Floral waters are distilled water infused with the essence of flowers. There are so many different kinds of floral waters, but two all time favorites are rose and lavender. They're extremely versatile and can be used for more things than you may think. Wonder how they're formed? Well, true floral waters are formed during steam-distillation of plant material to make essential oils. They can generally be used safely on the skin without further dilution. I personally love rose floral water (also called rosewater): I use it practically every day in my skincare routine. That said, if your skin is very sensitive, broken, damaged, or you have eczema, be cautious and test a very small amount on the affected area first and wait to see if you have an adverse reaction. If not, congrats: You can use it without restraint!
DIY Rose Floral Water
Before I tell you ways to use floral water, I figured it'd be best to share with you an easy DIY on how to make one. Sure, you can purchase floral waters online or in stores, but nothing beats making your own from scratch. Since rosewater is my favorite, I figured I'd share that recipe. Also, if you'd prefer to swap out the roses for another flower (to make another floral water), feel free to do so!
- 1 cup fresh rose petals (about 2 roses)
- 2 cups distilled water
- 1 teaspoon vodka (completely optional)
Note: Try to use organic, pesticide-free roses. You can grow them yourself, or you can ask your local florist if they sell any. Also, the best kind of roses to use (if you want to use your rosewater for cooking) are Rosa damascena, Rosa centifolia, and Rosa gallica. These are all edible varieties. Whatever you do, don't try to mix them: Stick to one type of rose while making your rosewater for the best results.
- Select some fresh, fragrant roses and rinse them. The fresher your roses are, the better results you will get. Be sure to rinse the roses well enough to get rid of any dirt, insects, and pesticides.
- Pull the petals off and discard the rest of the rose (or try propagating the stem in a glass of water and later transferring it into soil). You will need enough petals to fill one cup. This should take about two roses, depending on the size of the rose.
- Place the petals into a saucepan and pour water over them. Make sure that the petals are evenly distributed, and that the water level does not come too far past the petals. If you use too much water, your rosewater will be less fragrant. If you'd like, add one teaspoon of vodka to the saucepan. This will not affect the smell, so no worries. It will help preserve the rosewater though, so that it lasts longer, but this is optional.
- Cover the pot with a lid and set the heat to low. Do not let the water come to a boil or a simmer, as using too much heat will ruin the color (and other properties). After about 20 minutes, you will see the petals become paler. The water will actually start to take on the color of the petals (usually creating a pretty light pink color).
- Place a strainer over a large mason jar. Make sure that the jar is very clean, and that it is big enough to hold about 2 cups of water. You will be using the strainer to catch the petals.
- Pour the rosewater into the jar. Using both hands, hold the pot over the jar and tip it carefully. Slowly pour the water and petals over the strainer and into the jar. The water will pass through the strainer, and the petals will get caught in it. Consider filling a smaller bottle with some of the rosewater. A smaller bottle will be easier to handle (and more portable) than a large mason jar. When you run out of rosewater, simply refill it with more rosewater from the big jar.
- Store in the refrigerator. The rosewater will keep about one week in the fridge. If you added vodka, it should last a bit longer. Congrats, you just created rosewater!
6 Ways to Use Floral Waters
So now that you made your own floral water (or bought it), how do you use it? Here are 6 ways to make the most out of that fragrant smelling flower essence.
Natural Facial Toners
Floral waters make amazing, all-natural toners. They're a quick and easy way to experience the benefits of essential oils and can be used straight on their own. Floral waters hydrate and balance the pH levels of the skin, and treat redness, acne, sunburns, and everything in between. Simply apply your favorite floral water (using a spritz bottle or cotton ball) directly to your face immediately after cleansing. All floral waters can be used as facial toners, but each has its own unique set of perks as well. One amazing remedy for puffy, dark, under-eye circles is chamomile floral water. Just soak two cotton pads with it, and cover each eye with a pad for around 10 minutes for an immediate and dramatic reduction in puffiness. Regular use can help diminish those dreaded dark circles too.
Other floral waters that make great toners:
- Rose floral water (my favorite!) imparts a beautiful glow to the complexion, is extremely soothing for dry or sensitive skin, and is regenerating for mature skin. An all-around winner!
- Lavender floral water is great for soothing and healing blemished and irritated skin, and can be used for all skin types to tone and refresh.
- Tea tree floral water helps regulate the skin's tone and kill bacteria in the pores, making it useful for both blemish-prone and oily skin.
Floral waters help to condition hair and add shine. Add your favorite floral water in the final rinse after shampooing to see some pretty amazing results. Sometimes I also like to spritz my already blow-dried hair with some floral water to make it smell extra nice.
Floral waters can help set your makeup throughout the day. Try misting your made-up face to achieve that sought-after dew-like complexion, and keep your makeup looking fresh all day. I love doing this in the summer to get an added cool-down boost!
DIY Skincare Ingredient
Floral waters can be used alone, blended together, or in your natural DIY beauty products. Try blending your favorite floral water into clay masks, scrubs, creams, or lotions. Lavender and chamomile floral waters are great together, perhaps mixed into some plain base cream to help soothe itchy, red, inflamed skin. You can use floral waters as a base for just about anything: A body mist, room spray, natural anti-bacterial spray, or bug repellent. If you've got a sunburn, you can mix lavender or rosewater with aloe juice or gel to create your own sunburn soother.
Around the Home
Floral waters are great to freshen air and are far safer than toxic air fresheners. Spritz some lavender floral water around your home to scent the air and mist your linens. This is great to do before bedtime and after a stressful day. Also, if you made the rosewater that I suggested, you can even use it in cooking and baking! Rosewater tastes great when added to sugary sweets like cakes and cupcakes.
During the summer, floral waters are perfect to use as a cooling body mist, and the most refreshing of all is peppermint. Keep peppermint floral water in the fridge and use as a midday pick-me-up. I personally love misting myself all over with some rosewater: It immediately cools me down and makes me smell amazing (plus is great aromatherapy). If you've been out in the sun too long, lavender floral water can help soothe sunburned skin and prickly heat. Lavender is also antiseptic, which makes it the perfect natural antidote to minor bites and stings.
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