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?