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Contre-indications et précautions d'emploi de l'huile essentielle de lavande vraie.

Are There Contraindications or Side Effects to the Use of Lavender Essential Oil?

True lavender essential oil is used in the formulation of many skin care products. It is found in the list of ingredients under its INCI name “Lavandula Angustifolia Oil”. This botanical extract with purifying, soothing and antibacterial properties can be applied to the skin or scalp. Nevertheless, it is necessary to make certain checks before using it. Find here the various contra-indications and the precautions of use to respect for a sure use.

True Lavender Essential Oil in a Few Words.

True lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is a flowering plant of the Lamiaceae family, grown in the Mediterranean basin and flourishing in hilly or mountainous regions. It has been used since antiquity, originally for its olfactory qualities, then gradually for its soothing, purifying and anti-inflammatory properties. 

True lavender extract results from a hydrodistillation process. The upper parts of the plant (flowering tops only) are harvested in summer, during flowering, then dried before being distilled with steam. Two distinct liquids are obtained at the end of the process: the hydrosol and the essential oil. The latter is essentially composed of linalyl acetate (25 to 46%) belonging to the terpene family, and linalool (20 to 45%), a monoterpene alcohol. It also contains the following active ingredients:

Terpinen-4-ol≤ 6%
Lavandulyl acetate≤ 5%.
3-Octanone≤ 2,5%
Eucalyptol ≤ 2,5%
Alpha-terpineol≤ 2%
Camphor ≤ 1,2%
Geraniol≤ 1,5%
Limonene≤ 1%
Coumarin ≤ 0,2%

This biochemical composition gives it several virtues. In particular, it inhibits certain nociceptors, the receptors responsible for the transmission of pain in the body, giving it a soothing action. In addition, its anti-inflammatory properties make it an ingredient of choice to relieve sunburn and soothe irritated skin, after an insect bite for example.

The use of Lavandula angustifolia essential oil is also recommended for skin prone to imperfections or acne. Its active ingredients act in synergy to limit the proliferation of certain bacteria such as Cutibacterium acnes, responsible for the appearance of pimples. By altering the external membranes of bacteria, they inhibit their ability to communicate with each other via molecular mediators.

Finally, true lavender essential oil can be integrated into a hair care product to sanitize the scalp and act against certain parasites such as lice. Used in synergy with essential oils of thyme linalol, rosemary and Atlas cedar, it would also help fight against hair loss.

Are There Any Contraindications to the Topical Use of True Lavender Essential Oil?

True lavender essential oil is a must in aromatherapy and has the advantage of being very gentle. It is suitable for all skin types and is not irritating or photosensitizing. Moreover, this botanical extract is not currently listed as a known endocrine disruptor and is not considered a SVHC (Substance of Very High Concern) by the European REACH Regulation.

To avoid side effects, the use of lavender extract on skin is however not recommended by precautionary principle to the following people:

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women.

  • Children under three years old.

What Precautions Should Be Taken Before Applying True Lavender Essential Oil?

True lavender essential oil contains potentially allergenic biochemical compounds such as linalool, geraniol, limonene, and coumarin. It is therefore recommended to perform a tolerance test before incorporating it into a care product.

To test True Lavender essential oil,

apply two drops to the hollow of your elbow 

and wait at least 24 hours. 

If no adverse reaction is observed, 

you can use it on the skin or scalp.

Using too much Lavandula angustifolia essential oil can cause side effects, so it is preferable to apply it in small quantities to avoid any risk of overdosing. It is also advised to dilute it for sensitive skins: 20% of essential oil in 80% of vegetable oil. In addition, like all essential oils, that of true lavender should not be applied to mucous membranes, nor to the eye area.

As regards the conditions of storage, keep the bottle at room temperature, strong heats being able to cause the evaporation of oil. It is also recommended to keep the essential oil away from light, as the latter is likely to deteriorate it. Finally, it is necessary to keep the lavender extract in a hermetically sealed bottle to prevent it from oxidizing in contact with the air and to respect the expiration date indicated on the bottle. Its oxidation can lead to a deterioration of its active ingredients and a loss of their effectiveness.


  • MORETTI M. D. & al. Anti-inflammatory activity of linalool and linalyl acetate constituents of essential oils. Phytomedicine (2002).

  • WILKINSON J. M. & al. Biological activities of lavender essential oil. Phytotherapy Research : PTR (2002).

  • VILJOEN A. M. & al. Linalool – a review of a biologically active compound of commercial importance. Natural Product Communications (2008).

  • DE OLIVEIRA J. R. & al. Antioxidant, analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of lavender essential oil. Anais de Academia Brasileira de Ciencias (2015).

  • HOLLINGER J. C. & al. The use of natural ingredients in the treatment of alopecias with an emphasis on central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia: a systematic review. Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology (2020).

  • WYSONG A. & al. The effects of lavender essential oil on wound healing: a review of the current evidence. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (2020).

  • Service National d'Assistance Réglementaire REACH :


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