Rose water has been used for centuries in the Middle East as a beauty tool, and it’s about time the rest of us caught up. With hydrating and soothing abilities, as well as natural antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial powers, it’s one of those ultimate beauty powerhouses—which would explain why high-end brands like Chantecaille, Fresh, and Korres use it as the base for many of their products. If your budget won’t allow for a fully rose-infused skincare regimen just yet (because hey, all those streaming subscriptions add up), a simple bottle of pure rose water—easily attainable at Whole Foods or other health markets—can still transform your skin and hair. That said, if you’re a domestic queen, you can even you can make your own rose water:
- Fill a pot with fresh rose petals and cover them with distilled water. The water should only just over the rose petals. Too much water and your rose oil will be very diluted.
- Cover the pot, turn to fire to low and slowly bring it to a boil.
- Turn off heat, keep cover on and let the water come to room temperature.
- Once at room temperature, strain out petals and pour into a clean, sanitized bottle.
Not only are the innumerable benefits of rosewater fascinating; they’re also measurable. It’s not an “I think it helps” kind of plant—scientific studies have been done on its benefits.
Are you prepared to take your sheet-mask game way, way up? Or do you just need an extra boost? Take a cotton pad and apply rose water to your face after cleansing, then lay your serum-soaked sheet mask on top. The rose water will amplify your sheet mask’s hydrating benefits, and the sheet mask will bring the rosewater deeper into your skin, and its soothing properties along with it.
Use It as Toner
Swapping your expensive toner for rose water might sound like a terrifying prospect, but has the potential to actually be a pretty good idea. Because of its antibacterial properties, the rosewater will soothe irritated, acne-prone skin. If your skin isn’t irritated, it’ll still help hydrate any dry skin. Just pour or spritz some on a cotton pad and sweep it across your face—your skin will feel soothed immediately.
Makeup artist Kirin Bhatty says she keeps rose water in a small spray bottle in her kit at all times. She spritzes it on clients’ faces to prep their skin for makeup, and even to freshen makeup after a long shoot. Bhatty swears by its refreshing, softening, brightening, and toning effects. If you don’t feel like dropping a ton of money on a mist, rosewater works wonders.
Is redness an issue for you? You might have seen rosewater or rosa damascena listed as a key ingredient on plenty of redness relief products. This is because of its properties as an anti-inflammatory, the same thing that helps reduce acne and irritation. If you’re having a particularly red day—which unfortunately happens to the best of us—either mist it on your face or use a cotton pad to get rid of unwanted rosiness.
Add two tablespoons of rose water to a cup of water, then pour it through your strands after shampooing and conditioning for a DIY hair rinse. Yes, rosewater’s increased hydrating properties extend to hair. Your strands will not only feel like you just gave them a quick deep conditioning treatment, but you’ll also finish it out smelling faintly of roses.
Suffering from razor burn on your legs or bikini area? Rose water, because it’s a mild astringent and antibacterial, is your friend in this situation. Pour some on a soft cotton pad, then sweep it over the irritated area—your skin will feel cooled, soft, and smooth.
If you suffer from perpetually dry skin even with lotion, adding rose water to your routine could be the answer. After showering, spritz rose water from a spray bottle all over your body. Immediately seal it in with your favorite body lotion while your skin is still damp. Bye, flaky skin.
There are few better face mask ingredients than rose, which is why so many masks are made of the stuff. If you’re making an at-home mask that calls for a liquid, try using rose water instead of regular water. It’ll add an extra level of nourishment, and in the case of some masks, it might make the smell of the ingredients more tolerable.
Is your skin a balancing act? Do you have an oil problem some days, and dryness others? Or does it just feel like maybe the pH is off? Rose water is the perfect balancing treatment for skin, as it corrects pH to a natural level and also prevents skin from getting too oily or too dry. If you feel like you can never get it right, or are just having an off day, just use some rosewater instead of overwashing your face.
Adding rose water to your bath will not only ensure you smell amazing afterward, but it’ll also soothe your mind and promote relaxation—not to mention leave you smelling like roses. Pour some in a bath, breathe in deeply, and say it with us: ahhh.