Many people are hesitant to put man-made products on their skin, yet often itchy, dry, or oily skin needs some extra help. Natural products have been used by humans since ancient times. Now utilizing naturally-derived substances such as rosewater, is experiencing a resurgence in popularity. Products such as rosewater not only smell and taste good, but they provide many natural moisturizing and healing properties for the skin.
How is Rosewater Made?
Rosewater is created from rose petals. But unlike with essential oil extractions that are done through cold pressing, a steam distillation process is used to separate the oils and the rose water from rose petals. The rose water is a natural process resulting from distillation that separates naturally from the oils. Rose water can also be used as a perfume, for making candy or other sweets, and made into medicinal preparations.
One must be careful when purchasing rosewater, and be assured that it is truly made from rose petals, and not from a synthetic compound make in the laboratory. Rose water can be synthesized, much like many other artificial flavourings or scents are. You’ll want to ensure you are only buying the 100% purest form. Carefully read the bottle you are purchasing.
You may also make your own rosewater recipes at home. It’s simple to set up your own small distillery at home, on top of your stove, and requires a minimum of tools.
Rosewater is also inexpensive, and one bottle can be used for many purposes, including on the skin.
What Types of Roses is Rosewater Made from?
Traditionally, rosewater has been made in Iran. They use the petals of the Rosa damascena, more commonly known as the Damask Rose, that is also grown in Iran. This rose grows in a deciduous shrub that can grow up to 2.2 metres tall. The roses grow in pretty pink to light red colours. The flowers on these plants grow smaller and in groups.
There are also many other varieties, such as the Summer Damask, and the Autumn Damask. While they have their origins in the Middle East, they have grown throughout the world: Europe, North America, and Asia.
This rose has a fine fragrance, and is often used to make rose otto or rose absolute in perfumery. The flower petals from the plant are also edible. They can also be used as a food platter garnish, in salads, and made into herbal teas.
If you are growing Damask Roses in your garden, they may be the best source for your homemade rosewater. But don’t be afraid to experiment with other fragrant varieties.
Why is Rosewater Beneficial for Your Skin?
Rosewater is beneficial for the skin as it works in a variety of ways. When applied to dry skin it can provide moisturizing benefits. It’s also beneficial for people with oily skin as it can work as a toner to help calm over-productive oil glands. It can also decrease the appearance of fine lines. It can help to repair aging or damaged skin, and soothe irritated or sensitive skin. Finally, it can provide antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties for people who suffer from acne, fungus, or other bacterial skin infections.
Rosewater can be used on all parts of your body. You can use it around your eyes but you’ll want to avoid getting it in your eyes. After application, it quickly dries, leaving behind its soothing moisturizing properties.
How to Make Your Own Rosewater for the Skin
While rosewater is naturally derived from making rose oils for the perfume industry, you may also make your own at home. This is especially beneficial if you grow your own rose bushes. Depending on what types of roses you use will also depend on how fragrant your rosewater is. Through this technique, you are assured of the quality of your rosewater.
Equipment Required to Make Rosewater at Home
Collect together the following items to make your own rosewater at home.
- 2 or 3 Quarts of rose petals from your rose garden
- Jug of Water
- Ice cubes, about 2-3 trays worth
- Small brick
- Blue canning pot with lid
- Stainless steel bowl
Method to Make Rosewater
Follow these steps to create your own pure rosewater.
- Place your brick in the pot.
- Place the bowl on top of the brick.
- Place the rose petals in the pot, not the bowl.
- Place the rose petals up to the top of the brick.
- Pour in enough water to cover the tops of the roses.
- Pour in the water to also flow to the top of the brick.
- Put the lid on the pot, but upside down or backwards.
- Turn on the stove to 3/4 heat setting.
- Bring the water to a boil.
- Immediately place 2-3 trays of ice cubes on top of the lid.
You have now created your own home distillery. As the water in the pot boils, the steam will rise to the top of the cold lid. It will then condense. This will move it to the centre of the lid, where it will then slowly drip down into the bowl. Keep up with the bowling of your water. After 20 minutes of time you’ll want to check on the formation of your rosewater.
- Lift the lid quickly.
- Scoop out a tablespoon or two of the rose water.
- Pour into a bottle.
- Repeat the above steps until you have a pint to a quart of rosewater.
- Stop the process when you have enough rosewater.
- Over-distillation of the petals will dilute it too much.
- Turn off heat and let pot cool down.
- Discard your used rose petals into your organic compost bin.
- Clean up.
You’ll now be left with your own 100% pure distilled rosewater, which will smell and taste divine.
How to Use Rosewater for Optimal Benefits
Whether you make or buy your rosewater you’ll want to ensure that you’re using it correctly. The application method is virtually the same, no matter the purpose. If you’re using rosewater as a toner, as a moisturizer, or as an antiseptic, you can follow the exact same steps.
- Use only pure 100% cotton puffs.
- Open the bottle and place the cotton puff on the end.
- Turn the bottle so the rosewater flows onto the cotton puff.
- Quickly right the bottle.
- You only need the one dab on your cotton puff.
- Close the bottle.
- Gently rub the cotton puff over your face or skin.
- Toss your cotton puff in the bin, alternatively, tuck it beside the cat’s litter box to freshen that region.
- Keep your bottle of rosewater in a cool spot.
You can’t overdose on rosewater, but if you use too much, then you are simply wasting your bottle. If you made it yourself, you’re wasting your efforts.
Best Recipe for Skin Lightening
Many people who live in hotter climates may wish to lighten their skin back to normal. Often an uneven tan can be unsightly. Other people may have skin discolourations due to skin infections, acne or scars. Lemon juice has been used for centuries on the skin because of its natural bleaching properties.
Lemon contains a natural source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a common ingredient for use in lightening sunburns, sunspots, and age spots, and can generally brighten the complexion. It can help to even out skin tone and also tighten pores.
A mixture of lemon juice and rose water can be prepared for faster skin lightening. With the addition of rose water, the mixture will not be as irritating as simply using lemon juice on its own.
Ingredients for Lemon Juice and Rose Water for Skin Lightening
Gather together these ingredients to make your own lemon juice and rose water toner for skin lightening.
- 1 Fresh lemon
- Filtered or bottled water
- Plastic bottle with cap, small size you buy in the travel section.
Best Method to Making Skin Lightening Toner
Follow these simple steps to make your own lemon and rosewater skin lightening toner.
- Take your lemon and squeeze out the juice with a fork or use a juicer if you have one.
- Remove the seeds from the juice if any have fallen in.
- Whatever your amount of lemon juice is, add in half that amount of rosewater.
- Add in double the amount of water to the previous amount of liquid.
- Pour your mixture in the plastic bottle and apply lid.
Apply it the same way you would just apply rosewater: with cotton puff. Apply it to only the regions of your skin that you want to have lightened, and leave the rest.
Other Beauty Benefits of Rosewater
Rosewater has many other beauty benefits that you may not be aware of. You’ll soon discover that you need to make or buy a second bottle of rosewater just for your beauty care needs.
- Use it to maintain your skin’s pH balance.
- Rosewater is effective for inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, and psoriasis.
- Rosewater can be used for simply moisturizing the skin after washing the face.
- Use it as an effective acne treatment. Wash the face and apply rosewater afterwards, up to 3 times a day.
- Use it to heal wounds, scars, or sunburns.
- Use it in a spray bottle in the summertime for when you feel too hot. Keep it in the fridge.
- Apply rosewater to the itchy parts of your skin.
- Use it on aging facial skin to smooth lines and wrinkles and to encourage regenerating properties.
- Spray rose water on your hair for a light non-greasy moisturizer.
- Spray rosewater directly on your scalp if you have dandruff. It will kill the fungus that causes dandruff.
- Spray it on feet for a soothing athlete’s feet treatment.
- Keep a small spray bottle in your bag or purse for those times away from home when your skin becomes itchy or irritated, as there is often no time to apply ointment.
- Use rosewater spray as a pick-me-up for those times when you are feeling stressed or down at work.
Where to Buy Rosewater
If you don’t have time to make your own rosewater you may wish to purchase your own bottle for your skincare needs. Here are a few places where you can look for it.
- An international or specialty-food store, such as a Persian store.
- On Amazon.
- Online websites that sell only naturally-sourced products.
- Cake decorating or baking shops that sell floral extracts.
How to Store Rosewater
Larger quantities last longer in a glass bottle with twist-style lid or cap. If you are making a small recipe, such as with lemon juice, you can use the smaller plastic travel-sized bottles you can find in dollar stores. You can also pour rosewater into a plastic spray bottle and keep this in the fridge for when you need a refresher in the heat of summer.
Rosewater doesn’t need to be kept in the fridge, but neither should it be kept in direct sunlight either. Store it in your kitchen cupboard with your spices, oils, and baking products. It’s better to keep it in a cold cupboard than in the bathroom, as the bathroom can be subject to heat and dampness from hot water.
If you purchase rosewater, it will often have an expiry date on it. While you may not wish to consume it in sweets after this time, it will still be safe for use on the skin. If your rosewater smells stale or has turned a yellowy colour, it’s time to discard it.
If you are using a glass bottle of rosewater, you may wish to store it near the back of a tidy cupboard, as it could shatter if it falls onto a tiled countertop or floor.
Rosewater is not toxic to pets or children, but it should still be stored it in a higher cupboard, away from curious eyes.
You may discover many other ways to use rosewater to benefit your skin. It’s comforting to know that you can use a naturally-sourced product on your body, with ingredients that you can understand.