How To Make Your Own Rosewater For Toners, Sprays & Scalp Mists
Jamie Schneider is the Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen, covering beauty and wellness. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare.
A hydrating face mist is like a power drink for your face—your skin eagerly laps up the moisture, making you look bright and refreshed. And in terms of the types of mists out there, rosewater receives a lot of the fanfare. For good reason: Its anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce redness on the skin1, and it's especially great for a post-sun spritz. Due to its mildly astringent nature, it also makes an effective toner; you can even use rosewater on your scalp to reduce oiliness in between washes.
Even better? It's not so difficult to whip up yourself. If you have a rose bush or two in your yard, or if you've recently come across a bouquet, you can easily transform those decadent petals into a hydrating rosewater spray. A bonus of the DIY route is that it doesn't contain the skin-drying alcohols that so many face mists out there have.
Below, you'll find the easiest DIY recipe for a rosewater spray.
How to make rosewater.
"Traditionally, rosewater is made through steam distillation, which results in a rose hydrosol," says Jana Blankenship, product formulator and founder of the natural beauty brand Captain Blankenship. Not to fret: You can create a quick alternative by simmering roses (fresh or dried) in some distilled water. Here's what you'll need, according to Blankenship:
- ½ cup fresh rose petals (which translates roughly to the petals of one large rose) or ¼ cup dried rose petals
- 1½ cups distilled water (if you can't get your hands on distilled, filtered water should be fine)
To create your refreshing rose mist, just simmer the rose petals and water in a small pan for 15 minutes, until all the pigment is gone from the petals. Let the mixture cool completely, then strain it into a spritzer.
It should keep fresh for up to one week, says Blankenship, as long as you store it in the fridge. (Plus, "cold rosewater is such a refreshing delight to skin, hair, and body in the summer," she adds.) Just be sure to toss the water after the week is up. Since this recipe is totally natural, there are no preservatives to keep the product fresh like a store-bought spritz.
You can extend the shelf life a bit if you add a quarter-cup of witch hazel extract to the mix although you might want to patch test the variation before spritzing all over your face: Witch hazel will not suit drier or sensitive skin types. But if you're a fan of the natural astringent, you can transform your rosewater into a hydrating toner by combining ¾ cups of witch hazel, ¼ cup of your rosewater, and 2 Tbsp. aloe vera juice or gel. That way, you'll have a balancing toner that's not too stripping. The aloe involved will make it incredibly skin-soothing.
A note on usage.
We love a face mist around here (who doesn't?), but we should note that a face mist is best paired with other hydrating products. For example, use it in the morning before you apply an oil; or use it as a prep step for tinted moisturizer.
"Like attracts like, so water attracts water. When you spray on a water face mist, you have like a five-minute window when you feel great, but after that it's actually pulling up your own water from the skin to the surface where it can evaporate," board-certified dermatologist Whitney Bowe, M.D., previously told mbg.
Or, if you want to use it alone, be mindful that your DIY face mist should feel hydrating—not just like a fine spritz of water. "[Mists] feel like they almost leave a residue of hydrating ingredients on your skin, which they do," says Bowe. "They are leaving those moisturizing, water-loving molecules on the surface of the skin, which will trap your own water. So even if some of the water from the mist evaporates, you're not drying out your own skin."
If you have access to roses, making your own rosewater is a perfect way to give those petals new life. Just be sure your roses are garden grown without any pesticides, Blankenship warns, as you don't want to be putting those chemicals on your face and scalp. Other than that, feel free to spritz your new natural mist all over—it's such a refreshing treat for your skin, and the subtle fragrance will have you smelling like fresh petals.
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Jamie Schneider is the Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare. In her role at mbg, she reports on everything from the top beauty industry trends, to the gut-skin connection and the microbiome, to the latest expert makeup hacks. She currently lives in New York City.