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8 min read / 17 January 2024 / yasmin sharp

8 Benefits of Lavender Oil for Skin

Unlock the beauty-enhancing potential of Lavender Oil: Explore its skin-soothing and rejuvenating benefits in our latest blog.

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Using lavender oil for skin can offer a natural alternative for anyone looking for a 100% natural alternative to commercial cosmetic products.

Whilst lavender essential oil is widely known for its sedative powers due to its wonderful, floral scent, it has a lot to offer the skin, with its anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antibacterial and hydrating qualities providing a host of potential benefits.

We take a closer look at how to use lavender oil for skin, along with the health properties it can provide, application tips and lots more.

Vitamin E and lavender oil: which one is better for my skin?

Like vitamin E, lavender essential oil can be used as an antioxidant, whilst also helping to hydrate and rejuvenate skin.

Both oils can help to ‘lock in’ moisture to alleviate dry skin, whilst also helping to repair wounds, support hair health and tackle inflammation.

So, in terms of which one is better for skin, it comes down to which works best for your skin type and routine.

How do I choose the best lavender oil for skin?

To ensure you buy the best lavender oil for your skin you can use the tips below as a guideline:

  • Keep a look out for cold-pressed or steam distilled lavender oils, as these types are less likely to have been contaminated during the extraction and manufacturing process, making them more beneficial for your skin.
  • Lavender essential oil that is sold in dark glass or amber glass bottles helps to maintain the quality and integrity of the oil far longer than those stored in plastic bottles. The oil will be preserved so it retains its scent and properties so you can enjoy it for as long as possible.
  • Check the label of the product to ensure that no additional ingredients or additives have been added to the oil. The best lavender oil should be 100% pure and not diluted with any other substances.

A reputable seller will provide the correct certification and application guidelines, whilst also being open about how it was sourced.

Small vial of lavender oil placed next to lavender sprigs

What are the benefits of using lavender oil for skin?

The many benefits of lavender oil for skin mean it could:

1. Revitalise and refresh the skin

Many people use lavender essential oil as part of a lotion to soothe and revitalise skin, helping to combat the ageing process.

The oil is rich in antioxidants, which once applied to the skin can offer more protection against free radicals and environmental stressors that allow free radicals to cause wrinkles and fine lines. 

Lavender essential oil works particularly well when combined with coconut carrier oil, working on the skin as a natural, homemade anti-ageing serum that can improve the elasticity and overall quality of the skin.

2. Reduce the appearance of acne

The bacteria-killing properties of lavender essential oil allows it to work as an anti-acne agent, helping to prevent and heal acne breakouts.

When applied to skin, the oil can unclog pores and reduce inflammation, making the condition easier to manage.

Another option is to use lavender essential oil as a facial toner by mixing one teaspoon of witch hazel with 2 drops of lavender oil.

Simply take a cotton ball and soak it into the blend and carefully apply to affected areas of skin.

3. Minimise the risk of infection

Lavender essential oil is also known to contain antifungal and antibacterial properties that can be very effective at inhibiting the risk of infection.

This is based on the findings of a study published in 2011 that suggested it could be used as a treatment for common infections such as candida and dermatophytosis.

Whilst candida can exist in most healthy people without causing any issues, it can also be responsible for thrush and other serious infections.

Dermatophytosis is often the underlying cause for nail and scalp infections, as well as infections such as Athlete’s foot.

4. Speed up the wound healing process

In 2016, researchers published a paper stating that lavender oil may promote the healing of skin tissue.

This means if you have a cut, scrape, burn or similar type of wound, you could apply diluted lavender oil to speed up the wound healing process.

You can use lavender oil at home to repair small wounds by mixing 3-4 drops with a few drops of coconut carrier oil.

Use a cotton ball to carefully apply the mixture to the wound as needed.

If you have remaining scars on your skin, you can also use lavender oil to reduce their appearance.

5. Work as an anti-inflammatory

The numbing and pain-relieving effects offered by lavender oil mean it could be used to treat inflammation, with its beta-caryophyllene compounds helping to soothe inflamed swollen skin.

After diluting 2-3 drops of lavender oil with 1-2 drops of coconut oil, use a cotton ball to carefully apply to affected areas up to three times a day.

You can also use lavender oil for inflammation caused by sunburn.

A convenient way to apply is to mix 10-12 drops of lavender oil and jojoba oil with 2 tablespoons of distilled water and a quarter cup of aloe vera juice in a spray bottle and apply where needed.

Close up of lavender with a couple of bees polinating

6. Relieve dry skin and eczema symptoms

Eczema can appear anywhere on the body, causing the skin to become dry, itchy and scaly, with people experiencing anything from mild to chronic conditions.

The antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties contained in antifungal lavender oil mean it could work as a natural remedy to treat psoriasis or soothe eczema symptoms.

To use lavender oil for skin that has eczema, simply dilute with a carrier oil and apply to the affected area of skin.

Ideally, it should be used to complement any existing prescribed medication, instead of being used as a replacement treatment.

7. Keep insects at bay

Insect bites can cause pain, redness and itching, and their presence during the warmer months of the year often causes a lot of stress and worry.

Lavender oil not only works as an insect repellent, but it can relieve the resulting itching, which is why many mosquito repellents tend to include lavender oil as an ingredient.

Mix 4 drops of lavender oil with 250ml of water in a spray bottle and shake before use.

Before you head outside, simply spray the mixture onto your body or clothes to give you more protection against a variety of insects.

8. Support scalp health and hair growth

Some animal-based studies have seen researchers suggest that lavender could have a role to play in the speeding up of hair growth.

After the oil was applied to a group of mice 5 times a day for 4 weeks, they found that there was a significant increase in hair follicles, along with hair follicle depth and thickened dermal layers.

Lavender oil is easy to include in your daily hair care routine, as you can create your own hair mask using a carrier oil.

Once mixed, massage into your hair and scalp and leave it to settle for 30 minutes before washing out, or simply add 10-12 drops to your shampoo and conditioner and use as normal.

Close up of lavender being pollinated by butterflies

How can I use lavender oil for skin?

There are various ways you can use lavender oil for skin, providing relief against a host of minor ailments and conditions:

  • Dilute with a carrier oil – such as coconut oil – before applying to the skin using a cotton ball.
  • Make your own homemade lavender essential oil spray to treat inflamed skin and increase protection against mosquitos and other insects.
  • Blend with a carrier oil in the palm of your hand and gently massage into the skin.
  • Make your own hair mask or add lavender oil directly to your favourite shampoo or condition to improve scalp health.
  • Add a diluted mixture to warm bath water and allow the natural properties of the oil to soak into the skin.
  • Diffuse the oil using a diffuser or oil burner to experience and benefit from the aromatherapeutic properties contained in the oil.

What are the risks of using lavender oil for skin?

When used correctly, lavender essential oil is safe for most people to use without issue.

However, some people with sensitive skin can experience irritation or an allergic reaction, so may wish to use an alternative.

As is the case with all essential oils, care should be taken to ensure that lavender oil is correctly diluted with a carrier oil before topical application.

This will make the oil less potent, so the skin can enjoy the natural benefits and properties.

First-time users should complete a patch test to check that the oil is compatible with their skin.

To do this, simply dilute a few drops with a carrier oil of choice and apply to the inside of your elbow.

Cover with a plaster for 24 hours and if you notice any signs of irritation, redness, itchiness or inflammation, use warm water to wash the oil off your skin and do not continue use.

Black and white illustration of lavender

Lavender oil for skin FAQs

What is lavender oil?

Lavender essential oil is extracted from the flowers of the lavender plant, which is native to Cape Verde and the Canary Islands, although in the modern age it is mostly associated with countries such as Bulgaria and France.

It contains anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antibacterial properties, which is derived from various chemical compounds such as linalool, geraniol, linalyl acetate and eucalyptol.

Is lavender oil good for skin?

You can use lavender oil essential oil to treat a host of minor ailments and conditions.

When diluted with a carrier oil for topical application, it can help to ease acne, combat free radicals, minimise infections, hydrate skin and repel insects.

Is lavender oil good for stress and anxiety?

Lavender oil is one of the most popular oils used to manage stress and anxiety levels.

The aromatherapeutic benefits can be enjoyed through diffusion or topical application, with many people also using the oil as a natural remedy to relax, with its sedative properties helping them get a better night’s rest.


References

[1] Gabriela L da Silva et al. (2015) Antioxidant, analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of lavender essential oil https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26247152/

[2] Mónica Zuzarte et al. (2011) Chemical composition and antifungal activity of the essential oils of Lavandula viridis L'Hér. https://www.microbiologyresearch.org/content/journal/jmm/10.1099/jmm.0.027748-0

[3] Hiroko-Miyuki Mori et al. (2016) Wound healing potential of lavender oil by acceleration of granulation and wound contraction through induction of TGF-β in a rat model https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4880962/

[4] Sidonie Y. Tankeu et al. (2014) Vibrational spectroscopy and chemometric modeling: An economical and robust quality control method for lavender oil https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0926669014002702

[5] Boo Hyeong Lee et al. (2015) Hair Growth-Promoting Effects of Lavender Oil in C57BL/6 Mice http://www.toxicolres.org/journal/view.html?doi=10.5487/TR.2016.32.2.103

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Medical Disclaimer

The content in this article is for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to take the place of medical advice. Please consult your personal physician for any advice or treatment regarding specific health questions. Neither the article editor, writer, nor the organisation of Nikura takes any responsibility for possible health consequences following the information given in any article. All readers should consult their physician before taking any advice given within these articles.

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