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What is Lavender Oil?
Lavender oil comes from steam distillation of the very beautiful lavender flowers (steam distillation is a process in which liquids immiscible with water and non-volatile are separated from a mixture of liquids using steam). Lavender oil is very potent and yet, very gentle. It is extensively used in aromatherapy, lotions, perfumes and even in various dishes. There are a million reasons you should keep this magic potion handy, and we’re going to tell you the top ones in this article.
Benefits of Lavender Oil for the Skin
1. Fights Acne
Lavender oil has antiseptic properties, which helps kill bacteria that cause inflammation and breakouts. To get rid of your acne, simply dab some on your acne or blemishes and see the effect. For more results, use a little amount of coconut oil along with lavender oil and apply on the face after taking a shower and before going to bed. Don’t worry about making your skin ‘oily’ by using two oils together. Both together can help control the skin’s oil production.
2. Prevents Wrinkles
Lavender oil is so full of goodness! It is also brimming with antioxidants, which help fight wrinkles, fine lines and other signs of ageing caused by free radicals. Use it with coconut oil whenever the skin needs moisturizing, and especially when going out in the sun.
3. Treats Sunburns
If you find yourself troubled with sunburn after a day at the beach, it is advisable that you always keep a bottle of lavender oil handy. Wash your face with cold water, or better yet take a cold shower, and then dilute some lavender oil and apply on the affected area. Repeat as required.
4. Aids Treatment of Skin Ailments like Eczema and Psoriasis
Lavender oil can help reduce itching as well as psoriasis, thereby helping with conditions like eczema. It adds moisture to the skin, thus decongesting the irritated area and facilitating the healing process.
5. Fights Skin Fungus
Lavender oil is already well known for its antibacterial properties, but it also helps eradicate fungal infections. There have been scientific studies done in this regard, and our hero rose victorious above a common fungus strain: yeast candida.
6. Helps Treat Bug Bites and Bruises
Anti-inflammatory properties of lavender oil make it fit for treating bruises and bug bites (mosquitoes, moths, midges etc.). Especially mosquito bites in kids.
How Can We Use Lavender Oil on the Skin?
1. Treating Cuts and Burns
Mix one portion of lavender oil with five portions of coconut oil. Apply this on the area affected and leave overnight. Do this till the wound shows improvement.
2. Treating Acne
Mix 4 drops of lavender essential oil and a tbsp of tea tree oil. Leave it on acne-affected skin overnight and wash the next morning with a mild face wash. Repeat this every night, and you’ll see a significant decrease in acne and breakout with time and the skin quality will improve.
3. Healing Sunburns
Mix five tsp aloe gel with ten drops of lavender oil and apply on the affected area. The burn would start improving after a few applications, so don’t get discouraged over not receiving instant results. It is advisable that you always use sunscreens or moisturizers with mild SPF (sun protection factor) for everyday outings.
4. For Youthful Skin
Take equal parts of frankincense essential oil and lavender oil (5 drops of each). Massage your skin with the mix, especially apply it to any age spots like fine lines, wrinkles or dark spots. For best effects, repeat this every day in the morning, after taking a shower and right before you go to bed. Long-term usage of lavender oil will make your skin smooth and supple giving it a healthy glow and virtual immunity to acne and breakouts.
5. As a Facial Mist
You can use lavender oil to make a gentle facial mist, for all the times you feel your skin is dry. Just mix little lavender oil with distilled water (rough measurements are 20 drops of lavender oil to 60ml water). Store as much as you like in a spray can, and carry it around with yourself wherever you go! Make sure your skin never stays dehydrated, especially when you’re outside.
6. For Massages
Relieve yourself of various joints and muscle pain. Massage your entire body with lavender oil at regular intervals for availing long term skin benefits, while also coping with stress. It is a known fact that lavender oil can be used for aromatherapy, and it is extensively used in spas. You could reap the goodness at home too.
7. As Perfumes
The gentle, relaxing aroma of lavender oil is a good alternative to perfumes. Its soothing scent will keep you smelling good while keeping you in a good mood. Win-win!
Natural remedies with Lavender Oil for Skin
1. DIY Lavender Face Mask
- 3-5 drops of lavender essential oil
- Organic yogurt (1 tbsp)
How to Make and Use
- Mix the ingredients well and apply on the face.
- Avoid the area around the eyes.
- Let it dry for 10-15 minutes and wash off with lukewarm water.
2. Lavender Oil ‘Bath-Bomb’
- Lavender essential oil (2 tbsp)
- Oatmeal (2 tbsp)
How to Make and Use
- In a muslin bag, mix the two ingredients.
- Put the bag in your bathtub.
- The liquid will dissolve almost immediately.
- Bathe as usual.
3. Treatment for Wrinkles
- White egg
- Lavender essential oil (2 drops)
How to Make and Use
- Mix the two ingredients and apply on the face like a regular face mask.
- Let it dry for 15-25 minutes and wash away with warm water.
4. Lavender Oil for Treating Acne
- 30 ml of any moisturizer/lotion
- Lavender essential oil (12 drops)
How to Make and Use
- Mix the ingredients and dab it on the affected area using cotton balls.
- Repeat over the next few days for cleaner skin.
5. DIY Lavender Lip Balm
- Shea butter
- Lavender oil
- Coconut oil
- Peppermint oil
How to Make and Use
- Heat beeswax, Shea butter and coconut oil over medium flame.
- After they’ve mixed well, take the pot off the heat and mix a few drops of lavender oil and peppermint oil (optional).
- Pour the mix into a Chapstick tube or lip balm container and let it harden.
- This homemade lip balm will help heal chapped lips and also protect them from sunlight.
Other Benefits of Lavender Oil?
Lavender essential oil is one of those wonder oils which serve many purposes and can be used both externally and internally. Some of its various uses are:
1. Bug Repellent
Lavender oil is a natural bug repellent. Be sure to always dab a little on the exposed skin while going out.
2. Fights Hair Loss
It supports hair growth and more hair follicles. It is essentially helpful for people diagnosed with alopecia. Its anti-fungal properties can help fight lice and dandruff as well.
3. Induces Sleep
Lavender essential oil has a very soothing effect and has shown to fight insomnia as well. For most patients, sleep medication could be replaced by just placing a little lavender oil on the pillows.
4. Stress Reliever
Due to its soothing effect and light fragrance, it has a good impact on the autonomous nervous system (the part of the nervous system dealing with involuntary actions like the beating of the heart, breathing). This essentially helps in relieving stress and curing headaches and migraines.
Apart from these, lavender oil is very good for the skin, as shall be discussed in the following section.
Precautions for using Lavender oil
- Though lavender oil sounds like a cure-all, certain precautions accompany its usage, just like for everything else.
- ALWAYS do a patch test first. This will help you find out if you’re allergic to any given solution.
- Lavender oil is NOT recommended for pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, small children and the elderly. It is a big no for people undergoing surgery.
- Never use the oil in excess, as it can cause skin sensitization.
- All the oils brands available in the market are not necessarily ‘pure’ and ‘natural’. Hence, a thought and research have to be put behind buying this item. The oil needs not only to be extracted from organically grown plants but should also be properly lab tested. This is extremely important if you intend to use lavender oil with food.
- Always use the oil according to the instructions given on the label or your dermatologist. Avoid hearsay and check usage details from multiple sources before applying. Dosage should also be particularly low in case of sensitive skin.