DIY Beauty: lemongrass infusions for hair and skin

Lemongrass for beauty DIY Beauty: lemongrass infusions for hair and skin
So I mentioned that I am currently crazy about lemongrass and other than the commercial products, I’ve also bought fresh stalks from the supermarket to try out some DIY beauty recipes. Lemongrass is an aromatic herb with antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties; often used to normalize overactive oil glands, treat dandruff and minimize skin irritations. It is also benefiical when ingested, said to help with our digestive system such as increasing appetite. Well, think Thai soup ‘Tom Yum Goon’ and Thai green curry! While I like the taste of lemongrass in my food but today, I’m sharing what you can do with this herb for beauty.

Selection and usage
Lemongrass is easily obtainable in our supermarkets. Buy those that are tightly formed, and of a lemony-green color on the lower stalk near the bulb. You will need to peel away the outer layers with your fingers to uncover a softer stalk and this is where it is the most fragrant. Anyway, the first recipe I tried with lemongrass was to create a herbal rinse and hence, I only needed to peel away the outer layer and cut the bottom of the stalks.

Lemongrass herbal rinse DIY Beauty: lemongrass infusions for hair and skin
For oily hair
Since I have oily hair, I figured that lemongrass would be great as a herbal hair rinse after shampoo and conditioning. Like the rosemary hair rinse, this is easy to prepare. Just peel the outer leaves, cut the bottom of the stalks, wash and boil in a pot of water. To infuse more of the smell into the water, I left the pot to cool for a good half a day before decanting to smaller bottles. Oh, I really love this because the lemongrass smell is really robust! And my hair is also less oily when I use this although I only use this up to twice a week. Going forward, I’ll probably alternate between this and the rosemary herbal rinse.

Lemongrass herbal water DIY Beauty: lemongrass infusions for hair and skin
Ice cubes for toning
I also froze some of the lemongrass herbal water into ice cubes. These are great to use as a cooling pack. Lemongrass is actually antiseptic and good to close large pores. However, I wouldn’t advise these to be used daily but just once a week for a quick refreshing of the face if you like. I also suspect that lemongrass is photosensitive although some sources dispute that but to be safe, use this only in the evening to replace your usual toner before moisturizing. As lemongrass is great for oily skin and so I used this on my t-zone mostly.

Lemongrass ice cubes DIY Beauty: lemongrass infusions for hair and skin
Lemongrass infused oil
Okay, the one that got me all excited was to make a lemongrass infused oil. I read that there are two ways to infuse lemongrass and I tried both. One is to soak the cut lemongrass into a base of extra virgin olive oil and leave it by the window for some sunlight for about two weeks. The other is to heat using oil. Okay, the former is still in the works but what I found is that so far, I’m not really liking the smell. It comes across more sweet than citrus.

Lemongrass infused oil DIY Beauty: lemongrass infusions for hair and skin
Heat infusing method
The heat infusing method is much more desirable and the lemongrass smell is very apparent. It’s not difficult to prepare; just a little troublesome if you factor in the washing bit. What you need to do is to get the chopped lemongrass into a pan of heated oil. Simmer really slowly to prevent the lemongrass from turning brown. Once you start smelling the lemongrass, you can turn off the fire and let it steep in the oil until it cools. You can then filter out the oil for storage and the oil can be used for other recipes such as body scrubs.

Lemongrass herbal oil DIY Beauty: lemongrass infusions for hair and skin

Use with caution
Like any other ingredients, please use your discretion when trying out these recipes I’ve recommended. Lemongrass is not known to be harmful but I understand that the essential oil should not be used internally by children, women who are pregnant or breast-feeding, or people with liver or kidney disease. Hence, these lemongrass infused water and oil should be used with caution if you have any medical conditions.

Check out the Viva Woman Facebook Page here for more pictures on the preparation process.

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Comments

  1. Lynn says

    You can get packets of lemongrass from tea Shop. One pinch of lemongrass tea leaves) with hot water makes a strong brew, do you think can use that for rinse too?

  2. Maily says

    This is exciting! ^^ My parent plants lemon grass in our backyard so I’m going to try this out once I get back home ^^ also, one way that my parent taught me how to use lemon grass was to boil the lemon grass in water and let it cool down a bit, then use a wash cloth and dip it in the water and pat it on the itching from rashes on my legs or body :D

    • sesame says

      Wow, you have lemongrass in your backyard? So cool…then you can use as much and as often. Your parents are right…it’s got anti-fungal properties and so good to treat some of the skin problems.

  3. Raelynn says

    i’m quite skeptical of using infusions that are just “warmed by the power of the sun”. despite being infused in oil, fresh lemongrass stalks by themselves still contain water. when there’s water, bacteria flourishes. would prefer the stove method.. though similarly, i would prepare small portions such that i probably use a fresh batch every few days.

    • sesame says

      I didn’t think about the water bit but I was also thinking how can it withstand 2 weeks without going bad and so I’m interested to know. But the smell is quite off…has not turned bad but it’s nothing close to lemongrass now. I think I’m unlikely to use this…was just curious as to how this ‘cold infusion’ works.

  4. says

    Those are beautiful specimens of lemongrass. The ones I see even in the farmers’ markets are thin and dry. I do love a chicken soup with coconut milk and lemongrass!

  5. says

    for some strange reason, my mum has been boiling lemongrass to prepare lemongrass tea for the family. I will get her to put aside some for me and try out the toning ice cubes.

  6. says

    Thank you for this awesome article! I have linked it into my lemongrass article! its really great and I cannot wait to try it!!!!!!!

    • Sesame says

      I think you should make it from the stem not so much the leaves cos that’s where the smell comes from mostly. But you can prepare using the entire stalk including the leaves.

  7. Joanne Tai says

    Is the cooking methods oil applicable for aromatherapy? I mean using it as an essential oil for burning with candles at the bottom?

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