Beauty Benefits of Lavender
Use it to clean the skin: New research suggests that lavender can be used as an antibacterial and antifungal agent. â€œStudies have shown that while it might not be the most potent antibacterial ingredient, it does have some efficacy, so it can best be used as a supporting secondary element to improve the odor of the product, while also boosting its cleansing power as well,â€ explains cosmetic chemist Niâ€™Kita Wilson.
Use it to detox the skin: Environmental toxins and daily stress can tax the skin, giving it a coarse and inflamed appearance. Lavender can help combat both culprits with a one-two punch. â€œIt contains powerful antioxidants that will prevent and counteract the irritating effects of pollutants on the skin,â€ explains Claude Saliou, Ph.D., director of research and development for Johnson & Johnson. â€œPlus, studies have shown that elevated stress results in rough skin, so lavender can improve skin by acting as a mentally calming agent.â€ Try a lavender-infused body wash to calm your nerves and your skin.
Use it to relax: Lavenderâ€™s claim to fame is really its calming aromatherapy effect, which is why itâ€™s used so often in massage oils and body products. Sure, it smells nice, but thereâ€™s some real science behind this spa favorite. â€œThe scent of lavender increases alpha waves in the area of the brain responsible for relaxation,â€ explains Alan Hirsch, M.D., neurological director for the Smell and Taste Research Foundation in Chicago. In fact, thereâ€™s even some evidence that it can relieve sore muscles. For the full body effect, apply a lavender essential oil after a shower, or put a few drops in your bubble bath. To ease anxiety, scent your bedroom or office with a lavender oil home fragrance.
Use it to sleep: Not only does lavender relieve tension during waking hours, it can also help lull you to sleep. According to Dr. Hirsch, the scent can help shorten the length of time it takes to fall asleep and help ease you into deep, REM sleep even faster. â€œWhile you sleep, your skin recuperates and regenerates, so the more sleep you get, the better your skin recovers from any damage done the day before,â€ explains NYC-based dermatologist Judith Hellman, M.D. So spray your pillowcase with an aromatherapy product or dab some lavender essential oil on your wrists and temples.
Use it to seduce your guy: While itâ€™s certainly not some hocus-pocus love potion, the scent of lavender (combined with the sweet and spicy smell of pumpkin pie) can actually boost arousal in men, says Dr. Hirsch. If youâ€™re looking for a come-hither scent, consider smoothing on a lavender-and-vanilla- scented cream.
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