Flower water and hydrosol are both terms that get used interchangeably in the natural products market. The reasoning is simple, since it helps to brand each product in a simple way, but the practice has led to a lot of confusion about what a hydrosol is and what a flower water is. And, because of the confusion around their name, many people are also confused about how to use these products.
So let's see what each one is and if there are any differences between the two!
The bottom is line that both are a diluted product made from the same plants as essential oils. They both contain a mixture of the plant products used to make essential oils and water, which is used to dilute the product into something less powerful and, as a result, more useful in day-to-day products.
But they are different in smaller subtler ways.
Hydrosols are the by-product of essential oil distillation. Steam is passed through plant material, and the condensate collected. The essential oil floating on the surface is collected, and the water that remains is the hydrosol.
Hydrosols are intensely aromatic, and share some of the healing properties of essential oils. Because they are derived directly from the plants, hydrosols use up more organic materials and this gives them a more rounded and mellow effect, even if most of their power is coming from the same compounds found in essential oils.
A flower water, by contrast, is water that has been scented using essential oils. So instead of a rounded collection of the plant, it’s only the essential oil, one that has been diluted using either steam distillation or, in the event of a more delicate plant product, solvents or chemical processes. Floral waters are usually useful for their scent alone, since that is why they’ve been infused with essential oils.
More often than not, flower waters are made using actual flowers, which often contain powerful yet delicate compounds. But hydrosols are usually made with plant parts like leaves, bark, or even the roots, which are much heartier.
As for their use, many people use flower waters and hydrosols in a similar capacity. Indeed, both can be used to moisturize your face after a good cleaning or as a toner for your skin. But hydrosols can also be added to your favourite beauty products, like shampoo, to provide extra volume, a nicer scent, and more healthy results.
See the chart below to pick hydrosols that will suit your skin type and a RECIPE for TONER below.
Recipe for Face Toner using Hydrosol (Mature Skin)
5g Rose (Rosa × damascena) hydrosol
5g Geranium (Pelargonium × asperum) hydrosol
10g Frankincense (Boswellia carteri) hydrosol
Instructions for Use:
Blend the ingredients together in a suitable spray bottle.
Spray onto a cotton face pad and use as a toner after your face wash.
Store in the refrigerator if you live in a hot country.
Hope you enjoy this recipe!
Cautions for Use:
Discontinue use if irritation occurs.