Rose water is a fragrant floral water that’s easy to love, and simple to make. It’s created through distilling rose petals and stems in H2O, a process which allows the natural rose oil, vitamins, and minerals to permeate the solution, producing a nourishing hydrosol.
Used for centuries in India, rose water is widely hailed as a reliable beauty tonic that’s as versatile as it is gentle. Its use dates back to Egypt, when Cleopatra is said to have used rose water daily – so it’s not exactly a newfangled beauty invention, and is much more reliable than the fleeting skin care trends of today. This beauty staple has a long history, and a long list of benefits to match – making it an ideal ingredient for one of our most concentrated skin care formulas. We’ll tell you how to use rose water for acne, skin hydration, sensitive skin, and more!
Specifically for sensitive and acne-prone skin, rose water is a true MVP. Topical application helps skin maintain its pH balance, which is key for battling acne. An off-kilter pH value on your skin produces conditions in which acne bacteria thrive. This makes resetting your skin’s pH a critical preventative measure when it comes to battling bacteria-induced acne.
Rose water is also super anti-inflammatory, meaning that it’s an excellent choice for live blemishes, irritated skin, and sensitivity combined with congested pores. It works to tighten capillaries and reduce blotchiness, and is perfect for anyone with combination sensitive and acneic skin. Rose water effectively works on three levels: to prevent acne, to treat it, and to soothe it if it’s already live.
While antioxidants are typically thought of as an important component of formulas designed to battle signs of aging, they’re also part of the anti-acne puzzle – and rosewater is chock full of them! Antioxidants fundamentally help to repair skin at a cellular level, and prevent damage caused by free radicals (which are molecules unleashed by UV light, pollutants, and chemicals).
Free radicals destroy collagen and cause inflammation in the skin that exacerbate acne. With this in mind, topical application of antioxidant-packed rosewater should be considered helpful for battling acne. Since rose water is gentle enough to use daily, it can come in big as your everyday oxidative damage shield.
PRO TIP: Need an extra dose of antioxidant power for acne-prone or aging skin? Opt for a lightweight serum that can soak into skin throughout the day. Our Vine Therapy Serum is packed with natural antioxidant sources like grape seed and acerola extracts, plus pure grape seed oil for a one-two antioxidant punch.
One everyday must-have in your skin care routine is Puristry’s Flower Water Toner, a super calming formula that’s safe for acne-prone skin. This formula splashes H2O into your pores, leaving you with a supple glow, reduced redness, and overall more even skin conditions. Quick disclaimer: toner is not the infamous word it once was. While toners from the eighties and nineties gained a bad rep for being super stripping alcohol-based formulas, this toner (and a wave of new toners) are water-based nourishing tonics amped up with healing botanicals.
This formula combines the anti-acne power of rose water with calendula hydrosol, another one of our fave floral waters. It has a soothing and mildly sweet fragrance, and works with rose to amp up the antibacterial and antimicrobial action of the toner, with serious blemish-busting results. Watch hazel adds adss a clarifying element, gently cleansing pores of oil and debris, and Hyaluronic acid acts as a powerful humectant, locking H2O into your pores. This gem can be used morning and night for anyone with sensitive or acneic skin.
Amongst a bevy of benefits, rose water does have one catch: when you go out looking for rosewater, you’ll inevitably find a wide range of products that claim to contain rosewater. But prepare to be duped by hundreds of synthetic blends, or otherwise perfumed and fragranced formulas with little to no goodness of the pure rose water maintained.
If ‘rosewater’ appears low on the list of ingredients, that means there’s barely any in the formula, and you should opt for a different bottle. Similarly, if the product label references the scent of rose rather then rose water itself, this is usually a red flag that indicates synthetic fragrance.
Even if the product claims to be real rose water, you’re not necessarily in the clear. Many rose waters are highly processed with alcohols, parabens, and fungicides. Synthetic rose fragrance and food coloring are also common add-ins. Be sure to check the ingredient list for pure rose hydrosol, and note that other terms used interchangeably are distillate and hydrolat.
Once you’ve sourced your pure rosewater, the sky's the limit when it comes to DIY formulas! We love a good facial mist, and we’ve got one that can be used as a toner but applied like a mist. The best part? Most of these ingredients are already part of your bathroom and kitchen cabinet inventory.
To make your own facial mist/ toner, start with a base of pure rose water. Next, add in witch hazel, apple cider vinegar, rosehip oil, and argan oil. This calming and clarifying toner is great for setting makeup, or refreshing skin throughout the day. Whisk together and keep in a glass bottle away from the sunlight.
Roughly, your formula composition should be:
4 tbsp pure rose water
1 tbsp witch hazel
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
10 drops of rosehip oil
10 drops of argan oil
PRO TIP: This formula can be re-imagined, depending on your unique skin condition. If dehydration is an issue for you, replace the cider vinegar with organic coconut water or cucumber water, for an extra shot of H2O and nourishing antioxidants.