What is a Hydrosol? Hydrosols, also known as “flower waters,” are produced by distilling fresh leaves, fruits, flowers, and other plant materials. With similar therapeutic properties to essential oils, these aromatic waters are much less concentrated. Their aromas are often soft and subtle when compared to their essential oil counterpart. These aromatic products usually have a scent similar to their essential oil, but also can have a greener note. This comes from the water soluble constituents in the plant material that are not present in the essential oil.
Hydrosols have a real affinity with the skin.They are a lovely refreshing tonic and make a wonderful nourishing and healing skin toner.
They have many roles on the skin, depending which hydrosol is used.
Hydrosols are among the gentlest and safest aromatics for use in caring for your complexion. I use them as toners (saturate a cotton ball and wipe your face carefully to remove all traces of cleanser), refreshing “spritzers” during the day to revive your make-up (or your spirits), soothing and calming anti-inflammatories to ease the redness of rosacea or sunburn, or gentle anti-bacterials to help calm troubled skin and acne.
Below is a description of some of the more popular hydrosols for skin and how the hydrosol best supports the skin:
- Carrot Seed Hydrosol: Just as Carrot Seed essential oil is one of the most recommended treatments for mature skin, Carrot Seed Hydrosol is highly recommended for treating mature and wrinkled skin. Carrot Seed Hydrosol is also reputed to have cellular regenerative power and thus recommended for easing razor burns and irritations.)
- Chamomile (Roman) Hydrosol Soothing and relaxing, useful for helping dry, flaking itchy skin from rashes or eczema.
- Cistus Hydrosol (Rock Rose): Cistus water has been recommended as a toner for wrinkled, mature skin since it can “plump up” skin cells and erase fine lines. Cistus is also an astringent, so would be useful both for oily skin, and as an aftershave toner since it can help stop bleeding of minor cuts and scrapes.
- Rose Geranium: Geranium is thought to be a cellular regenerative, thus Rose Geranium Hydrosol is a toner of choice for mature skin, or the perfect liquid to use in creating a facial masque. Like Geranium EO, Rose Geranium Hydrosol is recommended for balancing combination skin, since it balances both oily and dry skin.
- Helichrysum Hydrosol: Helichrysum italicum essential oil is the most powerfully anti-inflammatory essential oil, and an essential component in Rosacea and bruise blends. The gentler helichrysum hydrosol is the perfect toner for Rosacea, couperose (thread veins) and inflamed or irritated skin.
- Lavender Hydrosol: The all-purpose floral water. Lavender doesn’t excel at the treatment of any single skin condition, but it is helpful to almost every skin type. Lavender hydrosol is a very gentle antibacterial, making it useful in treating acne, and can help balance both oily and dry complexions. Lavender water can help ease the pain of sunburn and windburn. Please note, most lavender hydrosols do not smell as pleasant as the essential oil.
- Melissa Hydrosol: Melissa is a great toner/astringent for oily skin. I don’t recommend the essential oil in skin care since it can be irritating. This is where the gentleness of the hydrosol makes it the delivery method of choice.
- Rose Hydrosol: Rosewater stimulates the skin, heightening the blood flow. Rosewater controls and balances sebum production, making it useful for both dry and oily skin. It can balance and restore the skin’s Ph and helps tighten pores. Its antibacterial properties help fight acne giving troubled skin a gentle, rather than a harsh treatment. It is reputed to be useful in the treatment of all sorts of dermatitis.
- Teatree Hydrosol: All the anti-fungal, anti-bacterial effects of Tea Tree Essential Oil in a delicately herbal scented hydrosol. A superb toner for skin with acne; a mouthwash for infection or for thrush, a baby wipe if baby has a yeast infection, a deodorant spray, a base for a foot spray, washing out wounds or cuts, treating hotspots on dogs or cats…the list goes on.
- Witch Hazel Hydrosol: Soothing and anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. A wonderful toner for teenage skin, as well as a free radical scavenger recommended for anti-aging skin treatments.
- Yarrow Hydrosol: This cleansing and astringent hydrosol is one of the toners of choice for skin with acne. It is also useful as an anti-inflammatory for inflamed or irritated skin (although I would reach for witch hazel or helichrysum in addition to the Yarrow.) It almost instantly soothes the itch of insect bites, eczema, poison ivy, sunburn… a wonderfully effective skin soother. I’ve been told that the hydrosol, used as a compress or as the water phase of a lotion is effective in treating both psoriasis and eczema, soothing the itching, calming inflammation, and assisting the basal cells of the skin in healing.
As you can see, hydrosols have many amazing properties are wonderful for the skin!! For this reason, we chose to handcraft our facial toners using organic and all-natural hydrosols.