If you rub a leaf of lemon verbena between your fingers, its citrus aroma will envelop you, bringing serenity and calm. All you need to do is close your eyes and let yourself be embraced by this magic. But the benefits of verbena don't just stop at its fragrant notes! In fact, verbena can be a precious ingredient for preparing herbal teas with an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action or as a base for cosmetics. Today we will delve into the properties of verbena for all skin types, young and acne-prone, sensitive, with dermatitis, mature with wrinkles and with signs of photoaging.
Lemon verbena, a magical cosmetic
The active ingredient of the leaves of lemon verbena, or Aloysia citriodora, is verbascoside. This substance is soluble in water, is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, counteracts aging processes and photoaging caused by UV rays (Etemad et al, Iran J Pharm Res, 2016). Verbascoside stimulates skin repair processes and can be useful in soothing dermatitis (Vertuani et al, Molecules, 2011 - Li et al, Int Arch Allergy Immunol, 2018). Finally, the citrus aroma of verbena is an excellent ally against anxiety, calms and relaxes (Haryalchi et al, Health Sci Rep, 2023).
Lemon verbena, uses and applications
You can find lemon verbena in the form of hydrolate, to be sprayed on the face. In this way you can refresh and tone your skin, combat inflammation and irritation, but also wrinkles and damage caused by UV rays, such as dark spots, toneless and dry skin. Hydrolat also helps in case of acne and oily skin. If you can't find hydrolate on the market or you like DIY, you can make an infusion with dried leaves of lemon verbena, to be applied to the face with a cotton pad morning and evening before the cream. Bring a cup of water to a boil, remove from the heat and add 1 tablespoon of the dried plant. Leave to infuse for 10 minutes, then filter and let cool. This infusion can also be used as eye compresses in case of tired and puffy eyes! Finally, here is an idea for a verbena-based mask. In a small bowl mix 3 tablespoons of clay, whatever you have at home is fine, 6 tablespoons of hydrolat or verbena infusion and a teaspoon of vegetable oil according to your needs, jojoba oil for young or oily skin and as regards mature skin, argan oil is excellent. Mix and apply on your face for ten minutes, then rinse and continue with your usual treatment.