For a lot of us, lemongrass is one of those special occasion ingredients that we might buy for that one recipe… and end up with stalks leftover in the fridge thinking “what can I do with this?”
Lemongrass is such a beautiful plant, full of surprising skincare benefits – so this article is all about how to use it in your DIY skincare!
What is lemongrass?
Lemongrass is a grassy plant, that has a bright, lemon scent and mild citrus flavour.
It’s very easy to grow – you can propagate a stalk in a glass water! Lemongrass loves sunlight and does well in tropical regions, which is why you often find used in South East Asian recipes.
But, here in Florida, it grows really well too. My brother has lemongrass growing outside his home – it’s really beautiful for urban (edible) landscaping.
What is lemongrass good for?
When you peel open a stalk of lemongrass, the first thing you notice is the scent! What you’re smelling are the essential oils naturally present, which – other than smelling amazing – have some really great benefits too!
MOOD BALANCING: lemongrass has a bright and uplifting scent that lightens things up when you’re feeling bogged down. In aromatherapy it’s used to boost self-confidence, so I love adding it to my morning skincare routine to start the day feeling good!
CLEANSING: Lemongrass is antibacterial and anti-fungal. It’s very cleansing, makes a good skin toner to clean out pores. It’s really good in DIY products for washing your skin, hair as well as any natural home-care recipes.
DEODORIZING: The antibacterial properties of lemongrass also help to eliminate odor-causing bacteria – and like it was designed for the job – it replaces bad smells with a clean, fresh, lemony scent.
ANTI-INFLAMMATORY: Wether it’s redness from breakouts, rashes, dry skin or sun exposure – the essential oils in lemongrass helps to bring down that inflammation, calm and soothe irritated skin. Internally it’s also very soothing to the system, if you have stomach issues and inflammation – often lemongrass tea is recommended.
PAIN RELIEF: Lemongrass helps to calm muscles and promote circulation, which brings pain relief. A lemongrass massage oil, or bath helps to soothe aching muscles and headaches. You can help soothe stomach aches and menstrual cramps, by drinking lemongrass tea.
INSECT REPELLENT: Lemongrass is a cousin of citronella, and has those same mosquito repelling qualities. Growing the plant in your garden acts as a natural pest control.
How do you use lemongrass as skincare?
When you think of lemongrass for your skin – think of restoring balance.
- If you’re dealing with oily skin & breakouts, it helps to cleanse and calm.
- If you’re feeling achy, it helps to soothe
- If you’re feeling tired, it stimulates.
- If you’re feeling overwhelmed, it cheers you up.
Here are five ways that you can use those stalks of lemongrass in your skincare:
Lemongrass Hydrosol: Perfect for summertime, you can spritz your skin with lemongrass hydrosol to keep oily skin from breaking out and to keep the bugs away!
Buy yourself a good quality lemongrass hydrosol. I love this brand – but you should know that making your own hydrosol is easier than you can imagine! Check out my SIMPLIFY Skin Spring series, where I show you my simple technique to make a hydrosol, step-by-step.
Soothing Lemongrass Bath Soak: If your muscles are aching – make yourself a lemongrass epsom salt bath. In a blender, blend 1 cup of epsom salt with a few stalks of fresh lemongrass. The long fibers won’t break down fully, but it will open up and expose all of those beneficial essential oils. Scoop the lemony salt into a cloth bag and steep it into a hot bath.
Refreshing Lemongrass Body Scrub: This fresh scrub will cleanse your skin and stimulate circulation. It’s so refreshing! In a blender, mix 1/4 cup of your favorite carrier oil (olive, coconut, rice bran oil…) with 2-4 stalks of lemongrass. Pour the oil through a sieve to remover the fibers. Now, mix 1/2 cup fine sea salt into the bright, lemony oil. Scrub your skin all over, avoiding your face.
Lemongrass Pore Cleansing Steam Facial: Lemongrass is very cleansing, and will clean out your pores. Also, if you’re sick with a cold, it’s really helpful to steam it out!
Starting with clean skin – prepare the steam. Slice the fresh lemongrass into a bowl and pour over hot water from the kettle. Place your head over the bowl with a towel draped over to trap in the steam. Breathe in and relax – steaming for 5 minutes.
Deodorizing Lemongrass Foot Soak: A great way to deodorize your feet and treat athletes foot is to soak in warm water steeped with lemongrass. Prepare a strong lemongrass tea, by slicing up 2 stalks of lemongrass and pouring in 1 cup of hot water. Allow it to steep for 15 minutes.
While that’s steeping, pour warm water into your foot bath ( large shallow bowl) and then pour in the hot lemongrass tea. You might add in a few drops of oil and epsom salt to soften and soothe your feet. Foot soaks can be one of those things that just seems indulgent... but really, if you’re sitting down anyway – why not? :)
Hope you’re inspired to make something lemony and good for yourself!
If you happen to have a few stalks in the fridge – pull them out! Or look for lemongrass the next time you’re at the market. If you can’t find them in your local supermarket, try an Asian supermarket.
You can also use dried lemongrass for all of these ideas in much the same way!