Rose water has been used to treat, condition, and beautify the skin for thousands of years with references that date back to early Egypt, the Roman Empire, India and throughout the Middle East. Most famously, Cleopatra was said to use rose water on her skin, not only to scent it, but to treat, condition, and beautify it.
There is also a long tradition of rose water being used in medicine and it continues to be a standard household remedy for all types of skin conditions throughout India and the Middle East. Today, with a resurging interest in organic and natural products, western cultures are embracing the benefits of rose water.
Why is Rose Water Good for You?
First, rose water is an extremely versatile, natural, product that delivers a long list of beneficial qualities to the skin regardless of your skin type or condition. That’s because the petals of the rose are packed with powerful antioxidants that help protect skin at the cellular level. Not only do these antioxidants help reduce redness and inflammation, it can clean and tone the skin, help in the treatment of acne, rosacea, psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis and more.
Now that you have some idea of why so many have been singing the praises of rose water for so long, let’s get specific about some its amazing uses and benefits. The versatility of rose water allows it to be combined with most ingredients to create home remedies for all skin types and conditions.
Anti-Inflammatory: The anti-inflammatory and cooling properties of rose water help reduce redness and irritation associated with conditions like Rosacea, Eczema and Psoriasis – it will also reduce puffiness under and around the eyes. Use a simple solution of pure rose water on affected areas of the skin twice daily to calm and soothe the skin. For puffy eyes, soak two cotton pads in chilled rose water and apply to closed eyes for 10 minutes for instant results.
Hydrates: Rose water hydrates and moisturizes the skin leaving it look refreshed and toned. Use under or over makeup (it also sets makeup for a lasting look) and spritz skin when it begins to feel dehydrated. Ideal of hot summer days to stay cool and hydrated, or at the office in climate-controlled environments that dry out the skin. Rose Water Toner by Sky Organics is a great product for hydrating the skin and the small size allows you to take it with you anywhere.
Antibacterial: Rose water is naturally antiseptic so it makes an ideal natural antibacterial treatment to speed the healing of minor cuts, wounds and scars. These antibacterial qualities also help prevent infection of cuts, wounds and burns.
Antiaging: The powerful antioxidants present in rose water help protect skin cells against damage from UV rays, environmental damage, and chemical pollutants. Rose water acts as an inhibitor against elastase, which breaks down elastin, and collagenase, an enzyme that breaks down collagen. If that’s not enough, the antioxidants in rose water help to strengthen skin cells and regenerate healthy tissue in damaged skin.
Balances pH: When the skin’s pH balance is off, it reacts by becoming too oily, too dry or everything in between. On a scale of 1-14, (1 = most acidic; 14 = most alkaline), healthy skin should have a pH level of between 4.5 and 6.2 with 5.5 being slightly acid, but ideal. When the pH level moves too far from the ideal 5.5 number, it becomes red, inflamed and irritated.
Fortunately, balancing pH and returning it to normal is pretty simple, and one simple solution is rose water. Rose water has a pH level of 5.5 and this makes it an ideal daily treatment. Simply apply rose water with a cotton pad twice a day to clean skin and pH levels will begin adjusting in no time.
Tones Skin: Toning the skin after cleansing is an important, though often overlooked, step in the cleansing routine and rose water is an excellent toner. Applying rose water as a toner, not only maintains pH balance (as noted above) it helps remove residual makeup, dirt and oil from the skin and helps prepare the skin for moisturizer, acne treatment, or anti-aging products that follow the cleansing routine. Simply soak a cotton pad with 100% rose water and apply to clean skin.
Cleanses Skin: This is a quick and easy way to keep skin clean and clear throughout the day – ideal for those with oily or acne prone skin – or even after working out. Pure rose water removes dirt and oil from the skin and helps keep pores clear. Simply spray the skin, allow it to remain there for about 20-30 seconds and remove with a clean tissue.
Helps Prevent Acne: Yes, rose water even helps maintain clear skin. That’s because it does a good job of removing excess oil, dirt and debris from the skin, clearing the pores and keeping them open. This not only helps prevent blackheads and breakouts, it prevents the growth of acne-causing bacteria, while it does the double-duty of balancing the skin’s pH which is the underlying key to healthy, clear skin.
Soothes Skin Conditions and Sunburn: The cooling and anti-inflammatory properties in rose water help calm and soothe skin conditions such as Eczema, Psoriasis, Rosacea and more. In much the same way, rose water makes an ideal spritz for treating and cooling the effects of sunburn. The antiseptic and antibacterial qualities in the rose water also help speed the healing process for all these conditions.
Make Your Own Rose Water Treatments
There are so many uses for pure rose water and it is so easy to make natural, beneficial, remedies at home. For the most part, pure rose water is all you need. However, before you buy a rose water product, it might be helpful to understand where quality rose water comes from, what to look, for and where to buy it.
What to Look for in Rose Water:
If you are going to use rose water for the many beneficial qualities it offers, or if you plan on making some of the DIY remedies (see below), then look for rose water with only two simple ingredients – roses and water.
The best quality rose water is made by distillation – a process in which fresh roses are packed into a still and steamed. As the steam rises through the petals their cells open and release the compounds in the plant. When cooled, the steam converts to water which contains these compounds including microscopic particles of rose oil.
When a product is labelled 100% pure rose water, it refers to this simple distillation process in which roses and water are the only ingredients – it might be called rose distillate or rose hydrolat – ‘distillate’ means that the rose water was produced by distillation (as described above), – ‘hydrolat’ means the same thing, it is just the French term for distillation. The further you get away from these two natural ingredients, the more likely that the rose water you are looking at is not 100% pure.
Here are some 100% pure rose water products you could consider. All recommendations are pure, distilled rose water and nothing else. Click image to link to learn more.
DIY Rose Water for Acne:
Combine 1 teaspoon of lemon juice with 1 teaspoon of pure rose water. Apply to affected areas with a clean cotton pad or ball and leave on for 15 minutes. Rinse face with cool water and pat skin dry. Recommended 1-2 times per week.
Why this works: Both the rose water and the lemon juice kill acne causing bacteria which speeds healing – the lemon exfoliates dead skin cells surrounding the acne blemishes which unblocks clogged pores and promotes healing.
DIY Rose Water Moisturizer:
Combine 1 cup of glycerin with ½ cup pure rose water and mix until solution is smooth. Apply to skin at night over clean skin for best results. Store remaining solution in a refrigerator.
This is not only ideal for restoring and conditioning dry skin, this is good for those with Eczema, Psoriasis and dry patches on elbows and knees.
Why This Works: Rose water and glycerin are both excellent moisturizers. Glycerin is a natural humectant (meaning it draws water to the skin from the environment), it is non-comedogenic so it will not block pores, cause blackheads or acne.
DIY Rose Water for Brightening:
To lighten hyperpigmentation, melasma, dark spots, and acne scars, mix 3 tablespoons of rose water; 3 tablespoons of lemon juice; and 4 tablespoons of honey together until smooth. Apply to face after cleansing and leave it on for 15 minutes. Rinse off with lukewarm water and pat skin dry. Recommended 1-2 times per week.
Why This Works: Honey contains skin lightening properties that bleach the skin naturally while also acting as a moisturizing agent. Honey also has antibacterial properties to promote healthy skin. The acidic qualities of lemons work to naturally lighten the skin and the high Vitamin C levels in lemons encourage new cell growth. These ingredients combined with the antioxidant and healing qualities of rose water make an excellent home remedy for evening out skin tone and lightening uneven dark patches.
DIY Calming Face Mask:
Peel about 2 inches of fresh cucumber. Combine with 2 tablespoons of raw honey and 1 tablespoon of pure rose water. Blend/puree until smooth and apply mask to face. Leave for 15 minutes. Rinse off with lukewarm water and pat skin dry. Recommended 1-2 times a week.
Why This Works: All these ingredients have soothing and cooling qualities which makes this mask ideal for those with sensitive skin, or those with skin that is irritated or swollen from itching, allergies, sunburn and more.
DIY Rose Water Toner for Oily Skin:
Combine 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with ½ cup of pure rose water – mix well. Apply to clean skin with a cotton pad and allow solution to dry on the skin. Moisturize when skin is dry. Apply this solution 1-2 times a day after cleansing.
Why This Works: The rich source of antioxidants in both the apple cider vinegar and the rose water help balance pH levels in the skin, remove oil, dirt and grime, control oil production and prevent skin damage.