While the Fountain of Youth is nothing more than a myth, there are (thankfully) plenty of other waters out there that can assist you in your quest for eternal beauty—and they’re oft-called hydrosols (when they’re made from flowers, that is) and essences. The floral and plant-based waters have boomed as of late, finding a place on the desks of boss babes and in the ever-shrinking bags of it-girls alike.
These spritzers and splashes give you a seriously hydrated complexion, because while drinking H2O is obviously important to keep your summer skin from drying out (and, honestly, for all the reasons), spritzing it with water is seriously refreshing also. The best part? By amping the water up with ingredients like rose, cactus, and lavender, you can help it work overtime to address a whole range of skin situations.
Here are some favorite beauty waters—and expert opinions on the best ones for each complexion.
For reducing inflammation and chilling out: Try lavender water
Sniffing lavender essential oils can help relax your brain and nerves (pro tip: try it on an airplane), and lavender water has a similar effect. “It’s great for your skin. It helps reduce acne, redness, and smoothes the skin,” says Jamé Heskett, MD, author of The Well Path, thanks to it’s anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties. “Plus, it calms you and helps you sleep, which reduces stress,” she adds. And obviously, when you wind that back, it’s important to note this, too: Stress can take a great toll on your skin (and overall) health.
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For an immediate refresh: Try rose water
There’s something about spritzing your face with rose water that feels luxurious: The intoxicating smell, the lush feeling it delivers—ahhh. But in addition to making you feel like a 21st century Cleopatra, rose also has some pretty major skin benefits and Dr. Heskett says that these floral extracts have high amounts of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. Commonly found in facial sprays, the hydrating dose can give your skin a morning, mid-day, or evening refresh—without messing with your makeup.
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For guarding from external agressors: Try cactus water
Cacti survive in the desert by holding on to water by whatever means necessary, so just consider that when accessing its potential skin benefits. “This naturally occurring water is great for all skin types,” says esthetician Athena Hewitt, founder of skincare brand Monastery. “The water stored by a cactus is filled with extra nutrients so that it can survive drought seasons.”
And according to Dr. Heskett, cactus water is high in antioxidants and vitamins C and E, making it a good option to use on days when your skin is being put through the ringer by external aggressors. It can help to combat things like pollution to help prevent free radical formation, which can trigger collagen and elastin breakdown.
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For anti-aging: Try rice water
A favorite in Japanese and Korean skin care, rice water has been popping up more and more on ingredient lists. “What’s exciting about rice water and what sets it apart from other waters is that it has anti-elastase activity,” explains Dr. Heskett, who notes that it’s also packed with antioxidants. “Elastase is an enzyme that breaks down elastin, one of the three main components that keep your skin youthful. Using this water may keep that sagging skin at bay.” These options are typically used as toners, so rather than spritzing them on mid-day, try them post-cleanse as a stand-in for toner.
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For a quick reset: Try coconut water
All hail the rehydrating powers of coconut water: While you might tend to guzzle it post-GNO, spritzing it on mid-day at your desk can feel just as necessary and helpful. On its own, coconut water contains vitamin C, but it’s often coupled with other big-time skin-boosting ingredients that make it a star-player when it comes to giving you a seriously impactful refresh from the word spritz.
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Looking for another skincare ingredient worth adding to your arsenal? Mushrooms (yup—you read that right). And for your clearest summer skin ever, try testing some tips straight from French women, who know just as much about beauty as they do good croissants.
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