According to the myth, lavender was the perfume that the goddess of love Aphrodite used to attract men and make them fall madly in love with her. But, as legend has it, lavender was also used by Cleopatra to perfume her body and create a sort of love potion to break through the hearts of Caesar and Mark Antony, successfully, as history teaches us. Mysterious and fragrant, lavender has therefore created around itself, over the centuries, an aura of magic and charm reaching up to the present day, when science has unequivocally demonstrated that this plant is really powerful, capable of relaxing but also of taking care of our beauty. Maybe not a love potion but definitely a potion of youth! And so, with current knowledge, let's revive the magic of the past, we close our eyes and try to recreate a world populated by goddesses and great women of antiquity, letting ourselves be enveloped by the unmistakable scent of the lavender fields that, with their reflections blue and violet, extend over sunny hills. But first, let's see what lavender can do for our beauty.
Lavender, beneficial properties for skin, hair and mood
Lavender is antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antifungal and healing. Therefore, this remedy can be beneficial in case of wounds but also acne and blackheads, dermatitis, eczema and even psoriasis (Ali et al, Asian Pac. J. Trop. Biomed., 2015 - Mori et al, BMC Complement Altern Med, 2016 - Rai et al, J Ethnopharmacol, 2020). Lavender is also antioxidant and anti-aging, useful for counteracting skin aging processes (da Silva et al, An Acad Bras Cienc, 2015). Regarding the health and beauty of the hair, lavender oil stimulates hair growth and, when applied regularly topically, helps to increase the number of hair follicles and strengthen existing ones (Lee et al, Toxicol Res, 2016). One more interesting piece of news. According to studies, in the case of hirsutism, applying locally a lotion to which lavender and tea tree oil have been added can help, in at least three months, to reduce the affected area and the diameter of the hair. It is believed that this effect is due to the anti-androgenic action of lavender oil (Tirabassi et al, J Endocrinol Invest, 2013). And then the lavender aroma is calming and relaxing, it has an anxiolytic and soothing action and helps in case of headaches. All this helps to illuminate the face and relax the features (Ali et al, Asian Pac. J. Trop. Biomed., 2015).
Lavender, uses and applications
Lavender is a remedy to always have with you, in the form of essential oil, hydrolates or flowers to prepare infusions. You can add 2-3 drops of lavender essential oil to two tablespoons of jojoba oil and apply to the moistened scalp and hair roots, leave on for fifteen minutes, then rinse and wash with your shampoo, to combat dandruff and brittle hair. Instead, in case of acne-prone skin but also mature with wrinkles, you can add a drop of lavender essential oil to a little of your face cream. To brighten the skin, relax, calm but also protect irritated, dry and sensitive skin, you can use lavender hydrolat, to be sprayed on the face. If you have lavender flowers available, you can prepare an infusion. Bring a cup of water to the boil, remove from the heat and add a teaspoon of lavender flowers, let it rest for ten minutes, then filter. You can drink it as a calming herbal tea with an anxiolytic action, but you can also use it for compresses, useful in case of burns, sunburns, wounds, acne and skin irritations.
Lavender is generally considered safe. Use essential oil only for external applications and always diluted in a carrier oil. If this is your first time using this essential oil, test it on a small patch of skin and check that no irritation appears. Some predisposed people can in fact develop a topical allergic reaction. Instead, avoid lavender in the first trimester of pregnancy as it is believed to stimulate abortion (Effati Daryani et al, J Caring Sci, 2015).