I use rose hydrosol as the main ingredient for this facial toner. For those of you unfamiliar with the name, hydrosols are sometimes called floral waters. A hydrosol is the condensate water that is left over after the process of extracting an essential oil by water or steam distillation. This aromatic water contains the very essence of everything that was contained within the plant when it was still alive and growing.
Like essential oils, the aroma of a hydrosol may vary from season to season even when it comes from the same geographical location. This is because the weather can have a dramatic effect on the plant whilst growing, and during seasons of extreme heat, rain or drought, the plants delicate chemistry is changed which in turn affects the fragrance of its essential oil.
In addition, the chemistry of a plant is affected by the soil that it is grown in, therefore the aroma of a particular essential oil or hydrosol will be different according to its country of origin. These slight variations can often be an indication that a hydrosol is natural, and not man-made.
Buyer beware! Only buy your hydrosols from reputable sellers.
You may be surprised to learn that many of the ‘floral waters’ available today have been made with synthetic compounds which have no therapeutic or beautifying qualities. Others are produced by adding essential oils or absolutes to water by using alcohol or some other type of dispersant or solvent. This may appear to be perfectly acceptable, since the finished product contains essential oil and has a pleasant fragrance similar to a natural hydrosol.
However, this type of reconstituted product lacks the wealth of vital healing properties present in a true hydrosol, – remember, many of the plant constituents were dissolved into the water whilst extracting the oil, so they were never present in the essential oil in the first place! Therefore adding an essential oil to water will never create a product with the same range of healing benefits as a true hydrosol. There is simply no substitute for a true hydrosol, so don’t let anybody try and fool you.
Pure hydrosols can be more fragile than their essential oil counterparts. Hydrosols do not have the same concentrated anti-bacterial properties that essential oils possess and are subject to much more rapid degradation, especially when improperly stored.
Direct sunlight and UV rays are especially damaging to hydrosols. Repeated exposure to any light source may be damaging to hydrosols as well. So, dark bottles is essential.
For small quantities of hydrosols that will be used up within a couple months, purchasing and storing your hydrosols in plastic (i.e. plastic bottles with sprayer tops) is fine. However, the ideal bottle type for hydrosol storage of several months or more is dark glass.
This is the guidelines for storing and handling hydrosols.
- Store your hydrosols in dark glass bottles.
- Store hydrosols away from direct sunlight and ideally in a cool, dark location.
- Keep bottle caps tight.
- Keep bottles full by transferring hydrosols to smaller bottles as needed. When a bottle of hydrosol is left only partially full, the oxygen that also lives inside the bottle reacts with the hydrosol and begins to oxidize it. This process can cause the hydrosol to deteriorate more quickly. Oxidization can harm the fragile aromatic and therapeutic consistuents of the hydrosol.
- Don’t allow unsterilized items like your fingers, cotton balls or other items to come into direct contact with your hydrosols. Instead, pour off the quantity that you need or measure it into a different container. Then, work from that container, leaving the integrity of your original hydrosol intact.
What do you need?
- 50 ml of Rose Hydrosol
- 50 ml of Witch Hazel Extract (I use Witch Hazel extract from mountainroseherbs which has been double distilled in only a 14% alcohol base. Contains 86% Witch Hazel Extract and 14% grain alcohol)
- 1 or 2 teaspoons of vegetable glycerine (a bit more for dry skin)
- a few drops of essential oil of your choice (optional)
- a dark glass spray bottle (picture’s in this post)
- a funnel
How to do it?
- Pour all of the ingredients into the bottle using a funnel to avoid spilling.
- Fasten the cap.
- Shake the bottle like crazy to ensure all of the ingredients mix together nicely. Done!
- Store in the fridge (dark & cool place) after use to avoid spoilage. You don’t use any preservative after all.
How to use it?
- Shake it a little bit before each use.
- This toner is suitable for all skin types.
- You can use this anytime anywhere as a refreshing face mist or body spray throughout the day. Just spray it wherever you like it and it will pick up your mood instantly.
- As a facial toner, spray it throughout your dry & freshly cleaned face. Then, using clean hands, pat gently all over your face to ensure maximal absorption. Follow up with your favourite moisturizer.
- Never use undiluted essential oil directly on your skin.
- Citrus essential oils make skin sensitive to UV rays for the first few hours after use because of their photosensitive properties. So, if you’re outdoor a lot, avoid applying anything with citrus on your skin.
- Remember not to mix too many kinds of essential oils in one product (3 kinds at most).
Rose hydrosol (rose water) is a humectant that adds and helps retain moisture in the skin and has been known for many generations as a wonderful toner for the skin. It is a gentle and moisturizing antiseptic, which makes it suitable for all skin types (from dry to oily and acne-prone skin). Rose hydrosol is also known to promote emotional balance and a sense of well-being. Great for PMS symptoms as it is cooling!
Suzanne Caty in her book, Hydrosols, the next Aromatherapy, states, “Experimental in many applications as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy in postmenopausal women…combat PMS, cramps, and moodiness by virtue of its balancing effects on the endocrine system. Treats the autonomic nervous system and makes you “feel so good.” ”
Rose Hydrosol is very stable and has a shelf life of two years or more. All hydrosols should be stored in a cool place and even in the refrigerator if you live in a hot and humid climate.
Witch Hazel Extract
Witch Hazel Extract is a natural astringent, and has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal properties. It is widely used for medicinal purposes by American Indians and is a component of a variety of commercial healthcare products.
The antioxidant and anti-aging properties of witch hazel may also be helpful with UV radiation damage, wrinkles, and other aging symptoms.
Glycerin/glycerine is widely used in the food industry for two main reasons: it has a sweet taste, but has fewer calories than sugar; and it is hygroscopic, that is, it absorbs moisture from the air. It is therefore used both to sweeten foods and to keep them moist. The compound is metabolized more slowly than sucrose — the type of sugar most commonly found in candy and in processed foods — and therefore does not have such a dramatic effect on blood sugar levels. It also does not contribute to bacterial tooth decay. Foods marketed as being low in carbohydrates are often sweetened with glycerin.
Another major use is in the cosmetics industry. Due to its hygroscopic properties, it is used in many moisturizing skin products, as it seems to help relieve dry skin problems by drawing water up from the lower layers. It is also a component of glycerin soap, which is often used by people with sensitive skin. Lotions containing this compound are also popular.
For this toner, you can add a few drops of your preferred essential oils. If you don’t have any preference but still want to add some anyway, here’s a little guide based on skin types/conditions.
Dry: chamomile, lavender, palmarosa, geranium, rose, neroli, ylang ylang, jasmine, rosewood, sandalwood and frankincense
Oily: carrot seed, clary sage, sweet fennel, lavender, geranium, grapefruit, cedarwood, ylang ylang, bergamot, tea tree, cypress, juniper berry, palmarosa, myrtle, mandarin, petitgrain, niaouli, lemon, and most citrus oils
Combination: lavender and geranium (these oils are particularly good at balancing and normalising dry and oily skin conditions), palmarosa, chamomile, rose, rosewood, sandalwood, neroli, mandarin, petitgrain and frankincense
Problem/acne: clary sage, clove bud, grapefruit, lavender, lemon, lime, peppermint, rosemary, rosewood, ylang ylang, geranium, chamomile, tea tree, palmarosa, niaouli, myrtle, manuka, mandarin, bergamot, cedarwood, cypress and juniper berry
Sensitive: chamomile, lavender, geranium, rose (although some very sensitive skin types may react to rose), neroli, mandarin, petitgrain and frankincense
Dehydrated: chamomile, lavender, geranium, rose, jasmine, sandalwood and frankincense
Mature/wrinkle: carrot seed, clary sage, fennel, chamomile, lavender, mandarin, myrrh, ylang ylang, geranium, tea tree, patchouli, palmarosa, rosewood, sandalwood, frankincense and rose
Dull and/or congested skin: fennel, geranium, grapefruit, mandarin, peppermint, rosemary, rosewood
Reducing Inflammation: chamomile, clary sage, fennel, frankincense, geranium, myrrh, peppermint, orange, tea tree .
Remember not to mix too many kinds of essential oils in one product (3 kinds at most).