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Mode d'obtention de l'huile essentielle de lavande vraie.

How Is True Lavender Essential Oil Made?

Lavandula angustifolia oil is a natural extract from dried the flowers. Essential in aromatherapy, its softness and soothing properties make it an ally for sensitive skin. Discover how the extraction of this essential oil is done with a lavender distiller.

Summary
Published February 29, 2024, by Pauline, Head of Scientific Communication — 10 min read

What Is True Lavender, and What Are Its Properties?

True Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is a perennial plant of the Lamiaceae family. This variety, particularly appreciated for its pleasant fragrance, grows mainly in Provence and in the mountainous or hilly areas of Spain and Italy.

It has been used since antiquity, originally to perfume baths and linens. Its therapeutic virtues were gradually discovered and, from the 16th century, it began to be distilled and applied as a healing and antiseptic agent. With the rise of industry and perfumery in the 19th century, the cultivation of lavender developed in the Mediterranean.

True lavender (Lavandula angustifolia

should not be confused with spike lavender 

(Lavandula latifolia) or lavandin, a hybrid of true 

and spike lavender. These three plants do 

not have the same therapeutic properties.

True lavender essential oil has soothing and tranquilizing properties. Moreover, it has a purifying action and contributes to decreasing the irregularities of the skin. It would also support the cellular renewal. This essential oil is suitable for all skin types and is particularly indicated for sensitive to irritated skin. It can also be used on the scalps, in particular the fragile scalps. Nevertheless, the use of this botanical extract is not recommended for pregnant or breast-feeding women.

Making Lavender Oil: The Process.

Only the aerial parts of Lavandula angustifolia are used in the essential oil production process. This is the reason, a small quantity of oil is obtained at each cycle: to produce 20 kg of essential oil, one hectare of true lavender is needed. The essential oil is obtained by steam distillation (hydrodistillation), from the dried flowers.

Here is the process of lavender oil-making:

  1. The flowering tops of true lavender are picked, dried and packed, before being placed in a large container connected to a boiler. The lavender distiller is then hermetically sealed. In the boiler, ideally fed with lavender straw from previous distillations, steam is produced.

  2. This steam is then sent to the container with the dried lavender flowers. The rise in temperature causes the release of the essential oil they contain. The temperature inside the container must be slightly above 71 °C, the flash point of true lavender essential oil. Above this temperature, it begins to evaporate, which allows the water vapor to be loaded with essential oil.

  3. The water vapor, carrying the essential oil, is then cooled in a coil bathed in a cooling tank. This change in temperature liquefies the steam.

  4. The water and oil, of different densities, are then separated in an essencier. The lower phase is composed of a water slightly charged with essential oil, it is the hydrolat. The pure essential oil, less dense than water, constitutes the upper phase of the liquid and can be collected after this step.

The essential oil of Lavandula angustifolia must then be kept away from light, which can deteriorate it. In addition, it should not be exposed to high heat, which could cause evaporation. It is also advisable to keep the essential oil of lavender in a tightly closed bottle to prevent it from oxidizing in contact with the air.

Organoleptically, true lavender essential oil is a light yellow to orange liquid with a floral and herbaceous fragrance. It contains mainly esters (about 30% linalyl acetate), monoterpenols (linalool) and monoterpenes (terpinene, limonene). These compounds are at the origin of its purifying and anti-inflammatory properties.

Typology Care Products With True Lavender Essential Oil.

The essential oil of lavender used in our cares can be found under its INCI name “Lavandula Angustifolia Oil”. It is made with a lavender distiller using the flowering tops of true lavender grown in Spain, from organic farming. We have integrated it for its soothing and purifying virtues in the two following cares.

Sources

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

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

  • LADERMANN J. & al. Safety and efficacy of combined essential oils for the skin barrier properties: in vitro, ex vivo and clinical studies. International Journal of cosmetic science (2022). 

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