Have you ever heard the term hydrosol and wondered what it is? You are definitely not alone! The word hydrosol comes from a combination of two words: hydro meaning water and sol meaning solution. Hydrosols are also known as hydrolates, hydrolats, floral waters and plant waters. Although many people may associate the word hydrosol with flower or floral waters, hydrosols can also be produced from roots, bark, seeds, branches, needles or even leaves.
Often, hydrosols and essential oils are mentioned together. This is because the distillation process that is used to extract essential oils contained in plant material also produces plant water at the same time.
Let me try to explain this process of distillation in simple terms. Plant material is first added to a distillation tank. Steam is pushed through the plant material, pulling oil out of the plant and then carrying this evaporated oil and steam mixture up into a tube on its way to a condenser chamber. In the condenser chamber, cold water surrounds the tube. The heat from the mixture in the tube and the cold water surrounding the tube cause condensation to occur and thus, the evaporated oil and steam mixture turns back into a liquid state (i.e., essential oil and water). Once the liquid oil and water is collected from the condenser chamber, their natural properties cause them to separate. The oil rises to the top and the water (or hydrosol) sinks to the bottom. The hydrosols contain minute amounts of essential oil, therefore, giving the water a fragrant smell.
Don’t be confused by fragrant waters being labelled as hydrosols! Hydrosols are only a by-product of distillation.
Whereas most essential oils are not safe to use directly on the skin by themselves (meaning they need to be diluted by carrier oils because they are highly concentrated), hydrosols are generally safe to be used on people of all ages, including those with sensitive skin. Hydrosols are water soluble making them a good choice for ease of application and absorption. They are gentle but highly effective and are a wonderful way for people to enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy.
There are so many different hydrosols each with their own benefits!
Check out some of the many benefits of rose hydrosol water:
- A natural and gentle hydrator and cleanser for skin
- Excellent soothing agent for skin
- Great for all skin types, especially sensitive and mature
- Safe for children
- Contains mildly astringent and antiseptic properties
- Can help promote balance of the mind and body
At Be Green, we use rose hydrosol water in all of our facial toners! Give one of our toners a try and let us know what you think!
As always, thank you for nourishing your skin safely!