Lavender extracts have been used medicinally for centuries to calm inflammation, soothe discomfort, and heal injuries. The ancient Romans recognized the plant’s antiseptic properties. History suggests the ancient Greeks used lavender to treat back pain and insomnia.1
Having withstood the test of time, this fragrant oil is still used today for restful sleep, relaxation, and to help prevent infection. Many people also use lavender oil for reasons you may not have considered. The next time you reach for a soothing cup of lavender tea or relax with the calming fragrance of lavender bath salts, consider some of the many possible benefits of adding lavender oil to your skincare routine.
An Introduction to Lavender Flower
Lavender is a fragrant perennial shrub with silvery-green foliage and white, pink, or purple flowers. This ancient, old-world plant is believed to be from the Middle East, Mediterranean Region, and India. Although there are 47 known species, English lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia) is the most common variety. Related to mint, lavender plants thrive in dry, sandy soil as long as they have plenty of sunlight. The plant is also highly adaptable, provided its environment isn’t too moist.
In Medieval and Renaissance France, clothes were washed in lavender and dried on lavender bushes. The plant was also used to perfume the air, repel insects, ward off infection, and soothe insect bites.2 Today, lavender oil is primarily used in soap, perfume, and for aromatherapy.
The Many Potential Skin Benefits of Lavender Oil
There was a time that researchers credited the health and wellness potential of aromatic oils to their ability to impact the emotional centers of the brain. While this may be true, researchers investigating the impact of fragrance discovered that aromatic molecules can also cross the blood-brain barrier, transmit electrical signals, and have a direct impact on blood pressure, muscle tension, heart rate, and more.3
When applied topically, there’s also a fair amount of scientific evidence supporting some of the many reported skin benefits of numerous plant extracts. However, essential oils should not be applied to your skin directly from the bottle. Some concentrated plant extracts can cause skin irritation. Others can cause chemical burns.
Although several sources suggest lavender oil can be used straight from the bottle in some cases, don’t apply the oil directly to your skin without consulting a qualified aromatherapist. Before using lavender oil for the following concerns, dilute the extract with a non-comedogenic oil like argan oil, apricot kernel oil, or jojoba oil.4,5
Lavender Oil for Acne
If you have oily, blemish-prone skin, lavender oil could help. Current research confirms something our ancient ancestors realized long ago; lavender has considerable antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Acne is primarily an inflammatory skin condition.
Lavender oil helps inhibit acute inflammatory responses by influencing cytokine, histamines, and nitric oxide. As the anti-inflammatory properties help calm skin reactions, lavender oil could also help reduce the population of acne-causing bacteria (p. acnes) on the surface of your skin, the bacteria that feed on the oil from your pores.6
Lavender Oil for Dry Skin and Eczema
This fragrant oil could be just what your complexion needs if your skin is dry, flaky, or irritable. Lavender is a potent antioxidant that could help fortify your skin’s delicate moisture barrier.7 The essential oil is also shown to promote skin cell regeneration, an effect that could leave your skin feeling softer and smoother.
Current investigations also show that lavender oil could be helpful for eczema symptoms, a chronic skin condition known to cause dryness, itching, uncomfortable rashes, and skin discoloration. The antimicrobial properties help eliminate staphylococcus aureus; a type of bacteria believed to contribute to eczema flares.8
Lavender Oil for Lines and Wrinkles
Free radicals are unstable molecules that steal electrons from stable molecules. They create new unstable molecules that can cause a cascade of cellular damage.9 Free radical damage is believed to be the number one cause of skin aging. Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals.
Lavender oil shows considerable antioxidant potential. Antioxidants stabilize free radicals by giving up an electron. Studies investigating the impact of lavender oil on wound healing also show the oil helps stimulate tissue repair and collagen production.10 The boost in collagen production can have a significant impact on fine lines, wrinkles, and overall skin firmness.
Lavender Oil for Skin Lightening
Sun exposure, hormonal fluctuations, and certain medical conditions can cause dark spots on the surface of your skin. Most often, the pesky spots are caused by the over-production of melanin, the pigment molecules that give your skin its color. The hyperpigmentation that might be keeping your skin from looking as vibrant as it could can also be caused by minor skin injuries, including blemishes.11
Although more research is needed on the topic, numerous sources suggest this fragrant essential oil helps reduce the appearance of dark spots. Some credit the extract’s impact on cellular renewal.7 Others specifically credit lavender’s linalyl acetate concentrations.12
The Best Lavender Oil for Your Skin
When purchasing lavender oil to add to your skincare routine, it’s important to do your homework. The best lavender oil is sourced from plants grown without pesticides or other potentially harmful chemicals. Look for organic, unsprayed, or wildcrafted products. Equipment standards and extraction methods also matter. Most reputable manufacturers specify the genus and species of their plant oils, the extraction methods used to obtain the oil, and an expiration date.
If you’re intrigued by the many potential skin benefits of lavender but not thrilled with the prospect of mixing, measuring, or experimenting with carrier oils, consider how your complexion might benefit from BOTA™ De-Stressing Nightly Face Cream + Lavender.
At BOTA™, we’ve created an entire skincare line featuring the best plant elements nature has to offer. So not only could your complexion benefit from the lavender oil in our nightly face cream, our plant-powered formula also helps soothe, protect, and revitalize your complexion with honeysuckle, apricot kernel oil, jojoba, and our full-spectrum hemp-derived CBD.
As the CBD in our plant-powered skincare products penetrates your skin, it interacts with important receptors located on nearly every type of skin cell, including the receptors regulating inflammation, moisture retention, oil production, collagen formation, and skin cell turnover. To learn more, visit BOTA™ to read our Complete Guide to Natural Skin Care. Then browse our selection of CBD-infused toners, serums, moisturizers, and body care products. All BOTA™ products are cruelty-free and third-party tested for purity and potency.
1. NC State Extension. J McCoy (2020) Lavender: History, Taxonomy, and Production.
2. Tumalo Lavender. (2021) The History of Lavender.
3. Scientia Pharmaceutica. K Sowndhararajan, S Kim. (2016) Influenced of Fragrances on Human Psychophysical Activity: With Special Reference to Human Electroencephalographic Response.
4. Medical New Today. A Barrell. (2021 July 15) The Best Carrier Oils for Essential Oils.
5. Jersey Lavender. (2021) Can Lavender Essential Oil Be Applied Directly onto the Skin?
6. Facing Acne. J Rao. (2020 August 10) Could Lavender Oil Help Clear Your Acne?
7. Skin Disease Remedies. M Nex. (2017 December 03) How to Use Lavender Oil for Skin Lightening – 5 DIY Methods.
8. Medical News Today. H Ames. (2020 September 25) How to Use Lavender Oil for the Skin.
9. Very Well Health. L Eldridge. (2020 February 20) Free Radicals: Definition, Causes, Antioxidants, and Cancer.
10. Stylecraze. A Sayee. (2021 September 19) Lavender Oil Benefits for Skin: The Complete Guide.
11. Medical News Today. B Sissons. (2018 November 27) What to Know About Hyperpigmentation.
12. How to Cure. (2020 April 16) Bid Farewell to Dark Spots with These Essential Oils.