by Wendy Mackay MIAAMA
What are hydrosols?
Hydrosols, also known as hydrolats, flower waters, floral waters or waters of distillation, are a byproduct of the distillation of essential oils. When essential oils are being distilled, it is water, in the form of steam, which is used to extract the essential oils. This water is cycled through the distillation apparatus several times. On its journey it absorbs many water-soluble components from the plant material being used. The resulting water contains many of the same properties as the essential oil, but in a more gentle diluted form. They also smell fantastic!
What are Hydrosols used for?
Hydrosols make great toners and refreshers for the skin. Having no alcohol they are not drying so they can be used several times a day – useful for hot days or when travelling. Try keeping a spray bottle of hydrosol in the fridge in summer! Hydrosols can also be used as the basis for room sprays, to mix with clays to make masks or in skin care products.
Are all Flower Waters Hydrosols?
No, all flower waters are not hydrosols. Some flower waters are simply water infused with essential oils or other perfumes. Some also have other ingredients added, including preservatives and even alcohol or fragrances, so it is a good idea to check the ingredients list to make sure what it is you are buying. This is particularly important in buying a facial product as some of these ingredients may irritate skin.
Are all Hydrosols the same?
No they are not. As the properties of essential oils vary, so do their hydrosols. For many purposes such as for room sprays, it is fine to just go with the one whose aroma you prefer. However for skin care, you may get more benefits from choosing a hydrosol to match your skin type. For example -
Rose Hydrosol - suitable for all skin types but particularly useful for dry and sensitive skins
Orange Flower Hydrosol - particularly suitable for normal to oily skin.
Lavender Hydrosol - useful for blemished skin.
Hydrosols are wonderful products with a variety of uses - due to the fact they are so gentle but yet so effective
(This information is meant as general advice. Please consult your health practitioner or a qualified aromatherapist for advice on your specific situation.)
Wendy Mackay is a qualified Aromatherapist and a member of the International Aromatherapy and Aromatic Medicine Association (IAAMA). Wendy along with her husband David is the Founder and Director of Essence of Wellbeing. Essence of Wellbeing is dedicated to the best in Aromatherapy and Pure Natural Skin Care and is located in Mornington on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, Australia.
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