Lavender and Sage for Skin Care

lavender image by Alistair Dick from

Sage and lavender are herbs that both have properties beneficial to the skin. They can be used in essential oil or herbal form. “The Essential Natural Health Bible,” by Nerys Purchon, claims that lavender essential oil is one of the most effective oils for skin care. Sage can be used for skin care as well, as it has properties that may improve the skin.

Aromatic Lavender, Sage to Savor

Lavender is an herb with purple flowers that is well-known for its healing abilities. France and England are known for their beautiful, aromatic and medicinal lavender. Sage is an herb originally from the Mediterranean region. It is often used in cooking to flavor dishes, although it is also used for medicinal purposes.

Traditional Uses

Purchon says lavender helps skin cells grow, fights bacteria on the skin and can be used to keep scars from forming. Use lavender for many skin ailments, including dermatitis, athlete’s foot, psoriasis, boils and acne. It can relieve bug bites and cuts on the skin. Sage, according to Purchon, is also beneficial for skin problems, including wounds and veins. Victoria Zak, in "20,000 Secrets of Tea," says sage can help with aging of the skin and dandruff.

Ways To Apply

For skin care, Purchon suggests applying lavender by massaging lavender essential oil diluted in a carrier oil, or dropping the oil into a bath. These applications bring the lavender to all your skin and allow it to be absorbed. Zak suggests performing a facial steam with lavender teabags or loose lavender leaves in the steaming water, to clear up acne and improve facial skin tissue. For the whole body, she recommends soaking lavender tea bags in boiling water for a few minutes, then pouring it into a bath. These methods could be used for sage as well; Purchon alternately suggests using sage leaves for skin care by putting the leaves in “washes, ointments and fomentations.”

Avoiding Harsh Chemicals

Zak says lavender plants and teas are healthier for your skin and body than many lavender bath salts or bath pouches from the store, because store-bought varieties often have artificial dyes, chemicals and other additives. Without the additives, your skin and body absorb only the health benefits of the plant.

Test Before Using

If you use these herbs in essential oil form, use them with caution. They are concentrated and need to be diluted in water or a carrier oil, such as jojoba oil. Lavender is one of the only essential oils that can be applied to skin without being diluted. Still, do a spot test on your skin first to make sure you are not allergic to any of the oils. Check with a certified aromatherapist when using essential oils. In herb form, herbal treatments are generally not regulated, so use caution and discuss their use with your doctor.