Although long employed for its fragrant smell, lavender oil also has a plethora of skin benefits. The sweet-scented botanical was used as far back as the Roman era, when it was added to baths to wash, soothe and soften the skin. These days, lavender oil’s nourishing and therapeutic properties are often harnessed for skin-care solutions.
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The Acne Avenger
In their book “Milady’s Skin Care and Cosmetic Ingredients Dictionary,” Natalia Michalun and M. Varinia Michalun note that oily and acneic skin benefits from lavender-oil infused products that inhibit bacteria. The ingredient also works as an astringent and helps in normalizing oil production.
According to Linda Walker’s “The Skin Care Ingredient Hand Book,” lavender oil’s natural soothing properties and ability to reduce inflammation allow it to treat skin redness and conditions such as burns, eczema and psoriasis. Aggravated skin caused by stress can be calmed by lavender, as it also has stress-relieving properties.
Lavender’s role as a normalizing agent extends to wounds and damaged skin. According to “Milady’s Skin Care and Cosmetic Ingredients Dictionary,” the ingredient can help stimulate new cell growth and regeneration. The book’s authors add that its skin-improving benefits can occur quickly, as lavender oil is rapidly absorbed into the skin.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women are discouraged from using lavender oil as well as individuals with diabetes. The natural ingredient should only be applied topically or via aromatherapy inhalation, as ingesting it can lead to health issues including blurred vision, vomiting and diarrhea.