“What are hydrosols?!”, you may ask. I wouldn’t be surprised if many are unfamiliar with the word. I’ve only come across the word hydrosol once I became more interested in what my skincare products are made of.
The word itself hydro-sol means water- solution. Hydrosols refer to the distillation water that comes from distilling fresh plant materials such as leaves, flowers, bark, roots and fruit, the same process that is used to extract essential oils. It contains some micro-drops of essential oil as well as the water-soluble plant components. Hydrosols are also known as floral waters, hydrolats, herbal waters, herbal distillates and essential waters. Some may say that it is the by-product of essential oil extraction, but it is much more than that!
Hydrosols smell similar to the corresponding essential oil from the same plant, only subtler and less concentrated. They retain most of the properties of the essential oil, but they are water based and can be used in many ways. Hydrosols are unique and are different from infused flower waters or even mixing essential water in oil because hydrosols go through a distillation process that makes them more complex. They are generally acidic, with pH varying from 3.5-6.5. Hydrosols are mild and are normally safe to use directly, without dilution. True hydrosols do not contain any additives, fragrances or preservatives and are sterile.
How is it made?
I’m going to try to keep this short…So, basically what happens is steam passes through the plant material and this causes the material to soften and secrete the essential oil in the form of a vapor. The vapor then goes through a condensing process and becomes a liquid solution which contains a mixture of water and essential oil. This solution then goes through a separator where due to the difference in gravity, oil floats and water is below it. The oil is siphoned off (essential oil) and the water left behind in the bottom of the separator is the hydrosol and contains miniscule amounts of essential oil, around 0.01 – 0.04%.
Fun fact! Hydrosols can be made from plants that do not yield essential oils.
Image source: Tongnuanchan & Benjakul (2014) Essential oils: Extraction, Bioactives, and Their Uses for Food Preservation
I love hydrosols as they can be used on babies, and they are so safe and mild yet able to deliver the wonderful benefits that they carry to the skin.
I will share with you the benefits and common uses of hydrosols in my next post. So tune in by subscribing to our newsletter and follow us on our social media!
Much love, Fathin A.
Fathin is a content writer at Eva Purity and she loves to share her experiences and life discoveries with you. Leave a comment below if you want to know more about skin care and skin care rituals. Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest updates!