Hydrosols and its many uses and benefits!

Hello again! Earlier I shared about hydrosols and how they are created. Now I want to share with you what you can use them for! Let’s get to it!

Benefits of Hydrosols

Hydrosols when compared to essential oils are significantly gentler; they can be applied directly onto skin with minimal risk of irritation and are generally safe to use for all skin types, babies, elderly, pregnant women, impaired immunity, even on pets! It is unlikely to suffer from skin or eye irritation upon contact with hydrosols. It is even possible to be taken orally, after diluting with water. Hydrosols can be used extensively without fear of overdose. 

Hydrosols can be an introduction to those interested in essential oils and aromatherapy, as they are pleasantly scented solutions that contain miniscule amounts of essential oil. Unlike essential oils that need to be diluted with other carrier oils and concentrations must be calculated to be precise and safe from irritation, hydrosols do not need to be further diluted with water or other solutions as they are already mild as is. Hydrosols used in aromatherapy can improve emotional wellbeing, uplift your spirit and calming depending on what hydrosol is used. The mild pleasant scents are not strong or overpowering and are unlikely to cause headaches.

Depending on which plant a hydrosol is distilled from, it can have many benefits and properties, some of which but are not limited to antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, astringent, analgesic, anti-infectious, antioxidant, anticoagulant, anti-inflammatory, digestive healing and calming properties. 

Common uses of Hydrosols

Hydrosols are often suited for things like natural perfumes, natural air fresheners and adding flavor to dishes and baked goods rather than treating medicinal issues due to their mildness. Their uses are not limited to these areas only as they have many beneficial properties. 

In many parts of the world, floral and herbal waters are used in food flavoring and cooking. You may find rose water as a common ingredient to flavor desserts in Asia. In western cuisine, distillate of fresh bitter orange is used to mask unpleasant odors, and, in the Mediterranean, orange blossom hydrosol is used to flavor cakes, pastries and beverages. 

Hydrosols made from lavender, chamomile, rose geranium, lemon balm are widely used in cosmetics, soaps, lotions, toiletries and perfumes. They can also be found in haircare products such as shampoos, conditioners, hair mists. 

Peppermint hydrosol, tea tree and witch hazel hydrosol can be used to soothe itches and wounds and as an antiseptic due to their antibacterial properties. Other common household uses include air freshener and fabric or linen spray using hydrosols from frankincense, jasmine, lavender, rose, vetiver, neroli among others. 

Hydrosols in skincare

A hydrosol is a single ingredient product that can be used on its own, directly on skin for hydration purposes like a toner but 2 or more hydrosols can also be blended together to achieve greater benefits. Hydrosols are also used mixed with other ingredients to create skincare products. Hydrosols can be used as water replacement in skincare formulation. This is a popular way to incorporate hydrosols in skincare as it has added benefits and adds pleasant aromas in place of fragrances or parfum.  

Hydrosols are found in facial toners, men’s aftershave, lotions, moisturizers and many other products. Here are just a few examples of hydrosols that are used extensively in the skincare industry:

  1. Tea tree hydrosol – It can be used for cleaning cuts and wounds. It can be used for all skin types especially acne prone and oily skin. It is antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral. 
  2. Lavender hydrosol – One of the safest and all around beneficial. It has a pH that is beneficial for all skin types. It is safe for use with children and for skin irritation such as scrapes, bites and sunburn. It is soothing and sedating and is a good choice for babies and children. It is analgesic, anticoagulant, anti-inflammatory, calming.  
  3. Rose hydrosol – more commonly known as rose water smells pleasant and is mildly astringent and acts as a humectant. It is antifungal, anti-inflammatory balancing, calming and uplifting. 
  4. Witch hazel hydrosol – helps to reduce redness and sooth rashes and itching. It has the following properties: anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antifungal. It is a gentle astringent that Witch hazel gentle astringent can be used to control sebum production etc. great replacement for alcohol-based toners. 

One of the simplest ways to incorporate hydrosols in your skincare routine is to spray it directly on your face as a toner. Personally, I’ve used rose hydrosol many times as a water replacement when mixing my clay mask. Try it! Not only does it smell better it also prevents your skin from getting dry. You can purchase hydrosols to be used on their own, or if you are interested in using a toner made from organic pure botanical hydrosols, do check our glowing toner and youthful toner formulated by our founder, Eliza Gong. You can click on this link for more information https://evapurity.com/product/glow-toner/

Things to be aware of

Hydrosols have a relatively short shelf life; when properly collected and stored they can last from 8-18 months. It is advised that hydrosols are stored in dark opaque bottles in a fridge to prevent bacterial growth and degradation as they do not contain any preservatives and can be sensitive to light and heat.  

With hydrosols becoming increasingly popular there are “fake” hydrosols out there in the market. Please be aware that there are products out there that are marketed as true hydrosols when in fact they are not. Some may even contain synthetic solubilizers so that the essential oil to blend seamlessly with water. Again, true hydrosols do not contain any preservatives, fragrances or additives so be sure to look at the ingredient list.

As with many other products used on skin, there is still potential risk of irritation, although minimal. For those with highly sensitive skin or allergies to any type of ingredient, it might be a good idea to do a patch test before drenching yourself with a hydrosol. Eliza’s words of wisdom, “it is possible for anyone to develop allergies in any ingredient, natural or not”. 

Final note

Hydrosols are amazing and can provide many benefits to everyone of all ages! And its potential uses are limitless, they can be incorporated in numerous ways in everyday life. As they say, the sky’s the limit! You can get pretty creative with hydrosols, give them a go!

Much love, Fathin A.

Sources 

Mulvaney, J. (2012) Traditional Hydrosols and hydrodistillation. Australian Journal of Herbal Medicine, 101-103 

Rao, B. R. Rajeswara (2013) Hydrosols and water soluble essential oils: Medicinal and Biological Properties. Recent Progress in Medicinal Plants Volume 36 Essential Oils I, 119-140 

Rose J. 2003. Aromatherapy, essential oils & hydrosols: products of distillation. The Aromatic News. 

Schorr, S. M. (2004) Bioresonance and Phytotherapeutic Hydrosols in Healing. Bioponic Phytoceuticals. Retrieved from https://www.bioponic.com/pdfs/BioresonanceHydrosols.pdf

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