The lavender plant is known for its sweet, floral fragrance. It produces bluish-purple flowers and grows in mountainous regions of Australia, Europe and the United States. Lavender essential oil, which is extracted from the flowers, is a common ingredient in skin products. When it is applied topically, lavender essential oil promotes healthy skin in many ways.
Where to Get Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil can be purchased at health food stores or from websites such as Amazon, Young Living or 100 Pure Essential Oils. You can also make lavender essential oil at home using hot or cold infusion methods. The oil can last up to one year when stored properly.
Lavender essential oil is often used in the treatment of acne. Pimples, which are bacterial infections of the skin, can develop in people of all ages. Lavender essential oil is a natural antibacterial that combats these infections. It kills the bacteria that causes pimples to form.
Lavender oil can be applied directly to the skin using clean fingers or cotton balls. It can also be diluted and mixed with carrier oils such as jojoba or coconut oil. The mixture can be used as a natural moisturizer or face wash.
Treat Fungal Infections
Lavender essential oil also has an anti-fungal effect against common infections of the skin, scalp and nails. It can naturally treat athlete's foot and ringworm.
In 2011, biologists at University of Coimbra in Coimbra, Portugal, confirmed the anti-fungal activity of lavender oil. The biologists discovered that lavender essential oil damages the membranes of fungal cells found in common infections. The study can be found in the May 2011 issue of Journal of Medical Microbiology.
To treat a fungal infection with lavender oil, apply with clean fingers or cotton balls. This is a natural alternative to anti-fungal medications which may cause unwanted side effects.
Prevent and Treat Bug Bites
Bug bites are extremely irritating to the skin. Constantly scratching bug bites can cause them to bleed, scar or get infected. Despite its sweet scent, lavender essential oil naturally repels pesky bugs. It is most useful against mosquitoes, gnats and bed bugs. The oil is a natural alternative to store-bought insect repellents, which often contain harsh chemicals.
Lavender essential oil can attract bees. Do not use lavender oil to ward them off, especially if you are allergic to bee stings.
Lavender oil can also soothe bug bites. Because it has anti-inflammatory properties, it calms redness and swelling. It is also a more natural, simpler alternative to store-bought creams or ointments. To apply, gently rub the oil directly on the bug bite with clean fingers or cotton balls.
Heal Minor Wounds
Lavender oil speeds up the healing process of minor cuts and burns by regenerating skin cells. The oil’s antibacterial properties also prevent the wounds from becoming infected. The oil is ideal for treating wounds such as razor cuts, paper cuts, sunburns and burns that have not blistered.
To use lavender essential oil for healing wounds, apply one to two drops directly to the wound. You can also use a cotton ball or swab to apply the oil. This limits the risk of contaminating the wound with your fingers.
Get Some R & R
The scent of lavender promotes stress relief and relaxation. Throughout history, lavender aromatherapy has been used to relax people with insomnia and sleep disorders. Because your cells regenerate while you sleep, a good night’s rest is important for healthy skin cells and tissue. Lack of sleep can lead to stress-related break outs and tired-looking skin. If you are having a hard time sleeping, smelling lavender oil can help you achieve the sleep that your skin needs.
If you have sensitive skin, lavender essential oil might be too harsh for you. Always spot test a small area when using a new essential oil.
It is not recommended to use essential oils if you are pregnant or have diabetes. Always check with your doctor if you are not sure.