-inflammatory properties, including those related to pain reduction for certain types of arthritis.  If a skincare product contains feverfew, you must contact the company to confirm that the feverfew in their products is parthenolide-free. If they don’t know or won’t tell you, do not use the product, especially if you have plant allergies.
- Rodriguez K, Wong H, Oddos T, Southall M, Frei B, Kaur S. A purified feverfew extract protects from oxidative damage by inducing DNA repair in skin cells via a PI3-kinasedependent Nrf2/ARE pathway. J Dermatol Sci. 2013;72(3):304-10.
- Martin K, Sur R, Liebel F, Tierney N, Lyte P, Garay M, Oddos T, Anthonavage M, Shapiro S, Southall M. Parthenolide-depleted Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) protects skin from UV irradiation and external aggression. Arch Dermatol Res. 2008;300(2):69-80.
- Pareek A, Suthar M, Rathore G, Bansal V. Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium L.): A systematic review. Pharmacogn Rev.2011;5(9):103-110.