They say that the grass is always greener on the other side, but emerald blades that smell like sunny citrus? We’re gonna go ahead and consider that a lawn level-up. Lemongrass is a perennial old-world plant that, over centuries, has grown in popularity all across the world. And while you’re not likely to sprawl out atop these stalky heaps with a soft blanket and a good book… attempting to do so would provide for a somewhat spiny situation, actually; lemongrass boasts a bounty of benefits, as most ancient herbs tend to do. Best of all, many of said benefits can help you attain the glowing, healthy complexion you’ve been after! Read on for more on this skincare dynamo and how to best incorporate it into your routine.
IN A NUTSHELL
Ingredient Category: Antioxidant, Detoxifier
Main Benefit: Lemongrass offers a long list of benefits for whole-body wellness and can do wonders for the skin. With its ability to defend against environmental stressors, while providing a deep cleanse with unmatched detoxifying properties, lemongrass oil should be a go-to ingredient for anyone on a journey towards radical skin health.
Find It In: Prince Charcoal Detox Mask.
What Is Lemongrass Oil?
Lemongrass oil is derived from… you guessed it: lemongrass!
Often extracted via steam distillation from the fresh, or even somewhat dried, leaves of this tall and swiftly growing grass, lemongrass oil is a seemingly infinitely beneficial substance with countless applications. But to learn more about what it has to offer, let’s first take a closer look at its source.
Otherwise known as Cymbopogon, a word that connotes a larger genus of fifty-plus species of tall tropical grasses, lemongrass may at times be called by other names like barbed wire grass, silky heads, cochin grass, oily heads, hierba Luisa, and more commonly, citronella grass or fever grass.
This perennial plant grows as long fibrous stalks that smell of tart citrus. Lemongrass can generally prosper in warm and temperate climates, as in parts of Australia and even the Americas. But it is native to the tropical and sub-tropical regions Asia and Africa, where humanity’s love affair with its bounty originated. In these places, specifically in countries like India, China, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, lemongrass has been used for centuries as a flavoring agent in all sorts of culinary preparations, including beverages, desserts, and especially delectable old-world curries! It has a bold and unmistakable flavor that offers both floral and fruity notes, adding a brightness to even the earthiest, hottest dishes and broths. It also does double duty by aiding in digestion… a heaven-send for foreign foodies whose tummies are maybe less accustomed to these heavily spiced, authentic dishes.
Beyond its culinary applications, lemongrass is used in holistic medicine across a variety of cultures. It is widely applied as a fever reducer and is the prime ingredient in an indigenous drink known as fever tea, which is consumed to treat a variety of ailments that naturally includes high fevers. It is also used to aid in circulation, support immunity, reduce blood pressure, regulate menstrual cycles, and treat skin infections.
But as you may have guessed, that’s not all this haughty herb can do for your skin. When applied via an oil or oil infused product, lemongrass can offer a myriad of benefits for your complexion, leveling up your skincare game and bringing you closer to healthy glowing skin!
Lemongrass Oil Skin Benefits
It is a powerful antioxidant.
There is nothing like a good antioxidant to help safeguard your skin from harmful, age-inducing elements. Moreover, incorporating antioxidants into your routine is a must if you have any hopes of properly defending against pretty much unavoidable environmental skin stressors (e.g., things like pollution, second-hand smoke, UV rays, and even harsh weather and extreme temperatures). Lemongrass oil can help to prevent these kinds of things from breaking down the skin barrier and its connective tissues. This can keep your complexion fresh, vibrant, healthy, and free of any preventable redness or irritation that could otherwise cause it to age prematurely.
It is an unmatched detoxifier.
Want to get clear on your skin goals… no, like, literally clear? Lemongrass oil is a wiz at detoxifying, purifying, and clarifying the skin without harsh astringents or chemicals. When lemongrass is incorporated into a skincare product or routine, expect it to effortlessly kick dirt, excess oil, stubborn impurities, toxins, pollutants, and even dead skin cells to the curb! This will obviously help keep skin looking clean and bright, but it also lets other skincare products work even harder for you! Clear pores allow for deeper absorption of your favorite moisturizers, serums, and facial oils, which can swiftly result in a more hydrated, better cared-for complexion!
It’s an antibacterial.
Along the same lines, Lemongrass has been used for centuries to kill bacteria and other nasties. When pores encounter bacteria, or even worse, become a breeding ground for its growth, let’s just say you’re more likely to look like a pizza than the proverbial “snack”. For truly clear skin, it’s not enough to simply wash your face. You must also safely sanitize your pores. And while it isn’t always a cakewalk finding products that are both mild and effective at doing so, lemongrass oil effortlessly checks both boxes. If you want to keep blemishes at bay, incorporating lemongrass oil into your routine is a judicious move.
How to Use Lemongrass Oil?
Like any essential oil, lemongrass oil is potent and can be too intense when applied directly to the skin. The best way to incorporate it into your routine is to use a properly formulated, perfectly balanced product designed to capitalize on all its amazing benefits. Fleur and Bee’s Prince Charcoal Detox Mask draws out impurities with a blend of all-natural clays and charcoal. It features just the right amount of lemongrass oil to detoxify your complexion while protecting it from harmful environmental elements once it’s clean as a whistle! Best of all, fortified with green tea, reishi mushroom, and a meticulous blend of extracts to nourish all skin types, just one application will give you all the spa-day, self-love vibes… perfect for glowing skin!
If you want to give pure lemongrass essential oil a whirl, try adding a couple of drops to your cleanser or toner. It can also be diluted with a carrier oil for topical application (never apply undiluted essential oil of any kind to the skin). But as always, it is wise to first consult with your physician before incorporating any new herbs or supplements into your routine. After you’ve done that, be sure to patch-test your skin before enjoying the new-to-you oil in meaningful amounts. Here’s how to do it.
How to Patch-test Skin
- Wash the area of application with cleanser and water. Pat dry.
- Apply a drop of diluted essential oil (to dilute, use a non-comedogenic carrier oil like sweet almond or jojoba oil) to the desired area. Be sure to pick a spot that’s discreet but accessible. The forearm is perfect.
- Cover the area with a bandage for 24 hours. If you experience any itchiness or discomfort during this period, wash your skin immediately and avoid the tested oil going forward. But, if your skin behaves normally after the full 24 hour period, consider yourself in the clear!
There you have it- all you need to know about lemongrass oil for the skin. Are you ready to incorporate this highly beneficial botanical ingredient into your skincare routine?