I used to use lavender oil, mixed with some other "natural" essential oils on my face. Then I started doing research when I decided to do only what's good for my skin, and here's what I found.
Unmodified, pure lavender oil is irritating and straight up bad for your skin. It's a pro-oxidant, meaning it oxidizes when exposed to oxygen (when it's on your skin, for instance) causing free-radical damage. It's a fragrant, irritating oil.
Here's what I've learned from my research: Just because something is all- natural doesn't make it good for you. SOOO many natural oils and ingredients are bad for your skin, including peppermint, lavender, camphor and many pure and unadulterated essential oils. Many cause irritation and sensitization. Meanwhile, many synthetic ingredients are good for your skin (glycerin, AHA's and BHA;s, modified Vit C and Vit A (retinol), etc etc.) In fact, the vast majority of plant-based ingredients must be modified in some way to make them safe for topical application.
So don't fall for the "all natural" marketing BS. Natural doesn't equal good when it comes to skin care.
There's a review on here, further down, that warns you not to trust Paula's CHoice because she's anti-natural and has an agenda. Of course, you should always check sources, but I've found that Paula's team does a PHENOMENAL job of remaining unbiased and up-to-date on the science. If she was so biased, she would be giving bad reviews to all her competitors, and that's not the case. At all. Her team gives bad reviews to bad products and good reviews for healthy ones, based on what current research says about the ingredients. Paula's Choice also has a natural line based on current science that won't irritate skin. The reviewer says her products are full of "chemicals". Well, so is pure lavender oil. Every skin care product you ever used is full of chemicals. This term has no meaning. Chemicals are not good or bad, they are just tiny building blocks of substances, both natural and synthetic. The reviewer below also claims that Paula's teams' conclusions about lavender oil are flawed because they are based on two pages of an old article. Also not the case. PC quotes about six reputable sources. Her sources are science's most current conclusions on lavender oil, dermatitis, and cell proliferation. The reviewer proceeds to provide one biased website as proof that lavender oil is good for skin. The reviewer also states that lavender has been used for hundreds of years in skin care and for medicinal purposes. That's true. But guess what? Ancient doesn't equal right. Science has brought us so far in all areas, including skin care.Yet for some reason, people insist on turning to ancient, "traditional" and thoroughly unproven methods and ingredients just because they're old. Sometimes they pay for this decision, as when a person with cancer goes to an acupuncturist instead of getting chemotherapy or radiation, or when women put irritating, caustic essential oils on their face because they are "natural" and ancient. Why make discoveries and new inventions if people a thousand years ago already had everything right?
I'd also like to remind the person below that Paula's Choice rates MANY "natural" ingredients and substances as "Good" or "Best" for the skin, such as jojoba, olive oil, licorice, argan oil, and many, many others. If PC is sooo biased against natural ingredients and products, why are so many natural and essential ingreients and products rated "Best" or "Good". Just because your all-time favorite is rated "Poor" doesn't mean PC is biased. Or that PC is wrong.
To conclude this little epic I turn out to be writing, PC is a GREAT resource for people looking to take really good care of their skin. I check PC reviews before buying anything for my skin. The product line happens to be excellent as well, with no fragrance or irritating ingredients and based on current research and understanding of good skin health. I do NOT work for PC. I'm just a fan. There's not another resource like it on the internet, and everything is cited so you can check PC's references.
100% pure lavender essential oil has been my delightfully scented and handy EO for around 5 years or so now. I add a drop or two into my moisturiser, and apply it undiluted onto insect bites, cuts, abrasions and pimples - it aids in the healing process, especially with mosquito bites (though not quite as good as a repellant in my experience, unfortunately!). It's not as potent as tea tree oil in terms of drying out zits, but does its job well enough and should rid your acne spots within a week or so. Due to its lovely smell, I use it straight as perfume too.
Purely as a skin treatment, it does a fair job in helping to reduce the appearance of acne scars - but seemingly only overtime. It does remain as a decent anti-microbial/anti-bacterial oil which simultaneously offers natural fragrance.
Lavender EO provides a range of uses including household cleaning such as freshening up your bed sheets, washing, homemade deodorant, etc. Definitely will have at least one bottle in the house.
NOTE: If you are just starting out on lavender EO, I suggest diluting it first. Only if your skin is able to handle it, or if like me you have been using it for years, it's fine to use it undiluted but in small amounts - otherwise it can irritate or dry out your skin.
if you have sensitive skin, beware. i used this before i got in the habit of patch testing, and i used this all over my face - it was one drop diluted in an oil (an oil that my skin liked). i ended up having a reaction. the skin began to flake and turn dark and waxy around my nose and parts of my cheeks. never again. it sucks too, as so many natural brands use it :(
I've been adding lavender oil to my alcohol free witch hazel and my moisturizer and it's made a huge difference in my skin in terms of healing old acne scars, clearing up blemishes and just giving me a overall much healthier appearance.
I know that a lot of people quote Paula Beqoun as saying Lavender causes Cell death but you have to look at where her miniscule information came from and who she is before you naysay on lavender oil. For one thing Paula is Extremely anti-natural skincare and anti-essential oil in anything and everything. she also has a financial stake in selling her skincare line. she is VERY biased and basis her assumption on a 2 line blurb from an article written in 2002. If you read her reviews on natural and organic skincare all of them have low ratings and she would rather you purchase her chemical laden products. Here's a good article explaining that she absolutely WRONG about Lavender oil.
for Me Lavender Oil has been a godsend. Whereas Tea Tree oil never did much for me, Lavender oil has been the one thing I've been missing from my skin and Hair care.
Lavender Oil has been used in skincare and health for thousands of years. It has amazing healing properties both physically and mentally. It's a natural cure for depression, anxiety, stress, insomnia, scars, acne, eczema, hairloss, dandruff, scabies, lice, Mosquito repellent, foggy brain (good for those with autoimmune disease with brain fog), Muscle aches, gangrene (Used in the US army medic kit until Vietnam), hormone imbalance, it's anti-asthmatic, burn treatment, good for respiratory ailments, aid in digestive issues and it even fights hard to treat bacterial infections like MRSA.
I'm going to review this for what I use it for Skin healing and Hairloss as well as insomnia.
I have a lot of past acne scars and still breakout due to hormone fluctuation. I have a simple and effective skincare routine that works for me. I used to be very, very oily. My skin is now what I call "sort of dry" but acne prone and sensitive. Harsh cleansers and sulfates wreck my skin and make me breakout even more. I get dehydrated easily, which makes me breakout (I get cysts and papules). I have it controlled for the most part except the hormonal related ones on my chin and mouth area which drive me crazy to no end. I stopped using Salicylic acid and BP and it actually helped me breakout less, my assumption is acne fighting products can end damaging your skin far more than the acne itself. So my skin routine is an anti-inflammatory, soothing one and the difference it has made is incredible. My Secret: LAVENDER OIL
I add this to everything I use on my face 10-12 drops in my thayers witch hazel alcohol free toner, 10-12 drops in my Nivea Creme. and when I don't need the heavy moisture from Nivea which I mostly use at night, I add lavender oil to my Straight Hemp/Argan oil mix for daytime moisture. I use it in my shampoo and conditioner and it totally stopped my hair fall from my crazy hormones and made my scalp super healthy and my hair super shiny!!!
If I have a pimple emerging, no matter the size I actually use this neat as a spot treatment several times a day and the pimple never comes up or sometimes completely purges within hours and heals in a day or two. It's pretty freaking amazing if you ask me. I actually threw out all my acne creams and only use lavender oil. Why couldn't I have discovered this stuff years ago? why? lol
I also suffer from bouts of insomnia. I can fall asleep but my problem is staying asleep and getting quality sleep. I wake up super tired due to my auto immune disease (epstein-barr, Hashimoto's). I basically am in a constant state of tiredness and lack energy to do anything. Lavender oil has turned all of that around and very quickly. I mentally feel better, I have clarity, think faster on my feet, I can go all day without feeling like I need that mid afternoon nap. I just dab it on behind my ears like a perfume and I can smell it all day. It's not offensive and everyone always comments that I smell nice.If I need a pick me up in the afternoon and dab a little on my wrist and sniff it. Aromatherapy is awesome. I just feel great when wearing Lavender.
so far my scars are going away and I no longer sufferer from Redness in the face. I suspect I have a touch of Rosacea and always have redness around my nose and mouth area that never seems to get better. Lavender literally took my redness away the very first time I used it. It is also one of the best cysts treatments Ive used. Normally BP/Tee Tree wouldn't do a damn thing for cysts and you had to wait it out weeks for those stupid monsters to leave. if I feel that familiar tingle, I immediately use this neat on the cysts, hold a cotton ball to it soaked in lavender a few times a day and its gone in days. GONE. It's amazing and I believe this will be a constant staple in my skincare routine for the rest of my life.
Lavendar is an anti-bacterial oil. It kilks acne causing germs. So i put a tiny drop into my murad night cream and apply it o my face and .... whallah! Clear skin! Also if u mix with a teeny drop of tea tree oil and apply to face its more effective. Mywhole family swears by this. We all have acne yet we clearrd it with strict face care hygeine like never touching face, hair outta face, wash face 2 times day, dont wear foundation or powder or liquid makeup, dont apply irritating products to face etc etc and lavendar oil.
High-quality lavender essential oil is a staple in my herbalist's medicine cabinet. Lavender can be applied neat to the skin for minor burns but should be diluted for any other usage (as should tea tree oil, which must be diluted as it can cause significant scarring when used neat). I've been burned a few times working with molten glass and neat lavender essential oil is the only thing I've found that gives immediate relief and speeds up the pace of recovery noticeably. I also like to mix some lavender EO into pure aloe vera gel for wind or sunburn to take out the heat. Lavender EO mixes nicely into clay or honey masks and yogurt-based cleansers and I find it helpful for my adult acne.
When purchasing any essential oils, make sure that you are indeed buying an essential oil rather than a fragrance or perfume oil. Aura Cacia products are generally good quality and are quite accessible, as are Mountain Rose Herbs's essential oils if you live in the US (shipping EOs internationally is not always possible); Living Libations are excellent quality but priced accordingly. If I can find it, I prefer Tasmanian lavender, as I find it to be especially well-balanced between sweet, herbaceous, and medicinal aspects. I have a bottle of Tassie lavender EO from Aura Cacia that I save for facial packs or neat application, and I'll use less expensive EO to diffuse in my humidifier.
Lavender oil is one of the only two essential oils that can be applied undiluted, directly onto the skin. (the other one is Tea Tree oil). Said that, it doesn't mean it should be used all over the face or skin. It is way too potent for that. But it is a great addition to home made clay masks, hair masks, can be mixed into base creams, lotions or butters (if you are into your own products) or in eye pillows. Undiluted, it is perfect on insect bites and minor burns. A drop or two on the pillow will give you a good night sleep, a drop or two massaged onto temples may alleviate headache. The scent of lavender oil is calming, relaxing, most people find it pleasant. If I was running a dental clinic I'd have lavender oil diffuser in the waiting room :-)
I buy pure lavender oil from wholesale suppliers (www.newdirections.com.au here in Australia) and it comes much much cheaper than these tiny bottles that can be terribly overpriced. I always have a small bottle of lavender oil on my desk at work, and when stressed or tired, rub a drop or two into my wrists.
Make sure you buy 100% pure essential oil, with latin name on the label, not fragrant oil. There are various kinds of lavender oil, depending on the plant (French, Bulgarian etc), but apart from slight difference in scent, they are all good. If you can, look for the organic lavender oil.
Lavender is a powerful and relaxing herb, but please use with caution. I have always loved the scent, so when I read that lavender oil is good for scarring and blemishes, I quickly ran to pick up a bottle of my own. At first, I believe it helped with some of my picked blemishes. However, months later, I began to break out in a small, red and bumpy rash all over the places I used it, which later would turn into dry and itchy skin (normally, my skin is not sensitive at all). I also believe it caused some hives on my body. I do this oil is great for aromatherapy, though. I would recommend doing a patch test on your hand or arm before slathering this stuff all over your face like I did.
This is a lovely oil and versatile.
I cannot put this on my face, i find it slows down wound healing and breaks me out wherever i put it HOWEVER, i love the smell of some brands. I have bought some cheap and some expensive brands that i hate, it literally gives me a headache and makes me feel sick, but, keep on the search for a good quality one you really like the smell of and it will have all the calming, beautiful mindful effects people talk of.
TIP: If you would like a divine smelling abode, put a few drops of it in your hoover bag and your entire house will have a light fresh scent of LEO, a reward for such a daunting chore.
I have a stash of about 50 different oils - base oils and essentials - and lavender is by far my favourite. One use I recently discovered is for mild to moderate earache. I put a few drops on a small piece of cotton wool then plug my ear with it. The earache goes within a couple of hours. For more severe pain, warm (not hot) olive oil does the trick (with me, it's almost always caused by hardened wax). I also use lavender oil for insect bites, burns, cuts and sore skin. I can't tell you the number of times I've managed to avoid having to have stitches for cuts by applying lavender oil and watching as my cut heals over a few days. Although some aromatherapists advise you don't take any essential oils internally, I find a drop or two in hot water helps clear up a sore throat. If you can only afford one essential oil buy this one!