Grandma knows best, especially when it comes to her obsession with roses. Rose isn’t just a fragrant flower symbolic of love, it’s a classic beauty ingredient known to provide major benefits to skin, hair, and even the mind. Rose water has been used for its medicinal and beauty benefits for thousands of years. In fact, the legendary Cleopatra was known to use rose water in her skincare ritual. 1(And you should always trust Queen Cleo when it comes to looking good.)
Rose water is made from the distilled water of roses. 2 The heavenly scented liquid is a hero for skin, which is why you can find it in many beauty products. Now, let’s see what all the fuss is about.
Soothing & Antibacterial
Rose water boasts soothing properties, which help calm skin from irritation, redness, splotchiness, and blemishes – and it’s also antibacterial. 3 This means that adding rose water to your facial routine may help to fend off bacteria. Because it is also anti-inflammatory, rose water may also prove helpful for those with sensitive skin. Suffering from dryness from an acne-fighting regimen? Rose water may help to calm things down. Even those with skin conditions like eczema can benefit.
Antioxidant and Age-Defying
Rose water, with its high levels of vitamins, including C and E, has antioxidant powers, which makes it a great anti-aging substance. Antioxidants are elements that neutralize free radical damage, a primary source of harm that causes the manifestation of fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and other signs of aging. 4
As an astringent or natural toner, rose water can help clear pores and control excess oil, which is another way it can help with pesky zits. Astringents also help reduce the appearance of capillaries on skin. If you’re battling redness and blotchiness, a rose water astringent might be the answer.
Moisturizing and Refreshing
Rose water is also incredibly invigorating, helping to liven up skin by hydrating it while it calms any inflammation. This is probably why rose water is a hugely popular component in toners and facial mists. What could be easier than spritzing on a refreshing blast of rose water when skin is irritated?
Rose oil is one of the most popular essential oils used in aromatherapy, thanks to its reputation for lifting the spirits and helping to allay stress. In fact, one study concluded that rose can help reduce blood pressure and stress hormones.5
You can enjoy the delectable fragrance of roses, and certainly, see and appreciate their beauty, but did you know that drinking rose tea can be so calming it can actually help you fall asleep? 6 If you prefer not to imbibe rose tea, you can simply spray a mist containing rose water or distill it in an aromatherapy diffuser.
Rose Water: DIY
Have you ever thought about making your own rose water? It’s a bit of an involved process, but it’s also a lot of fun!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- A large pot with a lid
- A bowl (stainless steel or heat-resistant glass)
- 2-3 quarts of rose petals.
Now, this is important: make sure the rose petals are organic. Many rose petals have been sprayed with pesticides, and you don’t want to drink those or put them on your skin. So verify with your florist that the petals are safe.
The condensation from the heat and ice will drip into the center bowl, leaving you with pure rose water.
- Place the petals in a pot and cover them with water.
- Then, set the bowl in the center of the pot. The rim of the bowl should be a few inches higher than the water level.
- Cover the pot with the lid flipped upside down. (Yes, this seems strange, we know!)
- Bring to a boil.
- Once the rose petals are boiling, fill the top of the (flipped) lid with ice cubes.
- Reduce heat to a low simmer for 2 hours.
- Add more ice as needed. And be sure to check every once in awhile that the rose petals are still underwater. You can add more water if needed, but avoid getting it in the center bowl.
- The condensation from the heat and ice will drip into the center bowl, leaving you with pure rose water.
Stop and Smell the Roses
People always say you should stop and smell the roses – it turns out that’s very good advice. But in addition to smelling the roses, you might also consider incorporating them into your skincare regime. Rose water is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial; it contains antioxidants and moisturizes skin. No wonder it was grandma’s secret beauty weapon! Keep reading to find out how Bulgarian women use it to stay beautiful, too.
Article updated: March 29, 2018
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1. Ahuja, Aashna, and Sookhe Aloo. “10 Rose Water Benefits: From Antioxidants To Anti-Aging”. food.ndtv.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 31 Mar. 2017.
2. Ahuja, Aashna, and Sookhe Aloo. “10 Rose Water Benefits: From Antioxidants To Anti-Aging”. food.ndtv.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 31 Mar. 2017.
3. “Get Great Skin By Drinking (And Spritizng!) Rosewater”. Shape Magazine. N.p., 2016. Web. 31 Mar. 2017.
4. “Antioxidants: Medlineplus”. Medlineplus.gov. N.p., 2017. Web. 31 Mar. 2017.
5. T, Hongratanaworakit. “Relaxing Effect Of Rose Oil On Humans. – Pubmed – NCBI”. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. N.p., 2017. Web. 31 Mar. 2017.
6. Mohammad Hossein B., Somayeh Amini. “Pharmacological Effects Of Rosa Damascena”. PubMedCentral (PMC). N.p., 2011. Web. 31 Mar. 2017.