Is Lavender Good for Skin? A Soothing, Calming Remedy


Lavender is a fragrant herb that comes from the Lavandula genus and is part of the mint family. It's native to the Mediterranean region but is now grown worldwide. Lavender has a sweet floral aroma and is commonly used in soaps, perfumes, aromatherapy, and skin care products. 

The most common type of lavender used for skincare is Lavandula angustifolia. Lavender contains over 150 active constituents including polyphenols, phytochemicals like linalool and linalyl acetate, terpenes, and tannins that provide its beneficial properties. Lavender has been used for centuries for its calming and relaxing effects, as well as for its potential skin healing abilities. When applied topically, lavender is thought to have anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antibacterial, and antioxidant effects.

History of Lavender in Skincare

Is lavender good for skin? Lavender has been used for its aromatic and healing properties for over 2,500 years. The ancient Egyptians, Phoenicians, and people of Arabia used lavender oils for mummification and perfumes. Lavender was also commonly used by the Romans in their baths for its pleasant aroma and antimicrobial benefits. 

The name lavender comes from the Latin “lavare”, meaning “to wash”. Lavender’s clean, fresh scent made it a popular addition to baths, soaps, and hygiene products even thousands of years ago.

During the medieval times, lavender was grown in monastery gardens across Europe. Monks recognized lavender’s antiseptic and antimicrobial properties, using the herb to disinfect hospital floors and treat ailments. Lavender essential oil was also applied to heal wounds and burns.

Queen Elizabeth I loved the scent of lavender so much she instructed her glove maker to perfume her gloves with it. Lavender became a coveted herb across royal households in Europe. Many affluent women wanted the scent of lavender in their perfumes, powders and baths.

The antiseptic qualities of lavender made it a medicinal herb used to promote healing long before modern science recognized its antimicrobial compounds. Today, lavender remains one of the most popular essential oils for aromatherapy, beauty and natural medicine.

Benefits of Lavender for Skin

Lavender has many benefits when used on skin due to its medicinal properties. Some of the main benefits include:

Antioxidant Properties

Lavender contains antioxidant compounds like polyphenols that help protect the skin from environmental stressors. Antioxidants fight free radical damage that can lead to signs of aging. The antioxidants in lavender can help reduce fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and inflammation.


Research shows that lavender has anti-inflammatory abilities. The lavender compounds linalool and linalyl acetate have been shown to reduce inflammation. This makes lavender beneficial for inflammatory skin conditions like acne, eczema, and psoriasis. The anti-inflammatory action can help calm and soothe irritated skin.


Studies demonstrate that lavender oil has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. It contains compounds like linalool that fight bacteria and fungi that can cause skin infections. Applying lavender can protect against common bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus that contribute to acne and skin infections. The antibacterial effects can help treat and prevent various skin conditions.

Lavender Oil vs Extract

Lavender essential oil and lavender extract provide different skincare benefits. The key difference is how they are produced:

- Lavender essential oil is steam distilled from lavender flowers and contains the plant's aromatic compounds. It is highly concentrated and needs to be diluted before applying to skin.

- Lavender extract is produced by soaking lavender flowers in a solvent like glycerin or alcohol. This extracts some of the beneficial phytochemicals but little or none of the essential oil. Extracts are typically gentler than essential oils.

For skincare, lavender essential oil is valued for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It has been shown in studies to help heal acne, burns, and wounds. However, it can cause skin irritation if not diluted properly.

Lavender extract has hydrating and antioxidant effects that are good for general skin health. It soothes and protects sensitive skin. The phytochemicals may also impart some acne-fighting benefits.

So in summary, lavender essential oil is more potent and targeted for problem skin, while lavender extract is milder and provides general skin nourishment. Many skincare products combine both lavender oil and extract to get the best of both worlds.

Using Lavender Oil on Skin

Lavender oil is one of the most popular essential oils used in skincare. However, it's important to use it properly to get the full benefits and avoid any irritation. 


Lavender oil should always be diluted with a carrier oil before applying to skin. Good carrier oils to use are coconut, jojoba, olive, or almond oils. Dilute lavender oil in a 2-5% ratio. For example, for a 2% dilution, mix 12 drops of lavender oil per 1 ounce of carrier oil. Never apply undiluted lavender oil directly to skin as it can cause sensitivity reactions.

Skin Sensitivity 

Do a patch test before using lavender oil, especially if you have sensitive skin. Apply a diluted drop to your inner arm and wait 24 hours to see if any irritation develops before broader application. Start with lower dilutions around 2% if you have very sensitive skin. 


Apply diluted lavender oil lightly onto clean skin, massaging in gently where needed. Good areas to focus on are the face, neck, shoulders, and anywhere with skin irritation or redness. Avoid contact with your eyes. Inhalation is also an option - add a few drops of lavender oil to a diffuser or bath. Use daily or as needed for skin soothing benefits.

Is LavenLavender for Treating Skin Conditions

Lavender has been used for centuries for anti-aging remedies, to help treat various skin conditions due to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Modern research has started to confirm some of these traditional uses.


Lavender oil has been shown to inhibit the bacteria that causes acne. One study found that lavender oil was effective against propionibacterium acnes, reducing the amount of bacteria after just 5 minutes of contact. Lavender also helps to reduce inflammation and irritation caused by breakouts.


Applying diluted lavender oil can provide relief from itchy, irritated skin caused by eczema. It helps soothe inflammation while also preventing secondary infections that can be common with eczema. 


Early research indicates lavender oil can help reduce the redness, scale, and irritation associated with psoriasis plaques. It may also help slow rapid skin cell turnover, one of the root causes of psoriasis.


Lavender has natural wound-healing and pain-relieving properties. Applying lavender oil to minor burns can help promote healing, reduce risk of infection, and alleviate pain and inflammation. Just be sure to dilute it first and avoid using it on severe burns.

Lavender in Skincare Products

Lavender is a popular ingredient in many skincare products today. Its pleasant floral scent and skin benefits make it a frequent addition to lotions, creams, masks, toners, and more. Here are some of the most common skincare products that contain lavender:

Facial Cleansers and Toners - Lavender makes a gentle and effective addition to many facial cleansers and toners. Its antimicrobial activity helps keep skin clean while its anti-inflammatory action soothes irritation from cleansing. Lavender toners help restore skin's pH balance.

Face Oils and Serums - Many facial oils and serums contain lavender essential oil or extract. The lavender infuses the skin with antioxidants and phytochemicals that fight signs of aging. Its antimicrobial properties also help keep acne-causing bacteria at bay.

Masks and Scrubs - Face masks and body scrubs often rely on lavender for its healing and soothing benefits. It helps create a relaxing spa-like experience while also nourishing the skin. Lavender's soothing properties are especially helpful after exfoliation scrubs.

Bath and Shower Products - From bath bombs to shower gels, lavender is ubiquitous in bath and shower products. It adds a pleasant relaxing aroma and natural skin-enhancing qualities. Lavender helps turn baths and showers into soothing spa-like experiences.

Lotions and Body Creams - Lavender is often added to body lotions and creams for its moisturizing and soothing properties. It's especially popular in lotions meant for dry or irritated skin. The lavender provides a calming scent while helping to hydrate and heal the skin.

So in summary, lavender is a highly versatile ingredient that provides an array of skin benefits which make it a popular addition to a wide variety of skincare products for both the face and body. It adds natural anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-aging properties while also providing a pleasant floral scent.

DIY Lavender Skincare

Lavender is easy to incorporate into simple homemade skincare products for beautiful, glowing skin. Here are some simple recipes to try at home:

Lavender Bath Salts

- 1 cup Epsom salts 

- 10-15 drops lavender essential oil

- Food coloring (optional)

Mix the Epsom salts and lavender oil together. Add a few drops of food coloring if desired for appearance. Store in an airtight container. Add 1/4 cup to bath water for a relaxing soak that softens skin.

Lavender Body Scrub

- 1/2 cup coarse sugar 

- 1/4 cup olive oil

- 10 drops lavender oil 

Combine the sugar, olive oil, and lavender oil in a bowl. Apply the scrub to damp skin in circular motions when showering. Rinse thoroughly. Leaves skin smooth and moisturized.

Lavender Facial Toner

- 1 cup witch hazel

- 15 drops lavender essential oil

- Spray bottle

Mix the witch hazel and lavender oil in a spray bottle. Shake before each use. After cleansing, spritz toner on face and neck to refresh, hydrate, and soothe skin. 

Lavender Sleeping Mask

- 1 tbsp honey

- 1 tsp yogurt 

- 5 drops lavender oil

Stir ingredients together in a small bowl until well blended. Apply a thin layer over face at night. Rinse off in the morning for hydrated, glowing skin.


Is Lavender good for skin? Lavender has a long history of use in skincare and aromatherapy. Its fragrant aroma and natural properties make it a versatile ingredient for addressing various skin concerns. Some of the key benefits of lavender for skin include:

- Acts as an anti-inflammatory and soothes skin irritation. Studies show it can help reduce redness and swelling.

- Has antimicrobial properties that combat acne-causing bacteria. May help improve acne when applied topically.

- Helps heal minor burns, cuts, and wounds. Accelerates healing and prevents infection. 

- Moisturizes and nourishes skin. Contains antioxidants that protect skin cells.

- Relaxes muscles and calms the mind. Can aid sleep and stress relief.

Lavender oil and extract can be used in many ways for natural skincare. However, diluted oils are recommended for direct skin application to avoid irritation. Speak to a doctor before using lavender oil if pregnant, breastfeeding, or without dilution on babies and young children. Overall, lavender is generally safe and research shows many benefits for improving various skin conditions.

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