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10 Ways to Add Lavender to Your Skin and Hair Care

We traveled straight to the lavender fields to show you why lavender needs to be added into your daily skin and hair care routine.

Posted on June 27, 2017
Written by: 100% PURE®

Right now we’re feeling serious love for everyone’s favorite calming purple flower: the super pretty, delicately fragrant and ridiculously soothing lavender flower. We’ve been using lavender for a while now in our daily routine, thanks to its super calming and anti-inflammatory properties (for your skin and your mood), and recently we’ve been getting into it for its sweet and floral aromatherapy benefits (proven to help you chill out, which we really need help with sometimes).

french lavender field

We’re taking a field trip to Pageo Lavender Farm to learn a bit more about how it’s grown and harvested – we’re all about sharing the backstory behind our ingredients and how they make it from the farm to your bathroom vanity. Pageo grows lavender to be used in handmade products like soaps, for distillation into the ethereal lavender oil (more on this below), and also dried to be used in sachets and herb medleys. We cleared out our schedule to spend a full day exploring the fields, eating a lavender inspired lunch and sharing the process. We were eyeing their lavender bouquets to bring back to 100% PURE headquarters, to spread the calming vibes to our deskmates.

PRO TIP: If you are hoping to catch the fields in full bloom, head to the farm in June at the height of harvest season.

lavender

The History of Lavender

Lavender is a species of flowering plant in the mint family, native to temperate climates around the world and cultivated for its beauty, precious oil, and serious culinary potential (have you tried lavender ice cream? Trust us on this one). The word lavender is understood to derive from the Latin root lavare (to wash), because lavender infusions have been used for centuries for hygiene and personal care. In fact, both the Greeks and the Romans used lavender to scent their clothes, beds, and baths, so we’re drawing on a seriously long tradition when we incorporate lavender into our skincare and bath formulas.

The Romans also considered lavender to be a holy herb, which they used to create a tonic referred to as “holy essence” in the Old Testament. In both Greek and Roman traditions, lavender was understood to be a powerful curative herb that was typically included in elixirs of life. There was even a lavender based potion known as mithridatum that dates back to second century BC, which was used as an antidote for poison for centuries. All of these were more than just early medicinal folklore or haunted woods hocus pocus, given the highly antiseptic nature of lavender oil.

lavender distillery

Lavender Distillation Process

Distilling equipment can look intimidating at first, but the process for converting fresh herbs and flowers into essential oils is actually a pretty simple process. The main kettle opens to hold a basket (where you place the fresh herbs or flowers) to sit above the water line. The lavender (or any other botanicals you are working with) needs to sit in the tray (not in the water) so it doesn’t burn and will just gently steam. Depending on the variety and size of the buds, some kettles can fit cuttings from up to 12 whole lavender plants inside. You’ll need to tightly pack the kettle to keep air pockets out. After the kettle is topped off with freshly cut lavender, the swan neck top will be latched on, which feeds to the condenser. Propane is usually the main source of heat, for an even, controlled temperature.

Next, the water will start to boil and gently steam the tightly packed lavender above, creating a strong lavender steam inside the high pressure environment. The combination of pressure and heat will force the buds to open up and expel their beautiful essential oil. The next part of the journey is into the condenser, where the steam and essential oil mixture comes to gradually cool down through the copper coils, in order to return to a liquid state. At the end of the process, a highly potent lavender liquid will slowly drip out into two separate containers. Essential oil in one, and water in the other. The “water” is called a hydrosol and becomes the base in our toniques or other skin care products.

lavender harvest

Pageo grows two types of lavender: Grosso and Loddon Blue. Grosso lavender is the most common, and is typically used for distillation because it produces the most oil. For best results, the lavender distillation process starts within 24 hours of harvesting. Loddon Blue is grown more for culinary uses.

PRO TIP: If you are sensitive to lavender, only view the distillation process for a few minutes. One farm worker is so susceptible to lavender’s calming properties, if he sits in front of the tank for long periods of time, he’ll end up falling asleep and be out cold for a few hours.

10 Ways to Use Lavender at Home

We’re also loving it incorporated into seriously creative summer beverages and DIY remedies, which get a boost from its fragrance, color, and digestion-enhancing properties. Plus we’re excited about it’s medicinal qualities when it comes to dealing with irritated summer skin. Disclaimer: we’re actual lavender junkies over here, so we’re leaving no stone unturned in this lavender deep dive. We’ve rounded up the best ways to use lavender, so get ready! Lavender is a proven anti-inflammatory, so make it your best friend when you’re dealing with anything from sun rash to mosquito bites, acne, or leg chafing (aka the un-fun summer skin irritant nobody talks about).

lavender buds

1. Calm Nerves

Lavender essential oil is effective for treating anxiety: it has remarkably soothing effects when inhaled, so much so that in medicinal folklore, lavender stuffed pillowcases were prescribed to help restless people fall asleep. We’re putting that on our summer DIY project to-do list. Done. So what does this all mean? It means that our line of lavender products are doing more than dispensing intoxicating fragrance when you apply them. They’re also soothing anxiety and stress, lifting your mood, and leaving you with a positive sensation (especially in a hot, crowded subway or long distance flight). Talk about multi-use products.

2. Help Insomnia

You’re all tucked into bed, the lights are out, and you are still wide awake staring out into deep space. Cue the periodic frantic looking at the clock for “I can’t believe it’s {insert time} AM and I’m still awake!” Lavender is here to help improve your sleep quality! Our French Lavender Hand Buttercream, that is packed with lavender extracts and fruit oils, like cocoa butter, argan oil, and avocado oil, will help moisturize your hands and more importantly chill you out. Your new nightstand staple will help you to stay in dream world longer...where you are Mrs. Gosling...enjoying a wonderful, romantic vacation in the South of France...ahh that’s better. Night. Night.

100% pure lavender tonique

3. Treat Acne Prone Skin

One more reason we’re worshipping lavender? It’s a potent antiseptic and super antibacterial, so it’s a fantastic addition to cleansers and clarifiers for acneic or oily-prone skin. It’s also beneficial for promoting circulation, so applying it topically leaves you with a more oxygenated face: think bright and taut. We’ve put these healing properties to work in our Lavender Tonique (kind of a summer skin godsend). We combine lavender with aloe juice and organic sulfur found in cruciferous vegetable to make a super calming and pore cleansing formula that leaves you with reduced sebum buildup and all day hydration. For a gentle but effective PM cleanse, turn to our Lavender Seafoam Facial Cleanser, a rich and foamy product that reduces pore inflammation and normalizes oil production over time. Key in the summer, when mingling sweat and cosmetics can be a hazardous combo for acne prone skin.

4. Treat Minor Sun Burns

You’re on your amazing summer trip that you’ve been planning since January 1 but totally forgot that you didn’t reapply your SPF every 2 hours (sorry Mom!). Now you’re left with a perfect pink visual of what cute bathing suit you wore to the Caribbean. Cue in our French Lavender Nourishing Body Cream. This highly nourishing body cream is concentrated with potent anti-aging antioxidants, vitamins and much needed skin softening fruit oils to help the dreaded peeling phase. Cocoa and avocado butters will hydrate while french lavender will soothe inflamed and irritated skin.

100% pure french lavender sea therapy bath salts

5. Detox Skin

With their incredible aromatherapy resumé in mind, we’ve incorporated lavender extracts and oils into a few of our other soothing lavender formulas. Try our Lavender Sea Therapy Bath, which combines lavender extract with ultra detoxifying organic crystallized kelp to make a spa worthy, ultra cleansing and calming self-care experience at home. If you don’t have time for a leisurely bath, tote along our French Lavender Shower Gel in the shower for super cleansed and nourished skin, thanks to a concentrated blend of healing herbs, soothing aloe and rose flower water (both ingredients that promote powerful healing activity at the epithelial level of the skin).

6. Heal Injured Skin

We aren’t even halfway done with this impressive list for lavender. Did you know that lavender has a long history in helping prevent infection? Its antimicrobial properties help to prevent all types of infections while combating bacterial and fungal disorders. We’ve enlisted our Lavender Butter Soap to be our tiny sink nurse to help care for any small injuries or cuts on our hands. The rich coconut oil base is formulated with extracts from the whole lavender plant as well as rosehip oil for a healthy cleanse that will leave your skin protected with essential fatty acids and vitamins for a speedy recovery.

100% pure french lavender whipped body butter

7. Repel Insects

We’re all for spending the summer outdoors (especially glamping!) but no matter how luxurious the digs are, pesky mosquitoes can ruin your getaway in a hot minute. Combat these uninvited guests the natural way while multi-tasking: our French Lavender Whipped Body Butter is the perfect size for stashing in a backpack or suitcase to help stave off dry summer skin and bugs. Skin Hydration + Natural Repellant = No Itchy Bites.

8. Moisturize Hair

Are you looking for a light lavender scent in your hair care with the added bonus of vitamins? Look no further than our Pro-Vitamin B5 Smoothing Hair Serum. It’s a lightweight formula that will leave your hair feeling softer, smoother and more manageable via Pro Vitamin B5 and Vitamin E.

PRO TIP: Start with 1-2 pumps and warm the formula in your hands for about 10 seconds before applying to wet or dry hair.

lavender buds drying

9. Digestion

Lavender can also be a gorgeous infusion in craft cocktails and a refreshing tonic. Bonus that lavender contains polyphenols (a type of antioxidant) that can help reduce “bad” bacteria in your gut that causes bloating. Ingesting lavender can have de-puffing benefits.

PRO TIP: If you’re looking to enjoy an al fresco lunch at Pageo Farm, make sure to call at least 24 hours in advance to secure your lunch order. You can peep their current lunch menu here.

10. Soothe Eczema Skin

You’re looking forward to a full beach weekend but, of course, something has aggravated your eczema. Help kick these aggravating skin concerns to the curb with our French Lavender Body Scrub. Your dry, itchy and inflamed skin will need some serious TLC before your summer Friday begins. Harness the power of French sea salt to slough away dead skin cells (while also aiding in the turnover of new ones) with the anti-inflammatory properties of lavender paired with potent anti-aging pomegranate and acai oil. The gentle buffing will help you get glowing, sans flakey skin, ready to charge the beach at dawn on Saturday.

lavender lemonade

Lavender Inspired Summer Drink

If you’ve been keeping up with us, you probably already know that our ingredient obsession with lavender is hitting every area. This low maintenance herb would make the perfect windowsill garden to provide you with fresh lavender to use all summer long. Go wild and experiment with making it into an oil herb infusion for all kinds of floral culinary creations. Its dried flowers are absolutely stunning scattered over power bowls and glam insta-worthy salads, and not to mention those DIY pillows we mentioned earlier.

With all this in mind, right now we’re starry eyed over a coconut lavender lemonade that was made for summer weekend lunches. Its digestion enhancing benefits plus the eye-candy ombré effect that this beverage rocks has us totally inspired. Take a peek at our recipe to create this brunch-worthy beverage at home for you and your guests.

Ombré Coconut Lavender Lemonade

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh squeezed organic lemon juice
  • 1 cup organic maple syrup
  • 8 cups organic coconut water
  • 4 cups filtered water

Lavender Simple Syrup

  • 2 cups organic cane sugar
  • 1½ cups filtered water
  • 4 tablespoons dried organic lavender

Directions:

Combine the organic cane sugar, 1½ cups filtered water and 4 tablespoons dried organic lavender in a heavy bottomed sauce pan. Bring to a boil, and boil for one minute. Remove from heat, let the dried lavender seep in the hot mixture for up to twenty minutes, then strain through a fine sieve. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

While the simple syrup cools, combine organic lemon juice, organic maple syrup, organic coconut water and filtered water into a large pitcher over ice. Stir with a tall spoon to ensure that the mixture is homogenous. Pour ½ the lavender simple syrup into the pitcher - add more or less to adjust to your personal taste. Serve in tall glasses with ice and a lavender sprig garnish.

Cheers and here’s to a summer full of fun and adventure! Keep up with us for more ingredient deep dives, such as our How to Use Matcha in Your Natural Skin Care Routine and the Benefits of Drinking It, Too and other summery how-to , How To: 3 Summer Makeup Looks.

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