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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.


  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! #k8SjZc9Dxk#k8SjZc9Dxk My parent plants lemon grass in our backyard so I’m going to try this out once I get back home #k8SjZc9Dxk#k8SjZc9Dxk 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 ?

  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.

  4. xin says:

    thanks for sharing ? now i will try this out too for my oily scalp!

  5. Soos 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!

  6. sesame says:

    Yes, should be effective too.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. sesame says:

    Hope it’ll work for you…the smell is great too.

  10. sesame says:

    The ones we get here all look like that…pretty nice. Your chicken soup sounds delicious. ?

  11. Swati says:

    oh…we don’t get lemongrass stalks here ? otherwise DIY’s are fun ?

  12. Chukulec says:

    I know suki has a lemongrass sugar scrub. u might like it.

  13. hazel 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.

  14. sesame says:

    I wanted to mention that the ice cubes can be used in a drink. ?

  15. sesame says:

    The smell should be delicious. ?

  16. sesame says:

    Oh you don’t? I think it’s quite easily grown if I’m not mistaken.

  17. Cara says:

    I love infused oils! This sounds amazing… ? What are you going to use the oil for?

  18. LatestGirls says:

    Nice tips. I would like to try it out as I am also a lover of lemon grass.

  19. sesame says:

    Hope you’ll like it.

  20. sesame says:

    Using it for some of my DIY body scrubs…mix with salt or sugar.

  21. hazel says:

    woo! that is a great tip!

  22. Cara says:

    Sounds awesome!

  23. Steph says:

    Can i use it to cure my pimples tats ard my nose ? it’s so ugly when it’s red ?

  24. T&T says:

    Great tips with lemon grass! Shall try the heat infused method….

  25. Kelly Ann 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!!!!!!!

  26. hansa says:

    Can I use green leaves of lemongrass to make oil

  27. 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.

  28. 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?

  29. Sesame says:

    It’s not the same as essential oil. At the moment, it can only be used as a base carrier.

  30. Noor says:

    I love lemongrass fragrant! I will give this recipe a try.

  31. Sesame says:

    Oh, please try…you’ve love this!

  32. asha says:

    can i use lemongross for heavy hair fall & dandruff ..i have dried gross already in my home.

  33. Debbie Meyer says:

    Once i boil the lemongrass and let it cool. I can use it as a rinse for my hair

Leave a Reply