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.