Updated: Jan 19
Although the terms are used interchangeably, the two are not the same. Floral waters are made by adding a very small amount of an essential oil to water and then letting the water sit for an extended period (usually a couple of days) before skimming or filtering the essential oil from the water. In other words, floral waters are nothing more than scented water and has far less hair and skin benefits when compared to a hydrosol.
Hydrosols, on the other hand, are the actual water-soluble components of the a plant; made by steaming fresh leaves, fruits, flowers, and other plant materials. During this steam distillation process the plant material opens and releases its extract (or medicine). When the steam mixes with the plant, the herbal distillate rises. Condensation forms once the steam is quickly cooled. The condensation from this process is routed to a holding container or chamber and then collected. The essential oil floats to the surface of the collected water and is skimmed off the top; the remaining water is a pure hydrosol or plant distillate.
Plants commonly distilled for a hydrosol include cornflower, witch hazel, lavender, and rose. The main benefit of a hydrosol depends on the plant used; one common benefit of all hydrosols, though, is that they all absorb very easily into the skin, making them great hydrators to use before applying moisturizers. Additionally, hydrosols are light, so there is no heavy build-up and the watery liquid is able to soak into braids and locks providing moisture to hair that heavier creams can't reach.
One of our favorite flowers to use to create hydrosols is roses. Rose hydrosols are great for balancing oils on the skin and scalp. The rose hydrosol is also great for strengthening hair making it especially beneficial for those with locks and other protective hair styles. Below are just some of the many benefits of rose hydrosol for hair and skin:
Rose Hydrosol Benefits for Hair:
Reduces oiliness and dandruff
Soothes scalp irritation
Nourishes the scalp
Promotes healthy hair growth
Prevents hair loss
Enhances the quality of hair
Helps relieve dry scalp
Rose Hydrosol Benefits for Skin:
Helps maintain skin’s natural pH
Helps control excess oils
Makes skin appear more vibrant
How to use Rose Hydrosol
Spray directly on hair and scalp prior to applying an oil or cream moisturizer to hydrate and nourish hair.
Spray directly on irritated parts of the scalp to relieve irritation. You may also use a cotton ball to apply the rose hydrolat directly to the scalp.
Use as a toner before applying makeup.
Spray a light mist over face to set makeup or refresh your makeup look