For the Love of Lavender; Aromatherapy & Skincare Uses

Lavender flowers grow in clusters, painting nature's canvas with bright purple hues that dance in the summer's breeze, hypnotizing all who get enticed by lavender's euphoric aroma. The sweet, blissful scent of true lavender is known to invoke a calming and balancing feeling, relaxing the senses of those who smell it and making it today's most well-recognized essential oil scents.

Historically, lavender flowers have been used for their aromatic and therapeutic properties for thousands of years. Lavender has  been used to enhance culinary dishes, in teas, perfumes, herbal remedies, bathwater, insect repellents, burn remedies and even to combat insomnia. Ancient Egyptian civilizations used it in mummification, the Romans and Greeks scented their bathwater with it, and some sources suggest Cleopatra may have used it as a love tonic to seduce Marc Anthony and Julius Caesar.
 

Uses of Lavender:

Lavender was an essential ingredient  in perfume formulations since the beginnings of the perfume industry and continues to be a key ingredient in both perfumes and natural products today. Lavender is mainly used for its aromatic, antiseptic, burn-healing and calming properties.
 

Sources:
If you happen to have an interest in gardening, lavender is beautiful, easy to grow, and wonderful to have around because of its versatile uses.  If not, lavender is very accessible and you can easily buy organic lavender flowers and lavender essential oil online.*

The uses of lavender are many. No matter what you use lavender for, you are guaranteed to saturate the air with the blissful, sweet and calming scent of lavender that your heart will thank you for.

Aromatherapy Uses:
The main aromatherapy properties of lavender are attributed to its balancing affects on the nervous system. It is used to assist with tension headaches and insomnia.

  • You can benefit from lavender's therapeutic aromatherapy properties by using lavender essential oil in a diffuser (always use pure, therapeutic grade lavender) 
  • You can enjoy the sweet, aromatic properties of lavender by mixing dried lavender buds with a couple of drops of lavender essential oil and making sachets for your drawers and linen closets
  • You can put a couple of drops of lavender essential oil in distilled water and use it as a refreshing, mood-enhancing room spray
  • You can add lavender flowers or lavender essential oil to your bathwater for a relaxing effect

Skincare Uses:
There are many species of lavender to choose from but Lavandula angustifolia is commonly accessible and used in many skincare products. For skincare, you can benefit from the healing properties of lavender by using either a lavender hydrosol, lavender essential oil, or lavender flowers.

I.  Lavender Hydrosol (the water soluble portion that remains from the distillation of lavender flowers) is an absolutely beautiful flower water that is less potent than lavender essential oil and can be applied directly onto the skin (avoiding eye area).

  • You can apply lavender hydrosol on your skin to soothe and cool minor burns, sunburns, and rashes.
  • You can spray lavender hydrosol on a cotton pad and use it as a refreshing toner on your cleansed face
  • You can mix lavender hydrosol with your face mask instead of using regular water for an added cooling and soothing affect

II. Lavender Essential Oil (the oil portion that remains after the distillation of lavender flowers) is concentrated and potent and should never be applied directly to the skin.

  • You can take a carrier oil of choice (i.e. grapeseed oil, apricot kernel oil or almond oil) and add a couple of drops of lavender essential oil which can be used as a beautifully scented body moisturizer or massage oil

III. Lavender Flowers: Herbal Facial Steams are a natural way for cleansing facial pores. The aromatic and nourishing oils of the herbs and flowers are released by the steam and absorbed by the skin while soothing them. Lavender facial steams are great for both your mind and body and can be a great way to bring a relaxing end to your day before retiring to bed.

To make a lavender flower steam:

  • Boil 2 to 3 quarts of water in a large pot and toss a handful of lavender flowers in the boiled water
  • Cover the lid, letting the lavender flowers infuse the water for a couple of minutes Remove the pot from a heat source and place it on a heat proof surface that you can lean over
  • Leaning over the pot, drape a large towel of your head and the pot and absorb the steam. Do not sit in the steam if it is uncomfortable or too hot.  It is recommended that you rinse your face with cold water and dab with an astringent like rose water right after you finish the steam

I absolutely love working with lavender and use lavender hydrosol, lavender flowers and lavender essential oil in many of my handmade skincare and aromatherapy wellness products. I use lavender essential oil in my Harmony Dead Sea Bath Salts and my Harmony Aromatherapy Candles. 


*You can buy organic lavender flowers at:
http://www.amazon.com/Starwest-Botanicals-Organic-Lavender-Flowers/

*You can buy pure, therapeutic grade lavender at: https://www.edenbotanicals.com/lavender-bulgaria-organic.html

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