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Hydrosols: Petal Power Skin Care

Hydrosols: Petal Power Skin Care

Also known as floral waters (but not flower waters), hydrosols are a byproduct of steam distillation, created while extracting essential oil. Hydrosols have properties similar to those of their related essential oils, although inevitably in a less concentrated form, but they are enriched with various water-soluble active ingredients.

Their gentleness makes them an excellent way to tone, hydrate, and rebalance the pH of the skin, so they are frequently recommended as final cleansers/toners after cleansing or nourishing masks. Most also have antibacterial and antiviral action and can disinfect sensitive or damaged skin without the harshness of detergents or alcohol-based lotions. All are available from specialty shops or by mail order.

Hydrosols can be applied to the face twice daily. Use cotton pads or a mister, but be careful to avoid the eyes. Allow to dry naturally. Hydrosols can also be added to a bath as a general skin tonic (use three tablespoons) and are sometimes substituted for water in preparing clay masks.

Chamomile. Suitable for all skin types, chamomile is a very gentle antiinflammatory, good for over-exposure to sun and wind.

Clary sage. Suitable for dry and aging skin, clary sage relieves skin problems associated with fluctuating hormone levels and menopause.

Cornflower. See chamomile. Cornflower is often used around the eyes because, unlike most hydrosols, it does not burn in contact with them.

Lavender. Though slightly drying, lavender is suitable for all skin types. It has cooling, anti-inflammatory properties that can ease sun- or wind-burn.

Orange blossom (neroli). Inflammation-reducing, this hydrosol is particularly good at soothing dry or sensitive skin and for treating rosacea.

Rose. Appropriate for all skin types, especially aging, rose is recognized for its balancing, tonic, and astringent properties.

Rosemary. Excellent for balancing and toning all skin types, rosemary stimulates circulation and is a superb hydrosol for hair.

Witch hazel. Suitable for all types of skin, witch hazel is mildly astringent.

Read more on hydrosols.

Learn how to make your own rose water.

Read more: Beauty, Skin Care, ,

Adapted from Anti-Wrinkle Treatments for Perfect Skin by Pierre Jean Cousin (Storey Books)

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.

6 comments

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3:05AM PDT on Mar 29, 2013

Thanks for sharing.

7:19AM PDT on Aug 21, 2012

Thanks for the info.

7:28PM PDT on Apr 17, 2012

Sounds worth trying. Thanks.

6:56PM PST on Dec 22, 2011

Thanks for the article.

5:36AM PDT on Jul 17, 2011

Interesting.
Thank you

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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