Rosewater is one of those beauty ingredients that is e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. Whether you see a rosewater facial spray sitting on top of your coworker’s desk or a fellow subway rider spritzing it onto her face, people love the stuff because it’s so refreshing on the skin. You don’t even need to buy a bottle of it, though—because we’ve asked beauty pros how to make rosewater at home.
“Rosewater has a long history of enhancing our mental and physical wellbeing, but it’s also good for the skin,” says Paula Simpson, biochemist, beauty nutritionist, and formulation expert. “Rose petals are antiseptic in nature, which helps to balance the skin’s pH and microflora, and calm and control oil production. They’re also enriched with vitamins such as vitamin A, C, D, E, and B3, along with antioxidant anthocyanin to nourish and refresh the skin.”
Rosewater is used all the time in skin-care products because it’s so soothing and hydrating. “Rose hydrosol is used in skin care topically to reduce fine lines, act as an anti-inflammatory, and to combat dehydration,” says Debbi Burnes, a beauty expert and founder of Sumbody skin care, adding that the scent of roses is often used in aromatherapy to uplift moods and alleviate stress. Used in spray form, you get the benefits of both the rose scent and the skin-boosting abilities.
There’s a wide variety of ways to make rosewater, but the basic formula is pretty simple. Burnes points out that a super easy but not as potent method involves seeping fresh rose petals in water. “You can carry the fragrance this way and have some topical benefits,” she says. Or you could distill the rose petals, which Burnes notes gives you topical and aromatherapeutic benefits. Once you’ve successfully concocted your own rosewater, Burnes recommends using it as a toner (FYI here’s a rosewater toner recipe you could try) or a base for a DIY mask. And, of course, you can use it as a facial mist whenever you want to be doused in rose. Keep scrolling for a basic rosewater recipe, courtesy of Simpson.
How to make rosewater
4 small mister bottles
1. Carefully remove petals from stems.
2. Place in a large pot and add distilled water to cover the petals. You don’t want to add too much water as this will dilute your solution.
3. On medium heat, bring the water to a boil, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. The roses should become pale in color.
4. Separate the petals from the water with a strainer. Let cool.
5. Add one ounce of rose solution to three ounces of water in spritzer bottles.
6. Store in a cool, dry place for up to one month.
How to use: “Keep by your desk to mist and rejuvenate your skin midday, or apply to a cotton pad and wipe face to remove residue after cleansing and before applying other skin-care products,” says Simpson. Et voila: You’ve now made yourself one of the most iconic beauty staples on the market.
Feeling ambitious and looking to concoct more DIY beauty products? Here’s how to make an egg white mask, which will perk up your complexion in 10 minutes flat. And this is how to make an olive oil hair mask to reveal your shiniest hair ever.
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