Get the lowdown on lavender and learn why you need this healing essential oil in your beauty cabinet
Walking along a garden path, your sandals traipse over a few crisp green leaves adorned with purple flowers. You think nothing of it, until your nose is met with a familiar scent, one that instantly relaxes and soothes. Curious, you snap off a stem, and are met with an old friend, a garden grower we’re all familiar with and one I believe we’ve all come to love in our own way: Lavender.
Lavender is one of those scents so ubiquitous that you’d be hard pressed to find someone unwilling to extol its virtues. Whether you love it for its anxiety-soothing properties, the way the smell of the fresh plants waft about your garden on a sunny day, or the way a cluster of the blooms instantly brightens up your dresser, this wonder-herb is one to love. Today I’m delving into why lavender and lavender oil deserves a place in your beauty cabinet. Read on to get the lowdown on lavender.
What is it? While there are roughly 32 different species of lavender, the most common is Lavandula angustifolia, otherwise known as English lavender, garden lavender, or true lavender. Native to the Mediterranean, the low shrub grows worldwide and is used as an ornamental plant, as a healing herb, and in culinary dishes. It may be used fresh or dried, or distilled into an essential oil.
What are the benefits? Lavender is unique in that, as an essential oil, it may be applied to the skin undiluted. When applied to the skin as an essential oil or as a fresh plant, lavender can soothe nearly every skin condition, from acne to sunburns, to eczema. A natural anti-bacterial, fresh and distilled lavender promotes healing, fights germs and infection, and reduces inflammation. Lavender also has a soothing effect on the nervous system when applied topically or used in aromatherapy, and can ease anxiety, promote restful sleep, and reduce stress.
How do I use it? Lavender is as versatile as it is beautiful and along with it’s aromatic qualities, can easily be incorporated in your routine! Try dabbing a few drops at your temples and wrists when you’re having a particularly stressful day, or making a mist from with hazel and lavender to spray on your pillow or to use as a calming facial toner (yes, it’s that versatile!). Use as-is or mixed into aloe to soothe skin stressed by too much sun, or go wild and try adding fresh lavender to dessert, drink, and salad recipes! Feeling anxious? Try our 2-ingredient stress reliever below…
2-Ingredient DIY Lavender Sleep Oil
1/2 oz carrier oil (avocado, almond, or jojoba)
10 drops or more lavender essential oil
In a small vial, combine carrier oil with 10 or more drops lavender essential oil. Swirl to combine and keep close to your pillow.
To use: Just before bed, rub several drops of sleep oil on the soles of your feet, concentrating on massaging it into your arches, heels, and forefoot. You can also dab a few drops at pulse points: on your wrists, at your temples, and on your neck. This beautiful oil easily doubles as a bath oil. To make, combine larger amounts of carrier oil and essential oil and add a tablespoon to a warm bath to soothe skin and relax the nervous system.
+ What’s your favorite way to use lavender?
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