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Her Majesty the Rose has been used in skincare and cuisine for centuries. It's believed that rose water we use today is extracted similarly to the 10th-century Persian rose oil made by a chemist named Avicenna. For a single gram of product, the so-called rose absolute, two thousand roses had to be distilled, making the product pretty expensive and reserved only for the elite.
To this day, rose oil remained very much a luxury product. But, luckily, we can still enjoy all the benefits of a lovely rose – without burning a hole in our pockets – thanks to the ever-reliable and beloved rose water.
So, let's find out what those benefits are and share an easy recipe for making your own rose water and rose water facial toner at home with only a couple of ingredients.
Benefits of Rose Water for Skin
Rose water is a natural remedy that everyone can use, regardless of age, skin type, or skin problem. This nutrient-rich botanical is filled with flavonoids, plant oils, tannins, saponin, triterpenoids as well as vitamins A and C. Therefore, it offers a plethora of skin benefits, such as:
According to a 2019 study, topical creams containing rose water proved effective in protecting the skin against UV radiation and repairing the damage caused by skin-harming UV rays. This is due to the four major polyphenolic compounds found in rose water, acting as powerful antioxidants that scavenge free radicals and prevent skin damage caused by oxidative stress.
Thanks to its antioxidant activity, rose water also has anti-inflammatory and anti‐microbiological properties, reducing the expression of certain cytokines responsible for a variety of skin conditions [source]. Therefore, rose water may help prevent and treat mild acne as well as other skin conditions, such as dry and flaky skin.
Rose petals, from which rose water is made of, are rich in organic acids, like malic and linoleic acids [source]. These acids act as natural humectants, helping the skin retain moisture and maintain healthy hydration levels. In addition, linoleic acid in rose water is essential for building ceramides in the skin, strengthening the skin's natural barrier.
#4: Reducing Excess Shine
Another organic acid found in rose water is quinic acid [source], acting as a natural astringent. It cleanses the pores and balances the oil production in the skin. Therefore, rose water is excellent for oily and irritated skin, decreasing redness, acne, and getting excess shine under control.
#5: Balancing the Skin
Rose water has a naturally low pH of about 5.5, and our skin has pH levels of about 4.5, making it quite acidic. And since skincare products usually have higher pH levels, meaning they are less acidic, rose water can balance our skin's pH, soothing it and preparing it for the following skincare products in our routine.
How to Make Rose Water Facial Toner
To make your homemade rose water facial toner, you'll need rose water. Even though it's available in most health stores and pharmacies, making your own DIY rose water is a fun project, and it allows you to use 100% natural ingredients (without added alcohol or fragrance).
So follow these steps to make your own rose water:
DIY Rose Water Recipe
For this fun little home project, you'll need a bunch of roses. If you have some roses in your garden, it would be best to use those. If not, make sure to get organic roses without any pesticide from your most trusted florist.
- 6 to 8 roses (you can choose the damask roses, Rosa damascena, or centifolia roses, also known as cabbage roses)
- 4 cups distilled water
- Pick the petals of the roses.
- Wash the petals well and place them in a glass jar with a tight lid.
- Boil 4 cups of distilled water for about 15 minutes, then pour it in the jar over the petals.
- Close the jar with a lid and let the petals steep in hot water until it cools at room temperature.
- Once the water is cooled, use a finely-mashed and clean gauze or a strainer to strain the water into another clean glass jar.
- Close the jar with a lid and place it in a fridge.
Your rose water is ready to use. You can use it as it is, without adding anything to it. However, since it doesn't have any preservatives, you shouldn't use it for longer than 7 to 10 days.
So, you can use your DIY rose water as a facial toner. However, if you have some more time on your hands and feel a bit more creative, you can add other ingredients to it. So, here's one recipe for your DIY rose water facial toner:
Rose Water Facial Toner Recipe
There are countless ingredient combinations you can make with your rose water to create a perfect face toner for your skin type and needs. Here's one combination idea that's particularly suitable for oily skin that needs some anti-aging and hydration.
- ½ cup rose water
- ½ cup aloe vera leaf extract, alcohol-free (alternatively, you can use alcohol-free witch hazel extract or aloe vera gel, whatever you have at hand)
- 1 tablespoon cucumber juice, fresh
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, fresh
- 1 teaspoon rosehip oil
- Grate or blend one cucumber. Then put it in a sieve or a finely mashed cheesecloth and squeeze the juice until you get approximately one tablespoon.
- Squeeze lemon juice and strain it to get rid of any seeds and pulp. Then combine the cucumber juice with lemon juice and mix them into your rose water.
- Then add the aloe vera leaf extract and rosehip oil.
- Mix all the ingredients well together and pour them into a lidded glass jar.
- Keep the jar in the fridge for no longer than two weeks.
Make sure to shake it before use so that the rosehip oil is evenly distributed. Alternatively, you can transfer your toner into a smaller bottle (something that's easier to shake). Apply the toner to a cleansed face with a cotton pad and continue with your moisturizer.
Note: Before applying a toner to your face, test it on the inside of your forearm, where the skin is as sensitive as the facial skin, to make sure you're not sensitive or allergic to any of the ingredients.
What Is Your DIY Rose Water Toner Good For?
The combination of rose water, cucumber juice, lemon juice, aloe vera, and rosehip oil is perfect for any skin type and concern. Additionally, it's pretty refreshing to use in the mornings to energize your skin. Plus, in the evenings, it will give your skin some nourishment and hydration boost after a long day of UV rays and pollutants.
Here are several benefits you can expect from your DIY rose water facial toner:
- It's rich in vitamin C, destroying free radicals and enhancing collagen synthesis, and therefore, it's anti-aging;
- It's hydrating, making your skin smooth and soft;
- It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, helping with acne and healing minor wounds and cuts;
- With regular use, it will even out and brighten your skin tone, getting rid of hyperpigmentation and redness;
- It helps with puffy eyes and eye bags.
After you've made your face toner, you can use the rest of the rose water for your hair and scalp. Simply, apply it to your scalp several hours before washing your hair using a cotton pad or a spray bottle. It will soothe your skin, get rid of dandruff, and make your hair healthy and shiny.
On top of that, research suggests that rose water has anti-anxiety and antidepressant properties. So add some rose water to your bath now and again for that relaxing aromatherapy effect.
As you can see, rose water has remained the No.1 skincare ingredient for centuries for a good reason (or a number of reasons, to be more precise). So whether you decide to make your own or get it from a store, it's definitely worth a shot.
Can I use rose water on my face every day?
Yes, you can apply rose water to your face daily. It would be best to use it as a face toner right after you've cleansed your skin and before your serums and creams. It's a gentle product, suitable for both oily and dry skin.
Does rose water darken the skin?
No, rose water won't cause discoloration of your skin. On the contrary, rose water contains malic acid, which acts as a mild exfoliator. Therefore, rose water should even out and lighten your skin tone over time.
Can I leave rose water on my face overnight?
Yes, rose water is filled with antioxidants and linoleic acid. The antioxidants in rose water will repair the UV damage your skin was exposed to during the day. At the same time, linoleic acid will hydrate your skin and help it stock up on ceramides.
Can rose water remove pimples?
Rose water contains quinic acid, which cleanses the pores and reduces excess sebum. This compound is anti-inflammatory as well, reducing redness, irritation, and acne.