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Hydrolat de verveine citronnée.

Everything you need to know about lemon verbena floral water.

Primarily grown in South America, lemon verbena is a flower from which a hydrosol can be extracted, offering numerous benefits to the skin and hair. Biochemical composition, usage precautions, benefits... Continue reading if you wish to learn more about lemon verbena floral water.

In short, the hydrosol of lemon verbena.

Lemon verbena is a perennial plant from the Verbenaceae family. It is primarily cultivated for its flowers, which are harvested twice a year, in mid-July and mid-October. Mainly consumed as herbal tea, lemon verbena has balancing effects on the autonomic and central nervous systems. It is also incorporated into the formulation of cosmetic products, often as a hydrosol. This latter is indeed less loaded with active ingredients than its essential oil, but it remains a choice ingredient. From an organoleptic point of view, the floral water of lemon verbena presents itself as a colorless liquid, sometimes slightly opalescent, and has a characteristic fresh and lemony scent.

The various stories and mythological tales surrounding lemon verbena are quite intriguing, most of which are rooted in antiquity. For instance, it was referred to as the "tears of Isis" by the Egyptians, as it is said to have grown from the tears shed by the funerary goddess Isis upon learning of her husband Osiris's death. One can also consider the Gauls who regarded lemon verbena as a sacred herb and used it to "cast spells and predict the future," "break curses and bring joy," according to the texts of Pliny the Elder.

How is lemon verbena floral water obtained?

Lemon verbena floral water is obtained through hydrodistillation of the flowering tops. This process involves sending steam into a still containing dried lemon verbena flowers. This steam then becomes enriched with active ingredients, released by the plant due to the heat. The steam is then cooled in a coil immersed in a cooling tank. This change in temperature liquefies the steam. The water and oil, of different densities, are then separated in an essencier. The lower phase consists of water lightly charged with essential oil, this is lemon verbena hydrosol. The pure essential oil, less dense than water, constitutes the upper phase of the liquid.

What is the biochemical composition of a lemon verbena hydrosol?

The lemon verbena hydrosol is a botanical extract rich in molecules beneficial for the skin and scalp. The table below summarizes its biochemical composition and the main properties of the active ingredients it contains.

Active IngredientPercentageProperty(ies)
Geranial≈ 24 %Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, lemon-scented
Neral≈ 23 %Antioxidant, lemon-scented
Geraniol≈ 10 %Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial
Nerol≈ 8 %Anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial
Eucalyptol≈ 8 %Anti-inflammatory in synergy with alpha-terpineol, fresh and spicy fragrance
Alpha-Terpineol≈ 3 %Anti-inflammatory in synergy with eucalyptol
Linalool≈ 1 % Anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial

The cosmetic benefits of lemon verbena hydrosol.

Its richness in active ingredients makes lemon verbena floral water a natural extract with numerous virtues for the skin and hair.

  • Anti-inflammatory properties.

    Lemon verbena hydrosol can be used to alleviate redness or itching on the skin or scalp. It contains several molecules with anti-inflammatory properties, such as geranial, capable of inhibiting the activity of NLRP3, an inflammasome complex that triggers the synthesis of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Thus, lemon verbena floral water has a soothing effect on minor pains.

  • An antioxidant activity.

    UV rays, pollution, stress... these are all factors that contribute to the production of free radicals. The topical application of lemon verbena hydrosol, an ingredient rich in antioxidants, helps the skin and scalp to eliminate them before they can attack DNA and cells, promoting skin aging, skin dullness, and the appearance of white hair.

  • Antimicrobial effects.

    The hydrosol of lemon verbena is particularly appreciated by individuals prone to skin imperfections as it aids in the elimination of certain bacteria, including Cutibacterium acnes, which is partly responsible for acne. The floral water of lemon verbena primarily works by inhibiting these bacteria's ability to communicate with each other via molecular mediators (quorum sensing).

  • "Purifying" properties?

    It is sometimes suggested that lemon verbena hydrosol has the ability to reduce overproduction of sebum by the sebaceous glands, which leads to shiny skin and oily hair, due to the linalool it contains. However, no scientific study on this botanical extract has so far been able to demonstrate this property. Furthermore, the concentration of linalool in lemon verbena floral water is very low and may be insufficient to induce such an effect.

  • A tightening effect and anti-stretch mark?

    Some sources claim that lemon verbena hydrosol would act on purple stretch marks and skin sagging. However, to date, no scientific study has demonstrated that the topical application of lemon verbena hydrosol has effects on these issues.

Thelemon verbena floral water is used always diluted, typically in water at a concentration of 5 to 10%. Its topical application is suitable for the whole family, including pregnant or breastfeeding women and young children. However, it is important to note that the lemon verbena hydrosol is slightly photosensitizing, meaning it increases the skin's sensitivity to the sun's UV rays. Therefore, its use should always be followed by the application of a broad-spectrum sunscreen.

Discover our antioxidant mask with lemon verbena floral water.

Dullness affects all skin types. This condition is often exacerbated by pollution, lack of sleep, or a deficient diet. However, it can be mitigated by the application of a care product rich in antioxidant actives like our radiance mask, based on organic lemon verbena hydrosol (INCI: Lippia Citriodora Leaf Water), organic turmeric (INCI: Curcuma Longa Root Extract) and yellow clay (INCI: Kaolin). The combined action of these ingredients revitalizes the epidermis and prevents oxidative stress caused by free radicals. This care also slows down photoaging of the skin. After application, the skin texture is refined and the complexion is more radiant.

Sources

  • KIM D. & al. Artemisia princeps Pamp. essential oil and its constituents eucalyptol and α-terpineol ameliorate bacterial vaginosis and vulvovaginal candidiasis in mice by inhibiting bacterial growth and NF-κB activation. Planta Medica (2011).

  • CANAC P. & al. Traité d'aromathérapie scientifique et médicale, les hydrolats (1ère édition). Paris : Édition Sang de la Terre (2018).

  • LUIZ R. & al. Citral prevents UVB-induced skin carcinogenesis in hairless mice. Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology (2019).

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