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What is lavender oil good for?

Lavender oil is one of the most popular essential oils and is known for its wide range of uses and bright, floral scent. Lavender is a common addition to beauty and relaxation products like face scrubs, candles and massage products. Proponents believe it promotes relaxation and sleep and relieves tension and anxiety. 

What is lavender oil? 

Lavender oil is a popular essential oil acclaimed for its versatility and range of application, from aromatherapy to topical application culinary use. 

There are two commonly used lavender species. Each has a slightly different chemical profile and, therefore, different properties. Choose which lavender essential oil to use based on your desired effects and results. 

Lavandula angustifolia (English lavender) 

Lavandula angustifolia, commonly called English lavender, is a shrub native to the Mediterranean basin. This is the type of lavender that consumers seek out when they shop for lavender essential oil. You must check the label of any lavender oil to ensure that it has the Latin name Lavandula angustifolia. Otherwise, you could buy an unexpected or undesirable plant.  

English lavender is commonly applied topically to the skin, added to teas or used in aromatherapy to relieve anxiety, treat minor insomnia and promote relaxation. 

Clinical studies have indicated that English lavender: 

Lavandula latifolia (spike lavender) 

The second commonly used species of lavender is Lavandula latifolia, or spike lavender.

Spike lavender has a spicier aroma than regular lavender and has been indicated to have the following benefits: 

  • Spike lavender has antiviral properties, making it useful for fighting the flu, healing scrapes, fighting acne and sanitizing surfaces.
  • Effective when used to treat sinus infections, as well as bronchitis, through diffusion and inhalation.

What should I look for in lavender oil?

100 percent Lavandula angustifolia

Always check the label on your lavender essential oil bottle to ensure that the oil you’re buying is 100 percent Lavandula angustifolia essential oil. 

high-quality essential oils

Watch out for diluted, cheaper oils with carriers like coconut oil and sweet almond oil. While acceptable for topical applications, you should not use these oils in a diffuser. You’re usually better off buying pure, high-quality essential oils and diluting them to your own standards at home. 

cobalt bottles

Always purchase essential oils packaged in dark amber or cobalt bottles, as exposure to light can reduce the efficacy of essential oils.

What does lavender oil do? 

Quality brand Aura Cacia

There are practically limitless potentials for lavender oil use, making it like a medicine cabinet in a bottle. If you’re using essential oils often, consider buying a quality brand in bulk to save money.

spray bottle

Banish unwanted odors in your home by adding lavender oil to a spray bottle (mixed with water) and misting the spray into spaces in your home, car, linens or mattress that smell pungent and need to be cleansed and refreshed. 

rollerblade bottle

Add lavender oil to a carrier oil like almond oil or jojoba oil and keep it in a rollerball bottle next to your bed. Apply it to your temples before bed to fall asleep faster and sleep deeply. It’s also helpful to carry lavender oil with you in your purse to combat anxiety or elevate your mood on the go. 

essential oil diffuser

Diffuse lavender in an essential oil diffuser in your office to keep calm and energized during your workday. 

lavender essential oil

Add lavender essential oil to your bath to add an extra element of soothing relaxation to your self-care routine. You can also find lavender oil in bath products like bubble bath, bath salt or lavender essential oil shampoo and conditioner for ease of use. 

Is lavender oil safe to use? 

As is the case with all essential oils, different individuals will react differently to lavender essential oil. Before using a lavender essential oil topically, apply a drop, diluted in a carrier oil, to a small patch of your skin and watch for irritation or reaction. 

Avoid using lavender oil near sensitive areas like your eyes, nose or inner ears. 

If you’re using lavender oil and experience nausea, vomiting or headache, immediately discontinue use. Never consume lavender oil without the advice of a doctor because there is a risk of toxicity. 

Never use lavender essential oil if you’re pregnant or nursing without consulting your doctor. 

Best lavender essential oil

Top lavender oil

Pranarom Lavender Essential Oil

Pranarom Lavender Essential Oil

What you need to know: This is a therapeutic-grade lavender essential oil harvested from France and intended for diffusing and topical application. 

What you’ll love: It’s a clean, refreshing floral scent that promotes calm and relaxation. It’s certified organic, harvested thoughtfully and extracted through steam distillation. It doesn’t contain any additives and can be used independently or diluted with a carrier oil.

What you should consider: It’ a bit pricier than some lavender oils, but it’s worth spending more on natural, organic ingredients. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and iHerb

Top lavender oil for the money

Now Foods Lavender Essential Oil 

Now Foods Lavender Essential Oil 

What you need to know: This option is 100% pure, responsibly sourced and steam-distilled lavender essential oil at a cheaper cost than oils of similar quality.  

What you’ll love: It’s organic and tested for purity and high quality. It can be used for aromatherapy or diluted with a carrier oil for topical use. 

What you should consider: Some users have expressed concern that the scent of this oil is intense and different from the scent of pricier oils, but it receives largely positive reviews.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and iHerb

Worth considering 

Organic Lavender Essential Oil by Sky Organics

Organic Lavender Essential Oil by Sky Organics

What you need to know: This is a USDA organic certified and 100% pure lavender essential oil. 

What you’ll love: It’s not tested on animals, has a soothing, floral scent and is designed to be diffused or used in natural DIY products like in the crafting of lotions or candles. It doesn’t include synthetic ingredients, fillers or additives. 

What you should consider: Some users have reported an uncharacteristic smell. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Evelyn Waugh writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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