If you’ve paid attention to the latest trends in spa treatments, you’ve probably heard of hydrosols.  But what are they and can they help your skin?


Hydrosol 101

Hydrosols are created during the steam distillation process that creates essential oils.  When essential oils are extracted by steam and that steam is cooled it creates a combination of essential oil and water.

For essential oil use, you want to completely separate the water from the essential oil.  After the essential oil is removed, the remaining water is what we call a hydrosol.  This fluid will contain some of the properties of the essential oil but will be much more dilute.

They also have a nice fragrance that is similar to the original plant material that was distilled.  However, they are colorless and generally clear.


How are Hydrosols Used?

Hydrosols are commonly used in skincare treatments as well as for aromatherapy.  They’re perfect for use when you don’t want the high concentration that a typical essential oil offers.  While essential oils often need to be diluted, you can use hydrosols without diluting them because they are much gentler.

They are wonderful for use as perfume or natural deodorant.  Simply spray and go to get the scent to last all day.  You can also use them as facial toners and air fresheners that are nontoxic.

If you like to make your own lotions and cleaning products, you can use hydrosols in place of water in your recipe to add the properties of the botanicals.  Some of the most common hydrosol are Rose, Chamomile, Lavender, and Neroli.


Beware of Imposters

Many manufacturers who sell essential oils also sell hydrosols.  But you should be careful when it comes to products marketed as floral waters.  Floral waters are not actually hydrosols.  Rather they are waters that have added essential oils.

If you want a true hydrosol, you’ll want to make sure it is actually the byproduct of distillation rather than a mix of water and essential oils.  Hydrosols contain more plant material than essential oils and therefore have different properties.


A Safer Alternative

While essential oils are typically safe to use, they’re so highly concentrated that they can become dangerous when used improperly.  One answer to improve safety is to switch to using hydrosols.

Because they’re already dilute, you don’t have to worry about adverse side effects or using too much.  Yet they are still powerful for aromatherapy and botanical medicine practices.


Getting Started with Hydrosols

One of the best hydrosols to start with is lavender.  Lavender is a perfect addition to skin care products.  It can also be sprayed directly on skin to help with sunburn, minor scrapes, and bug bites.  Spraying some on your pillow at night can help you to get a better sleep.

Frankincense hydrosol has a spicy aroma and can help clear up any congestion you might have.  It’s also wonderful for improving the health of your skin.  Rose is another aroma that can be anti-inflammatory and help calm your skin when sprayed directly on it.