Lavandula Angustifolia or English Lavender, when processed into oil, can offer a multitude of benefits for your skin.
In this article:
- What Is Lavandula Angustifolia Oil?
- Where Is Lavandula Angustifolia From?
- How Is Lavandula Angustifolia Oil Made?
- What Are the Benefits of Lavandula Angustifolia Oil?
- Who Shouldn’t Be Using Lavender Oil?
- How Do I Use Lavender Oil for Skin?
Lavandula Angustifolia Oil: Your Questions Answered
What Is Lavandula Angustifolia Oil?
Lavandula Angustifolia is also English Lavender or Common Lavender. It is a flowering shrub which has a strong and distinct aroma used worldwide in a range of products such as perfume, essential oils, and even insecticides.
After undergoing distillation, Lavandula Angustifolia becomes an essential oil. Lavender oil has many uses for the skin, internally for the body, or as aromatherapy.
Where Is Lavandula Angustifolia From?
Despite its name, Lavandula Angustifolia isn’t actually native to England. It is native to Mediterranean countries like France, Italy, Spain, Croatia, and Greece.
Currently, lavender plants which become essential oils and other products grow en masse in Africa and the Mediterranean.
How Is Lavandula Angustifolia Oil Made?
First, the processors harvest the lavender flowers from fields. They are then tied in large bunches and laid out to dry in the sun for many weeks, in order to keep the oil from going bad and so the flower buds are easier to remove from the stalks.
After a sufficient drying process, they will undergo steam distillation, which helps extract all the good benefits of lavender oil without chemicals.
The lavender is steamed above boiling water, the heat pushing oil out of the flowers. Steam carries a steam-oil mixture into a condenser where it undergoes a cooling process and becomes hydrosol.
From there, the oil is extracted.
What Are the Benefits of Lavandula Angustifolia Oil?
1. Resists Fungal Infections
Studies show that lavender oil is lethal to several fungi strains which can wreak havoc on the skin. In the study, the oil serves its function against fungi by annihilating the fungal cell membranes.
2. Helps Close Wounds
Lavender oil can also help wounds heal and close faster. A study in 2013 noted that lavender oil was among the most effective in closing wounds compared to other substances sampled in the study.
Another study from 2016 supports the acceleratory healing properties of lavender oil on wounds. It shows that lavender oil helped increase the synthesis of collagen and accelerated the contraction of wounds, leading them to close earlier.
This wound-healing quality, along with its antiseptic properties are reasons why lavender oil is often a treatment for canker sores.
What Are Canker Sores? Alternatively called aphthous ulcers, canker sores are painful lesions that develop in the soft tissues within the mouth or atop gums. Unlike cold sores, however, they aren’t contagious.
3. Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Lavender oil also has anti-inflammatory properties which help in treating minor burns like sunburns, and wounds such as itchy insect bites. For topical use, regularly massaging a few drops of lavender oil over affected areas such as itchy skin can help relieve irritation and pain.
4. Helps Against Hair Loss
Lavender oil may be helpful against alopecia areata.
What Is Alopecia Areata? It is a medical condition where hair loss is present in several areas of the body.
A study shows that the group that massage lavender oil into their scalps daily for 7 months promoted up to 44% of new hair growth after a few months. Another study from 2016 shows the hair growth-promoting qualities of lavender oil, with hair growth in as little as 4 weeks.
5. Repels Bugs
Strong herb scents like lavender are a bane to bugs, so rubbing some lavender oil on your skin may help keep them at bay. Lavender oil can also help soothe the itching and inflammation of existing bug bites.
6. Helps Control Acne
Lavender oil helps kill bacteria, which may be helpful in the prevention and treatment of acne. Using lavender oil as a toner can be a good supplement for an existing anti-acne skin care regimen, by adding two drops into one teaspoon of witch hazel.
7. Helps Soothe Dry Skin
It may be due to the changing weather or genes, but dry skin patches can be a literal pain. Adding lavender oil into your body and skin care routine may be able to provide some relief.
Lavender oil can provide moisture to dry skin, but not too much to block your pores. Its soothing properties and scent may also help relieve the itching of dry skin.
Who Shouldn’t Be Using Lavender Oil?
Those with sensitive skin should steer clear from lavender oil.
Despite its popularity in aromatherapy and skin care products, lavender oil is actually a common allergen. This is because it contains linalool, geraniol, and linalyl acetate, all of which are allergens which can cause rashes.
Those using lavender oil on the under-eye area, which is susceptible to puffiness and irritation, to reduce inflammation should look to products which contain the smallest possible amount of lavender oil.
Purple Tea’s Rapid Eye Anti-wrinkle Cream is an example, as it contains lavender oil but only in small amounts, and any allergenic qualities can be offset by other active ingredients such as purple tea extract and silicate. It can help diminish fine lines, and quickly penetrate the skin for rapid results.
How Do I Use Lavender Oil for Skin?
Lavender oil is highly concentrated, so before applying directly onto the skin it should be diluted with liquid or another carrier oil. Mixing a few drops of lavender oil into 10-15 drops of coconut oil is a popular choice, as coconut oil can solidify in room temperature to an easily spreadable consistency.
Lavender oil has made its mark on gardening, aromatherapy, home care, and skin care products for its distinct scent and additionally beneficial qualities. Use it to supplement your daily skin care regimen to reap its many benefits.
Have you ever tried lavender oil on your skin before? Share your experience with us in the comments section below!