Natural cosmetics, like kings and queens Part 40, the lavender that made Julius Caesar fall in love
Lavender is antimicrobial, healing and capable of regenerating the skin, thanks to its calming action it relaxes and removes stress, useful for counteracting insomnia.
Often the most important discoveries arise by chance, from an unexpected event, an error or an accident. Like the one we’ll tell you about today. We are in France, in 1910, the perfume and cosmetic laboratories are in great ferment and compete to invent and put on the market synthetic products and fragrances. Science prevails and nature and traditions must give way to industrial progress. And it is precisely here that in one of these laboratories an explosion develops, at the expense of Renè Maurice Gattefossè, a chemical engineer at the head of the perfume company founded by his father. Renè Maurice severely burns his hands and, according to the advice of the doctors, tries to cure them with the medicines available at the time, obtaining poor results if not worsening the situation. But Renè Maurice is also a great lover of nature, essential oils and plants and, remembering a series of conferences in Provence about the properties of lavender, which he had attended a few years earlier, he removes the bandages and soaks his hands in the essential oil of lavender. The improvements are very fast and the scars are far fewer than they would have been with conventional treatment. Here is the proof that essential oils, until then used only as a fragrance, are also powerful remedies that retain the healing power of the plant. A few years later Renè Maurice also publishes a book entitled Aromathérapie: Les Huiles Essentielles Hormones Végétales, aromatherapy, a term invented by the French engineer, becomes a common good and lavender essential oil one of the best known and appreciated essential oils. So let's let ourselves be enveloped by the scent of lavender that, it is said, was Cleopatra's beauty secret to make Julius Caesar and Marco Antonio fall in love with her, and let's try to benefit from its regenerating properties for the skin with small but powerful cosmetics, which we can also create at home. But first let's see what science says about lavender.
Lavender is loved for its incredible properties, also experienced personally by Gattefossè, which give lavender oil an antibacterial, antifungal, healing and regenerating action for the skin (Bialon et al, Molecules, 2019). But inhaling the essential oil of lavender can also help to counteract anxiety, sadness and insomnia thanks to the calming and soothing effect (Xu et al, Evid Based Complement Alternat Med., 2017). In fact, it has been shown that the two main active ingredients of lavender essential oil, linalool and linalyl acetate, stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the part of the nervous system that is activated to relax muscles and promote rest (Malcolm et al, Ment Health Clin, 2017).
Here is a completely natural scrub to illuminate and renew tired and dull skin and to let yourself be enveloped by a pleasant aroma of lavender, calming and anti-stress. The scrub is also useful in case of oily and impure skin. You need 2 tablespoons of white rice, 2 tablespoons of oat flour, with an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action, also useful in countering redness and irritation (Pazyar et al, Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol, 2012), 1 tablespoon of yogurt and 3 drops of lavender essential oil. Boil the rice for about ten minutes, drain it and let it cool down. In a bowl, mix the rice, oatmeal, yogurt and as much rice cooking water as you need to make a creamy mixture. Complete with lavender essential oil. Massage on the skin with gentle movements for a minute, leave it on for a couple of minutes and then rinse. Then, to complete the pampering, you can spray some lavender floral water! Finally, apply a few drops of a serum oil or a little face cream.