The rose has been revered for its medicinal and beautifying properties for a millennia. Therapeutic uses include the treatment of abdominal and chest pain and to help strengthen the heart. It was also used to control menstrual bleeding and reduction of inflammation of the neck. In North American tribes, a tea or decoction was used as a cough remedy. It also has emotional and psychological uses; to help treat depression, anxiety and stress.
Topical uses of rose oil and extract have been found to have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects which is why it is such a great ingredient for all skin types. It can soothe even the most sensitive skin.
Rose water comes from the distillation of the rose petal. The rose petals are picked at dawn, when the essential oil content is at its highest. After distillation and extraction of the essential oil, water is left over, this is known as the rosewater or hydrosol. Studies have found it can contain anywhere between 10 and 50% essential oil. It is a wonderful aromatic by-product of the ancient art of distillation and something that should be part of just about everyone’s beauty routine.
Beauty products with rose water tend to be expensive however, they don’t have to be if you make them yourself and they are a great alternative to buying a ready made toner. The following is my easy to make and accessible rose water toner. It contains only two ingredients, culinary rose water and glycerin. I have used glycerin as it is a great humectant and will draw water to the skin, keeping it hydrated. It is also easy to get hold of.
There are many types of rose water on the market so you have to be careful that you get a true hydrosol. If you check the label it will probably say ‘distilled water, rose essence’ or ‘purified water and rose extract.’ It shouldn’t contain any other ingredients. I like to use KTC or Cortas brands. which are sold for the culinary market.
You may be able to get this in your supermarket, or failing that, online. You can buy glycerin in small amounts (100-200ml) from your local chemist.
10ml (20%) Glycerin
40ml (80%) Rosewater
50ml spray bottle
Simply measure out and mix the above ingredients. Pour into a bottle.
Alternatively, just put the rosewater in you spray bottle and enjoy!
You can use this as a toner, after cleansing, or as a hydrating spritz for when your skin needs a little pick me up!