3 reasons you need lavender oil this summer

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It only took about two days of desert country for my face to resemble that of a monster's. First, my face developed a not so adorable rash. Second, came the slight hives around my ears. By the final day, my face was peeling beyond recognition. The desert was amazing for my hair, however — no humidity meant no curl-shrinkage and my hair retained its natural moisture. This is one of the reasons I was shocked to see how badly my skin reacted to the dry desert air! I applied my stand-by coconut oil because I didn't want to freak my face out by putting anything foreign on it but, while things weren't getting any worse, my skin certainly wasn't getting any better. I turned to castor oil, knowing it was a heavier than the oil I usually use on my face...and then started to see breakouts. "NO!!!" I shouted each morning when I woke up. How could anyone take me seriously if my face was falling off? Of course, my friends insisted you couldn't notice the flaking, but that didn't stop me from piling powder and foundation on top of the flakes, further aggravating my skin. Once I arrived back in humidity, I knew the first thing I had to do was check my medicine cabinet and do a little research on how to get rid of a sun-rash.

Lavender oil became my knight in shining armor, stopping the flakiness almost overnight. This has been one of my favorite essential oils to mix with hair masks, facial moisturizers, and other DIY recipes for some time. Previously, I've been drawn to its calming elements and light scent; now I'm drawn to its ability to heal the crap out of my face without clogging my pores or making my skin look weighed down. After waking up with my face completely cured of flakiness for the first time in a week, it's unsurprising to me that lavender is considered the most versatile essential oil. Lavender has aromatherapy properties that are often used in spas, bath salts, and potpourri for its medicinal-like effects. The oil is extracted through steeping the stems and flowers of the lavender plant. Known to reduce stress, headaches, hypertension, and cold sores, lavender oil has antifungal, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties — three major benefits that make for an ideal ingredient in our hair and skin care products. In fact, lavender oil is considered an adaptogen — an herb or plan that has the ability to resist a stressor — because of its profound ability to balance our bodies.

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Why should lavender oil be in your medicine cabinet? For starters, you can grow lavender in your garden or window sill flowerbed. Not only will you impress everyone with your sick gardening skills, but you'll also be impressing them with your "Medicine Woman" abilities. Here are a few amazing ways I'm using lavender oil this summer.

Bug Repellent

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Use a few drops of lavender oil on exposed skin (definitely wrists and ankles) before going out into the trenches, AKA anyplace where mosquitoes rule the night! This will keep those blood-sucking jerks at bay, plus sooth the itching of any existing bites. Lavender oil is also known to stop bleeding, making it perfect if you have a nasty bite that broke the skin. Hands down, lavender oil is a key player in your war against mosquitoes this summer. It certainly smells way better than drugstore bug spray!

Hot Oil Treatment

For real, the first time I used this hot oil treatment while detangling my hair, I'm pretty sure I did a joyful little two-step. This recipe is my jam and that's why I must share it with you again. I use three parts coconut oil and one part jojoba oil to get my mane ultra-moisturized, then add several drops of lavender oil. Wrap your hair in a hot towel for about 20 minutes (alternatively, you can use a shower cap and blow dryer on low for a similar effect), and rinse. I'll be real with you, I detangle after about 10 minutes of the treatment in my hair and then I 'rinse' it out because I'm not super concerned with these light oils causing build-up in my hair. Using lavender oil will help with dandruff, dry itchy scalp, and give you a spa-like treatment that you deserve!

Lavender Face Mist

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If you are hooked on that lavender face mist from Sephora, then you will definitely be pumped on this! After the Great Desert Fiasco of 2014, I used my carrier oil and lavender oil in a thick layer before I went to sleep. After I noticed a significant difference, I made a DIY face mist for a midday rejuvenation. Basically, I use a trusty spray bottle, add another antiseptic oil (usually about a few tablespoons of my carrier oil to about one cup of water), and then I added several drops of lavender oil.

PS: Make absolutely sure your skin is protected from the sun after you spritz. The sun and humidity will only dry your skin out more.

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