What’s better than finding the perfect product for your skin? (Does it even exist?) One question I get asked a lot is what I use for my face. I’ve tried water-based serums, facial oils, creams, toners, even yogurt and milk (for soothing sunburns). But one of my favorite discoveries is a hydrosol.
So what is a hydrosol?
The word was coined by aromatherapy expert Jeanne Rose, which was a combination of “water” and “solution” from the distillation of essential oils. She states that “hydrosols are like a very concentrated extract.” I would compare them similarly to toners, though they’re much lighter than ones that you would see on the market.
I first discovered hydrosols in Asia, where the sun burns terribly through the summer. I encountered the John Masters Organics lavender hydrosol, which I found incredibly refreshing. What I like about them is that they’re cooling in the summer, and help with dryness in the wintertime. As you can see in the photos on the right, hydrosols come in all shapes and sizes. While it’s best to store them in glass bottles, you can use 1 oz. plastic bottles to store in your bag on the go.
These amazing water-like spritzers (but with a small amount of essential oil in them!) are good up to six months: this is primarily for their optimal freshness. I’ve used a few over this time frame, but have found that my face begins to break out. Jeanne Rose states that hydrosols are mostly acidic, which is beneficial for our skin. Though some people have concerns about contamination, it’s more difficult for bacteria to live in an acidic environment (think about vinegar salad dressing).
So where can you buy these beauties? I prefer going straight to the source: that is, to people who distill hydrosols themselves in copper or steel stills. One organization is the Aromatic Plant Project (located in SF), where you can support local hydrosol distillers. You may, of course, choose to buy them from larger organizations, but I find it fun to support our local mom-and-pop businesses. Also, when Wonderland Organics launches in June, I will be reselling these amazing and fragrant hydrosols!
Tips for Maintaining your Hydrosols:
- Keep them away from direct sunlight
- Put them in the fridge for optimal conditions (they feel amazing cold on a summer day)
- Do not put hydrosols in your bathroom
- Keep them in glass bottles- they’re recyclable
- To reuse bottles, swish around isopropyl alcohol and let dry before usage
Has anyone tried hydrosols?
Rose, Jeanne. “The Aromatic Plant Project ~ Hydrosols.” The Aromatic Plant Project ~ Hydrosols. N.p., 1998. Web. 22 May 2014.