Lavender Oil For Skin: Benefits, How To Use, And Safety

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Priya Gill, MBBCH, MRCP
Written by Anjali Sayee

The benefits of lavender oil for the skin are numerous. Many ancient civilizations used lavender essential oil to treat skin and health issues. It has antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects and is frequently used to soothe the skin. Keep reading to learn about the benefits of lavender oil for the skin, how to use it, and its possible side effects.

What Is Lavender Oil?

Lavender oil is obtained by distillation of the lavender flowers and has been used as a therapeutic agent for centuries. The oil is mainly used in aromatherapy as a sedative, antidepressant, and medicinal preparation. It is often used in lotions, soaps, bath gels, cleansers, toners, and other skin care products.

Lavender oil is rich in phenolic compounds and has antioxidant properties (1). Oils extracted from several varieties of lavender also have anti-inflammatory properties. However, the efficacy of lavender oil mostly depends on the extraction methods. For instance, the oil extracted by the supercritical CO2 method has more antioxidants and topical benefits than the oils extracted by distillation and hexane extraction processes. Here are the benefits of lavender oil for the skin.

Benefits Of Lavender Oil For The Skin

1. Antibacterial And Antifungal Benefits

Lavender oil has antibacterial properties against many types of bacteria, including P. acnes and S.aureus, known to cause acne and other skin issues (2). It also has antifungal properties and is effective against Candida albicans and may help manage skin infections caused by various strains of candida (1).

2. Manages Inflammatory Conditions

Lavender essential oil may help manage inflammatory skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema and prevent flares (3).

3. Has Aromatherapeutic Effects

Inhaling lavender essential oil can reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and improve your mood (2).

4. Reduces Redness

Lavender oil can reduce redness and complications associated with recovery of an episiotomy (incision on the vagina during childbirth) (4). The oil was found to promote healing on the surgery site.

5. Promotes Wound Healing

Lavender oil may help heal burn wounds, insect bites, injury, abrasions, and other skin issues (5). It promotes new cell growth and repair damaged skin tissues (6).

6. Reduces Inflammation

Inflammation shows up on the body as redness, heat, swelling, and pain. Topical and oral lavender oil reduces swelling and inflammation (7). Oil extracted from L. stoechas and L. luiseri (varieties of lavender) decreases the production of molecule nitric oxide, a component of the body’s inflammatory response system that causes inflammation (1).

7. Prevents Oxidative Damage

Lavender oil contains antioxidants (1). They can reduce free radical production, one of the causes of inflammation, UV damage, photoaging, and skin damage (8).

It is also used as a natural preservative in cosmetic formulations (1). You should be careful when using essential oils as they may cause skin irritation. Here is how to use lavender oil for the skin.

How To Use Lavender Oil For Your Skin: Dosage And Preparation

Lavender oil should be used in low doses as it can irritate the skin in higher quantities (7). Here are the dosage instructions (9):

  •  For Aromatherapy: Add about 2-4 drops of oil in 2-3 cups of boiling water and inhale the vapors.
  •  For Bathing: Add about 6 drops of lavender oil to a warm bath and soak in it.
  •  For Topical Application: Mix 1-4 drops of lavender oil per tablespoon of any carrier oil (coconut, jojoba, argan, olive, or castor oils).

You can also mix a few drops of lavender oil with your face masks, creams, moisturizers, and other skin care products. While it is mainly considered safe, there are a few side effects that you should keep in mind.

Side Effects Of Lavender Oil

A recent study showed that lavender oil contains linalyl acetate, which may be toxic to human skin cells (2). Unregulated use of lavender oil may cause:

  •  Contact dermatitis and skin irritation
  •  Photosensitization and skin discoloration (9)

Always perform a patch test before buying products that contain lavender essential oil.

The antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties of lavender oil make it one of the best oils used in skin care. The benefits of lavender oil for skin are numerous as it helps manage skin infections, fight against acne-causing bacteria, promote wound healing, and reduce skin inflammation. You can use lavender oil topically and for aromatherapy benefits. However, always be careful to use lavender oil in low doses as there are chances of skin irritation if used in higher quantities. It is best to perform a patch test before incorporating it into your daily skin care regimen.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can lavender oil clear dark spots?

Anecdotal evidence suggests that lavender oil can help minimize discoloration and dark spots on your skin. You can mix a few drops of lavender oil with a small amount of moisturizer and coconut oil. Apply it once or twice a day to see an improvement in your skin tone.

How long does lavender oil take to fade dark spots?

According to anecdotal data, lavender essential oil possesses anti-inflammatory effects that aid in the reduction of dark spots. However, no research has been done to see how long essential oils take to lighten pigmentation.

Is lavender good for wrinkles?

A study revealed that lavender oil might help protect the brain from oxidative stress (1). In addition, when applied to the skin, these similar properties may help minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. However, further human trials are needed to confirm lavender oil’s efficacy in this regard.

Key Takeaways

  • Lavender oil may effectively neutralize bacteria that cause acne and other skin issues.
  • It has wound-healing properties and may reduce swelling and soothe inflammatory skin conditions like psoriasis.
  • However, using this oil in higher doses can irritate the skin. So, practice caution.


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  1. Neuroprotective effects of inhaled lavender oil on scopolamine-induced dementia via anti-oxidative activities in rats
  2. Lavender Essential Oil: a Review
  3. Anti-psoriatic effect of Lavandula angustifolia essential oil and its major components linalool and linalyl acetate
  4. Healing Advantages of Lavender Essential Oil Episiotomy Recovery: a Clinical Trial
  5. Essential Oils Used in Aromatherapy: a Systemic Review
  6. Wound Healing Potential of Lavender Oil by Acceleration of Granulation and Wound Contraction Through Induction of Tgf-Β in a Rat Model
  7. Effect of Lavender (lavandula Angustifolia) Essential Oil on Acute Inflammatory Response
  8. Antioxidants and Skin Aging: a Review
  9. Lavender (lavandula Angustifolia Miller)
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Dr. Priya Gill

Dr. Priya Gill is a consultant dermatologist in Klang, Malaysia. She specializes in the management of all medical and surgical... more