Tips on Creating Powdered Lavender

Working with different dried herbs in face masks and cleansing powders has taught me that some herbs are far trickier to transform into a 'proper' powder than others.

Take lavender.

I love lavender to pieces, but at the same time, it can drive me absolutely batty. Buying it in powdered form hasn't brought me much joy – regardless of supplier.

It's entirely possible that I'm overly picky, but in my book, a face cleansing powder should not contain annoying bits that keep sticking to the skin after everything else has willingly rinsed away.

Today's challenge: Turning dried lavender into a powder that rinses away without leaving bits sticking to your face.

Lavender Powder? In Your Dreams!

About a year ago, I decided to get serious about making lavender powder and invested in a rather large bag of dried whole buds so I could do a bit of experimentation with different 'powderizing' techniques.

Spoiler: I'm not quite there yet, but have gotten pretty close.

I'll spare you the numerous failed attempts and concentrate on the method that has shown the most promise.

The Grind

Above: my preferred herb-pulverizing apparatus. Most of the time, this handy coffee bean grinder does a bang-up job.

But no matter how long you grind dried lavender buds, they only become something that looks like a powder.

Try sifting lavender that has been in a grinder and you'll see what I mean. It's almost like the dried buds are too lightweight to be properly ground to a powder.

Since the main goal was to use the lavender in a powdered face cleanser, and my powdered face cleansers include clay, it occurred to me that it might be possible to 'weigh down the lavender' by adding some clay during grinding.

And gosh darned if it didn't help – a whole lot.

Here are the results of a few different clays mixed with lavender and run through the grinder.

The winner is hopefully evident in the picture above. Rhassoul (also called ghassoul) seems to have the necessary weight to 'hold down' the lavender while it's being ground. It's also the heaviest of all the clays I tried.

The photo above was taken prior to passing the ground mixture through a sieve.

Sifting helped remove most of the remaining unwanted 'fluffy bits'.

Pictured at the top of this post is some of the final discarded bits – artfully arranged for your viewing pleasure.

Do Tell

Do you have issues with lavender bits sticking to the face too? And have you created a method of making lavender powder that you're willing to share? Please post a comment below!


the ladybug said…
I agree about the bits of flower parts . I tried grinding lavender to use in ba salts and they turned into tiny buds. Chamomile is the same way. Thank you for the tip.
Unknown said…
Just this week I made a powder out of rosebuds and calendula flowers and I'm really happy with the results. I used a Vitamix mixer. I'm using them along with clay in a dry face polish. :)
I've made cleansing powder with both lavender and chamomile powder. I used a black and decker mini-chopper. When testing the product, I have no notes about either not rinsing cleanly. I also did not sift the powders. I chose that chopper because one of the blades appears to rest on the bottom with no room for anything to avoid being pulverized. (Now I'll have to go back and test again!)
Unknown said…
Hi Lise! Thanks for this post! I’ve been using a hand burr grinder to get my lavender powdered as well as I could. Took to long though.
Marie with Humble bee gave a little trick with the coffee grinders that’s ive found helpful. Place a small piece of “Saran wrap” or plastic film
Over the top of the grinder, then replace the lid. It helps the flowers stick closer to the actual blades, helping the herbs to be of a finer consistency. Works well in my experience.
LisaLise said…
@ladybug - Yes! Chamomile is the same struggle! Thanks for your comment

@Kim - I am now on my way to check out Vitamix - thanks for the tip!

@AngMay - I def n eed to check out the Black and Decker product. This sounds promising! Thanks!

@Kris Boggs - Thanks for sharing the tip from Marie at Humblebee. I looked at my own grinder and this wouldn't have helped much on my present model, but perhaps it is a great tip for others.
Monique said…
I was just getting ready to order some lavender and planned on using my Vitamix. I hope it works well without clay. I appreciate this article and the comments. The tips are great. I think I will try without Clay first and then if too chunky then I will add clay. : )
LisaLise said…
Hi Monique - I'd love to hear how it turns out with the Vitamix for you!
Unknown said…
I wonder if arrowroot would work to weigh down the lavender? Hmmmm i might just try it. I'm going to try it with my red rose powder.
LisaLise said…
Hey there Oil Painter - Why not give it a try and see how it goes? I'd love to hear your feedback if you do give it a go.
Heather said…
May I ask you about the "Violet" Clay? What is it made from besides the lavender? Many thanks!
LisaLise said…
Hi Heather - the violet clay is a mix of kaolin and manganese blue and it packs a colorful punch if you add it to a face mask and will definitely stain your towels!
Anonymous said…
If you can get a ball mill/ rock tumbler from harbor freight it works great at pulverizing herbs into a powder. Some material like pala santo just ends up caking up the tumbling medium but I find most dried herbs do great. Just be advised at the tumbling process may take several days but the grinding process can’t be beat.
LisaLise said…
Hey there Anon - thanks so much for sharing!
rollinsun said…
I cook with lavender, but having big clumps of the flower in my baked goods is not good. I tried making a flavored water to add to my recipes, but it doesn't work well in my recipes that have very little to no liquid in them. I went as far as making lavender butter, by steeping the lavender in butter for several hours, then using that, but the flavor was weak. I got all excited about your lavender powder, till I read you used clay! So if anyone has any ideas to help me out, PLEASE tell me!
LisaLise said…
HI Rollinsun - Thanks for your comment. I'm sure you could get a pretty good result by leaving out the clay but the sifting process may take a bit of patience. Best of luck with it :)