There has been much debate about whether essential oils can be applied directly onto the skin, or whether they should be diluted into a carrier oil, such as olive or sweet almond? It is accepted fact that the majority of essential oils should not be applied directly to the skin and you should never apply essential oils to broken skin, such as cuts or grazes. Also no essential oil should ever be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women and qualified advice should be taken before using essential oils if you have epilepsy, asthma or a number of other health conditions. However there is a growing body that claims that both lavender and tea tree essential oils can be applied directly to the skin.
So is it both safe and advisable to apply lavender essential oil directly to the skin, and in what cases should you do so?
The short answer is that yes, lavender essential oil can be applied directly to the skin. However, as with all aromatherapy oils, we do not advise using lavender oil without consulting a qualified aromatherapist or getting a solid grounding in knowledge from one of the great Aromatherapy manuals available. Aromatherapy by Christine Westwood is available from our Books sections and will provide you with sensible, down-to-earth information about the 42 most common essential oils.
So what are the circumstances where you would apply lavender essential oil directly to the skin?
To treat headaches and migraines – massage 1 or 2 drops of our wonderful lavender essential oil directly into the temples. Lavender oil is mildly analgesic (pain killing) and so this can really help to sooth the pounding in your head before, or in addition to, reaching for the pharmaceutical pain killers.
To treat burns and sunburn – lavender essential oil also has anti-inflammatory properties, so a few drops applied topically to burns will have a wonderfully soothing effect. Lavender is also anti-bacterial so can help to ensure that the burn remains clean thus promoting faster healing. Especially for the treatment of sunburn, or just to provide a wonderful cooling sensation in the heat, add a few drops if lavender oil to a spray bottle of mineral water and spritz onto the skin.
To treat warts – simply apply a drop of lavender essential oil directly to the wart three times a day for a week. The wart may initially look red, but should drop off quickly.
To treat spots and skin irritations – lavender’s anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties can make it a fantastic treatment for sebaceous spots and acne. Not only does it kill the bacteria etc from the spot, but its anti-inflammatory properties can help to reduce spot size, redness and swelling.
Along with these uses, lavender essential oil can also be mixed into a variety of carriers to treat a plethora or other conditions. Read next week’s blog to find out more.