This easy to make rosewater recipe is a smart way to enhance your skin, hair or even eyes. Delicately scented rose water hydrosol is a pure botanical extract made of condensed water captured after steam distillation.
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In this article you will learn:
- What is rose water hydrosol?
- How to chose your roses
- Which equipment do you need to make rose water home
- step by step instructions on making rose water hydrosol at home
- What is the difference between rose water and hydrosol?
- How to use rose water
What is rose water hydrosol?
Rosewater hydrosol is also known as rose water, floral water, plant water, hydrolats, and hydrosol is created by boiling rose petals in water. The vapour that is produced breaks herb cells containing volatile ingredients. Subsequently, by cooling the vapour, we condense into a liquid, which contains all the valuable substances. Because of the high temperature of vapour the final hydrosol is free of any microorganisms and considered sterile.
Roses contain many volatile substances and essential oils that are valuable for our skin and wellbeing. While Citronellol is an effective mosquito repellant, Citral has a strong antimicrobial effect. Citronellyl Acetate is responsible for the pleasant flavour and aroma of roses and is a reason why roses are used in many skin and beauty products. These can all be transferred into rosewater hydrosol and used for our skin.
Choosing your roses
There are a wide variety of roses, the best for your rose water are Rosa damascena, Rosa centifolia and Rosa gallica. The colour is not important. You can make it from any colour of roses, just chose a scent that you like. What is more important though is that the roses have to be free of chemicals and pesticides. So don’t select roses from any flower shops as most of them are treated with chemicals to last longer. The best is to pick from your own garden or other gardens, where you are sure they don’t use any harsh chemicals. Last time I went to visit my parents I made these dark chocolate bars with rose petals from their garden.
If you have no access to pesticide-free rose petals order dried organic rose petals online.
Equipment for making homemade rosewater hydrosol
- You need to prepare a cooking pot and a lid that fits upside down.
- 2 heat-safe bowls. Place one bowl upside down, then place the other on top, this time upright to collect the condensed hydrosol. Pick your bowls wisely to make them fit, there has to be a gap in between the upside-down lid and the top bowl
- Prepare 1 kg of ice cubes.
- Pipette, ladle or turkey baster to suck the melted ice from the lid
How to make rose water hydrosol
First, place the first heat-safe bowl on the bottom of the cooking pot. Place 5 handfuls of rose petals around the bowl, so the bottom of the pot is completely covered by petals. Gently press them down so they are around the bowl.
Fill the pot with water until the roses are covered but not so high that the water covers the bottom bowl. Place the other bowl on top of the first one.
Place your lid on top of your pot upside down, this will enable you to fill the top of the lid with ice cubes to create a cold layer. The top of the lid will become the place of condensation where the vapour from steaming water reaches the bottom of the cold lid and start to drop in the form of hydrosol into the bowl.
Once the ice cubes start to melt, remove the water with a pipette or a turkey baster, keep adding another batch of ice cubes. You will use approx. 1 kg of ice cubes. Alternatively, you can keep the ice in a ziplock bag so it is easy to pull off and replace.
Once the water is boiling reduce the heat as low as possible while still allowing the water to simmer.
Make sure that there is always water in the bottom of the pot. Once your pot stops simmering, turn off the heat and let it cool. Don’t remove the lid before letting it cool otherwise, you will lose some of the hydrosol due to evaporation.
Once cooled pour it into a sterile jar, close the lid.
Please note that making hydrosol is a slow process at low temperatures where the final rose water comes drip by drip, not in the stream. So keep it at a slow pace. That way we will not lose any valuable ingredients that would be lost otherwise.
Rosewater vs hydrosol?
While ingredients are the same the process and form of uses differ.
The rose water is made by steeping rose petals in water, therefore, it contains all the water-soluble ingredients and minerals. It also carries the colour of petals so from dark red to pink. It is fragrant although not very stable thus a short shelf life. If kept refrigerated it can last up to one month.
Thanks to their distilled process of production rose water hydrosols contain a small fraction of essential oils thus carrying its benefits. They have clear colour and much longer shelf life up to 1 year if kept refrigerated. The rosewater hydrosol is stronger than rose water infusion (tisane) and it is safer to use directly onto skin than essential oils. Rosewater hydrosol possesses anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and nourish, hydrate and soothe your skin
How to use a rosewater
Rosewater mist for your skin
Pour your hydrosol into a spray bottle and use it daily around dry skin areas. It significantly reduces the dryness of the skin. Especially in wintertime when we use heaters or in summer using air-conditioners. These all lower moisture in the air and contribute to dry skin. Rosewater mist is a solution to improving your skin barrier and reducing water loss.
Rosewater hydrosol maintains your ph balance and acts as a toner to keep your pH balanced. Spritz the rosewater periodically throughout the day over your face to revitalize and get the soothing scent of roses. It will soothe your skin and refresh you.
Rosewater for hair
There are several ways to use rose water hydrosol for your hair, none of them will disappoint you.
- Pour hydrosol onto hair as a rinse after shampooing, or, after shampooing and conditioning. Leave it in your hair or rinse it out after several hours or overnight.
- Add it to your favourite shampoo or conditioner.
- Use your spray bottle to spray rose mist onto your hair anytime you want to decrease frizz or add a spritz of scent.
- To reduce dandruff and itching, gently massage it in. You can apply rose water hydrosol directly to the scalp using a cotton swab. Shampoo and rinse as usual afterwards.
- Experiment with various scents of roses to find the one that suits you the most.
- You can also add other herbs to the rose water hydrosol that would be beneficial for your hair such as lavender essential oil or rosemary essential oil.
- Add apple cider vinegar to your rosewater mist and spray it over your scalp to reduce dandruff.
Rosewater for acne
Rosewater possesses excellent antibacterial properties that help keep your acne at bay. Its ability to balance the ph of your skin will help get rid of excess oil and dirt from your pores. Use your mist spray bottle and spritz the water onto your face. Wait for 20 seconds and then wipe it off with a tissue. You can repeat it 3-4 times a day.
Rosewater as a cleanser of your face
Rosewater is a moisturizer that hydrates your skin and it also appears to be a natural cleanser. If you mix rose water hydrosol with glycerin or rose essential oil you will get a perfect facial cleanser with anti-bacterial properties.
Rose is known to provide both moisturization and anti-inflammatory benefits,” explains Elena Arboleda, head aesthetician at Mario Badescu Skin Care. “Astringent benefits are also a key benefit of rose, which helps tighten pores and tone and smooth skin appearance. Rose is also known to have both antibacterial and aromatherapeutic benefits, providing a nice overall mood boost while leaving your skin with an all-around moisturized, healthy, radiant, and refreshed look and feel.”
Rosewater for lips
Its healing and soothing properties make an excellent lip moisturizer. If you mix Rosewater hydrosol with a teaspoon of honey and apply three times a day it will soothe and revitalize your lips.
Rosewater for eyes
According to Healthline rose water can help ease symptoms of inflammatory eye disorders like conjunctivitis also known as pink eye. It is caused by a vitamin A deficiency and rose water can naturally improve its symptoms such as reduction of dryness and irritation.
Why drink rose water?
Rosewater hydrosol can enhance your mood and relieve stress or tension when drinking.
Rosewater hydrosol is full of antioxidants and contributes to a relaxing effect. It reduces stress and has been used in patients waiting for medical procedures. Inhaling rose water sent them calming signals to the brain.
Even though there are no clinical studies behind this beneficial claims drinking rose water can relieve digestion troubles like bloating, upset tummy and constipation.
Gargling rose water can help with a sore throat and its anti-inflammatory properties might help with cold or flu.
Rosewater as a mouthwash
Rosewater has an antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory ability that can be used in cleansing the mouth. This study suggests that rose water mouthwash reduces the pain and ulcers in patients that suffer from cancer sores or aphthous stomatitis.
Don’t forget to add a few drops of rose water to your bath, you will feel like Egyptian royalty!
How long does the rosewater hydrosol last?
It should last at least one year if kept in the fridge. If you keep it in the dark and cold place it should be used within 6 months. Always monitor for any fungal growth if the rosewater is not clear anymore or if it doesn’t smell good. In that case, it is spoiled and it needs to be thrown away.