Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and imagine you’re at the spa. What do you envision it smelling like? Chances are, your mind goes to one aroma in particular: Lavender. Known best for its soothing, herbal fragrance and calming properties, lavender essential oil—a longtime Kiehl’s signature ingredient—has a number of benefits when used in skincare and body care products. Here, we’ll deep dive into the uses and benefits of lavender oil and offer tips on how to incorporate this versatile (and gorgeously-scented) ingredient into your regular skincare routine.
What Is Lavender Essential Oil?
Lavender is an herb native to the Mediterranean region and Southern Europe as well as parts of Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. A member of the mint family, Lavender has more than 30 different varieties, of which Lavendula Angustifolia is the most well-known. Steam-distilling the fragrant plant creates a lipid-rich liquid known as lavender essential oil, which retains the unique properties and fresh, calming aroma of the raw herb. This concentrated, fragranced oil can then be incorporated into skincare products, such as those in our Midnight Recovery collection (more on that in a bit).
What Is Lavender Oil Good For?
The benefits of lavender are vast and varied. Generally speaking, however, most lavender oil benefits can be attributed to the plant’s signature herbal aroma. Studies have shown that smelling lavender oil can measurably reduce stress and improve one’s mood.* It can also help prepare the body for quality sleep, which—aside from being a critical aspect of daily (well, nightly) life—is important for healthy-looking skin. Keep reading to learn a little bit more about lavender oil uses and benefits.
What Are The Traditional Benefits Of Lavender Essential Oil?
Traditionally, lavender is considered an adaptogen—in other words, an herb or plant with the ability to resist acute stress. It was used in medieval times to help promote relaxation. Throughout much of history, both raw lavender and the oil extracted from the plant were used in perfumes, soaps, fragrances, and crafts to lend the creations a subtle fragrance. Fun fact: the word Lavender actually comes from the Latin word lavare, meaning to wash—a nod to the plant’s most common historic use.
What Are The Common Uses Of Lavender Essential Oil?
One of the most common applications of lavender essential oil is in aromatherapy: The oil is often used in spa treatments and serves as a popular fragrance for body care products as well as home products, like candles, incense, and oil diffusers. Lavender in its raw form is also edible and can be used to give teas, beverages, and baked goods a subtle floral flavor. It’s widely used as a spice throughout some regions of the Mediterranean, particularly Southern France.
What Does Lavender Oil Do For Skin?
Aside from its calming properties—and gorgeous smell—there’s evidence showing that lavender oil essential oil benefits skin, too. Our Midnight Recovery collection features this fragrant oil prominently. The products in this nighttime skincare collection help smooth and firm the skin, boost radiance, and improve skin’s texture. Read on to learn more about each of the products in our indulgent, lavender-infused Midnight Recovery line.
Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil
At the end of a long day, kick off your nighttime skincare routine with Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil. This oil cleanser, which contains lavender essential oil, squalane, and evening primrose oil, gently melts away dirt and debris (even waterproof makeup) without stripping or over-drying the skin. The soothing, nourishing formula is non-comedogenic and suitable for all skin types, and can be used daily for soft, supple-feeling skin.
Kiehl’s Tip: Learn how to use an oil cleanser properly in our article The Right Way To Oil Cleanse.
Midnight Recovery Concentrate Face Oil
There’s nothing that says self-care quite as well as massaging a luxurious-feeling face oil onto your skin. Enter: Midnight Recovery Concentrate Face Oil. Made with 100% renewable ingredients, this nourishing nighttime face oil helps boost essential moisture to restore the appearance of tired-looking skin. It visibly reduces fine lines, smooths skin’s texture, and boosts radiance, leaving your skin looking (and feeling) more youthful over time. While it’s designed for overnight use, the fast-absorbing, ultra-lightweight formula can be applied anytime, day or night—just pat a few drops onto your face after moisturizing for smoother, softer-feeling skin.
Midnight Recovery Eye
Wake up to younger-looking eyes with Midnight Recovery Eye. Formulated with sustainably-sourced lavender essential oil and butcher’s broom extract, this gentle nighttime eye cream smooths and restores the eye area while you sleep and helps diminish the appearance of puffiness and dark under-eye circles. Like the other products in our Midnight Recovery collection, this luxurious eye cream is suitable for all skin types and can be used nightly to help strengthen and replenish the delicate eye area.
Bathe your skin in indulgent hydration with Midnight Recovery Omega-Rich Cloud Cream, a lightweight nighttime moisturizer designed to plump and strengthen the skin. The velvety, air-whipped formula is infused with omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids and helps strengthen the skin’s natural moisture barrier. It also helps nourish and soften the skin, leaving it visibly smoother and fresher-looking by morning.
Kiehl’s Lavender Body Care Products
Lavender oil benefits for skin aren’t just isolated to your face: You can also use lavender-infused products in your body care routine. Find a few of our favorite lavender-scented body care products ahead.
Lavender Foaming-Relaxing Bath
For an ultra-relaxing bath, try pouring a few capfuls of Lavender Foaming-Relaxing Bath under hot running water before soaking in the tub (the more you use, the more bubbles your bath will have). The lavender-scented, glycerin-infused formula helps condition your skin and provides a soothing way to start—or end—the day.
Richly Hydrating Scented Hand Cream, Lavender
Last but most certainly not least is Richly Hydrating Scented Hand Cream, a classic Kiehl’s formulation made with rich shea butter and vitamin E. The creamy, nourishing formula sinks in quickly and helps condition dry hands, immediately leaving them feeling softer and smoother. It’s available in different delightful scents, but here, we’re spotlighting the lavender one. We recommend stashing a tube in your bag (or at your desk), so you can reapply throughout the day as needed.
I. Koulivand, Peir Hossein et al. “Lavender and the nervous system.” Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM vol. 2013 (2013): 681304. II. Cardia, Gabriel Fernando Esteves et al. “Effect of Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) Essential Oil on Acute Inflammatory Response.” Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM vol. 2018 1413940. 18 Mar. 2018.