Lavender oil is an easy-to-make infused oil, useful in many ways from healing skin to reducing inflammation.
Lavender is one of the most well-known and beloved medicinal herbs. If you have plenty of dried lavender in your cabinet, learning how to make lavender oil gives you a practical way to use it. The process takes only a few steps, some patience, and only a few items.
Lavender-infused oil requires steeping dried lavender flowers in a carrier oil. The result isn’t as strong as lavender essential oil, but lavender oil has abundant uses, making it a versatile item to add to your medicinal cabinet.
Having your own lavender oil opens up plenty of new things to try, whether you want to try making a lavender butter or lavender salve. Herbal infused oils even work in culinary dishes as salad dressings, marinades, and more!
Lavender Oil vs. Lavender Essential Oil
Before we take the quick steps, I want to note that lavender oil is NOT the same thing as lavender essential oil.
Essential oils are concentrated and created through a steam distillation extraction process rather than infusion. It is possible, with the use of home ‘stills’ to create your own essential oils, it’s not an easy process. Most distillation is on a large, industrial scale, with the proper equipment.
Not to mention, it takes a vast amount of any herb to produce a small amount of essential oil. That’s why they are potent and, oftentimes, pricey.
An infused oil is different. We will use dried flowers to infuse an oil of your choosing, such as extra virgin olive oil, jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, and many other choices. The herbs infuse the oil, drawing out the medicinal properties. This process requires fewer flowers and is easily done in the comfort of your kitchen.
How to Make Lavender Oil
Let’s look at how to make lavender oil at home; it’s so easy!
1. Gather Supplies & Ingredients
The first step is to get the supplies and ingredients required. It’s safe to use any kind of lavender for this project, but organically grown is preferred. English lavender is most known for its medicinal uses, but as long as you use 100% dried lavender flower buds, the process will work.
Note that I said 100% dried. Moisture left in the flowers will result in mold developing or the spoilage of the oil. If you harvest lavender flowers from your garden, it’s wise to allow ample time for drying or use a food dehydrator.
You will need:
The carrier oil you use will depend on how you intend to use the lavender oil and your skin type. I recommend selecting a high-quality, unrefined, cold-pressed oil that is certified organic, if possible, especially if you use it on your skin.
Some oils are comedogenic, which means they will clog your skin. If you intend to use the oil on your face, picking non-comedogenic oil will help avoid a breakout.
Here are some suggestions.
- Sweet Almond Oil: Generally a strong moisturizer, low on the comedogenic scale, and great for dry skin.
- Grapeseed Oil: Antimicrobial and has the lowest comedogenic rating possible, an excellent choice for those with oily skin.
- Jojoba Oil: Rated low on the comedogenic scale and is known for being a great option for those with oily or combination skin.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Easy to find and extremely hydrating, yet a bit thicker than other oil options. It’s listed low on the comedogenic scale.
- Coconut Oil: Everyone praises coconut oil for its antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties, but it’s solid at room temperature and high on the comedogenic scale.
These are far from the only options. Some use sunflower oil or argan oil (or a ton of other options). Consider mixing the oils if you can’t decide!
2. Fill Your Container 3/4 Full with Flowers
Once you gathered the supplies, fill your container 3/4 full of dried lavender flowers. The size of the container used should depend on how you plan to use the infused oil. I use pints or quarts, especially if I know that I have a lot of skin products to make with it later.
If you plan to make lavender salve later, you must make a pint.
3. Add the Carrier Oil Over the Flowers
The next step is to pour the carrier oil you selected over the flowers, filling the jar until all the flowers are fully submerged. Make sure you tightly fit the lid and give it a good shake. The flowers should move freely in the oil.
4. Infuse and Shake
The next step requires letting the flowers infuse for at least one week, but more is better. Lavender oil is best placed in a sunny location, such as a windowsill, but not in direct sunlight. The jar should not be heated.
Shake the jar on occasion. Typically, I shake it once or twice a week.
5. Strain and Store the Lavender Oil
When you’re ready, use a cheesecloth and strain out the lavender flowers. I use a funnel and cheesecloth, but since lavender isn’t a fine herb, a fine-mesh strainer would also work. The final product may not be as clean when using a strainer. A coffee filter is another option in a pinch, but I found it takes quite a while to strain.
Lavender oil is best stored in a clean, glass container with a lid, kept in a dry, cool, dark location. The shelf life depends on the carrier oil used, but most have a shelf life of 1-2 years. Storing in the refrigerator extends its shelf life.
9 Ways to Use Lavender Oil
Now that you have a jar of homemade lavender oil, you need to use it. Don’t let it go rancid in the cabinet; find a way to use it!
- Soothe a headache by rubbing the infused oil on your temples. This is easy to do if you put the infused oil in a rollerball.
- Heal your facial skin; lavender is a healing herb, so spread a few drops over your face. Don’t use too much, or your face will shine like a light. Massage in well!
- Create a homemade lavender salve with the infused oil. This salve heals and moisturizes skin, soothes burns, itching, and more. Every herbalist needs it in their medicinal cabinet.
- Use for direct topical applications for a variety of skin issues. Lavender oil works to soothe bug bites, take the sting out of sunburns, reduce eczema inflammation, heal rashes and scars, and more.
- Rub on sore muscles as a massage oil. We know lavender has strong healing properties, so if your body aches, lavender is a natural choice to soothe the pain.
- Add to homemade cleaner. Plenty of cleaning recipes call for an oil, so put in your lavender oil. Lavender offers antibacterial properties plus the best scent!
- Remove your makeup! Oil helps to remove makeup, but be sure to keep it out of your eyes. Put some of the oil on a cotton pad and rub off the makeup, and the lavender oil will soothe any redness and acne on your face.
- Create other skincare products with lavender oil, such as body butter, cream, ointment, soaps, lotion bars, and more.
- Use as a deep oil treatment for your hair to moisturize the scalp, reduce hair breakage, and deeply condition your hair for more hair growth. It’s not a good idea to use this daily since you’ll end up with greasy, oily hair. It’s best for an every-now-and-then treatment.