Lavender Oil For Skin
Lavender is a member of the mint family, the botanical name is Lavandula officinalis. There are many claims on the internet regarding the benefits of Lavender oil for skin, I wanted to see what the science shows.
Lavender oil for skin
Although Lavender originated in the Mediterranean region I am able to grow it in my garden on Long Island. There are many different varieties of Lavender. Lavender oil which is extracted from the plant is used as a fragrance. Hybrids of Lavender were developed referred to as lavendins, they produce higher amounts of oil than traditional Lavender plants.
What is aromatherapy?
According to the National Association For Holistic Aromatherapy, “Aromatherapy, also referred to as Essential Oil therapy, can be defined as the art and science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit. It seeks to unify physiological, psychological and spiritual processes to enhance an individual’s innate healing process.”
Lavender oil for skin
Lavender is thought to have anti-bacterial properties. Lavender appears to benefit wound healing when used at 4% but also has been found to cause skin irritation. An article on Phytotherapy Research suggested that it is helpful for insect bites.
Ewg’s Skin Deep gives Lavender oil a safety rating of 1.
Lavender oil for skin -Irritation
Many ingredient in skincare can lead to skin irritation. That is why it it important to do a patch test. I suggest doing a patch test on my products. Use a small amount on your jawline for a couple of days to ensure there is no reaction. The eye skin is thinner and therefore more sensitive. A small amount should be used at all times and washed off if irritation occurs.
According to dermnet New Zealand Lavender can be irritation to the skin.”The allergens in lavender oil are geraniol, linalool, linalylacetate and are well recognised in causing allergic contact dermatitis.” They cited a study from Japan that found that 4% of people were cosmetic allergies were allergic to Lavender. The incidence of lavender allergies have risen since 1997, this is thought to be due to an increase in aromatherapy.
FutureDerm suggested that the variety of Lavender used may have different benefits. Theye cited an article from Cell Proliferation that suggested Lavender oil can lead to cell death. This was only in the lab and this study was not reproduced. I was unable to see what percentage of oil was used in this study.
There is concern that Lavender oil may have some estrogen properties. There was a study on The New England Journal of Medicine that suggested gynecomastia development (enlarged breasts) in boys who used Lavender and Tea Tree Oil.
Lavender oil for skin -Beyond the skin
A number of studies have reported that lavender essential oil may be beneficial in a variety of conditions, including insomnia, alopecia (hair loss), anxiety, stress, and postoperative pain. However, most of these studies have been small.
One study showed oral Lavender supplements can help reduce anxiety and help with sleep, oral supplements have not been studied by the FDA. The University of Maryland does not support oral intake, Lavender oil is toxic if taken orally. ”
There are claims on the internet that Lavender can help, reduce anxiety, improve sleep, help brain function, and improve diabetes. I could not find human studies in the scientific literature to support these claims.
Blood sugar levels. There was an animal study that helped lower blood sugar levels.
Pain Control. According to the University of Maryland, “Fifty people undergoing breast biopsy surgery received either oxygen supplemented with lavender oil or oxygen alone. People in the lavender group reported better pain control than people in the control group.” This post goes on to warn potential interaction with narcotics,There are no known scientific reports of interactions between lavender and conventional medications. However, because lavender promotes relaxation, it may make the effects of central nervous (CNS) depressants stronger. These drugs include narcotics such as morphine or oxycodone (OxyContin) for pain, and sedative and anti-anxiety agents such as lorazepam (Ativan), diazepam (Valium), and alprazolam (Xanax). Ask your doctor before using lavender with these and other sedatives.”
Alopecia areata. In one study of 86 people with alopecia areata (an autoimmune disease that causes hair to fall out, often in patches), those who massaged their scalps with lavender and other essential oils daily for 7 months experienced significant hair regrowth compared to those who massaged their scalps without the essential oils.
Lavender aromatherapy is thought to help reduce depression.
If you have asthma please consider discussing aromatherapy with your physician as some people can develop lung irritation.
Essential oil diffuser
I do not think there is enough scientific evidence supporting the benefits of lavender in skin care. I must say at this point I am not placing lavender in my products but I do use my oil diffuser from Amazon. It produces a nice scent in the room.URPOWER Essential Oil Diffuser 130ml Wood Grain Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Oil Diffuser with Adjustable Mist Mode Waterless Auto Shut-off humidifier and 7 Color Changing LED Lights for Home Office Baby
Do you think of Lavender oil for skin?
Sugiura M, Hayakawa R, Kato Y, Sugiura K, Hashimoto R. Results of patch testing with lavender oil in Japan. Contact Dermatitis. 2000 Sep;43(3):157-60.
Robert Tisserand http://roberttisserand.com/2011/08/lavender-oil-skin-savior-or-skin-irritant/