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Rose water contains 10%–50% rose oil, which is one of the primary by-products of the distillation of rose flowers. (1) It is known for its pleasantly sweet smell that can relax and rejuvenate your senses, but that’s not all there is to it.
This liquid is credited with moisturizing, disinfectant, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties that can do wonders for your skin and hair. (2) This is evident from the fact that rose water has been used in beauty remedies for thousands of years and has become one of the most widely used ingredients in the cosmetic industry.
Beauty Benefits of Rose Water
Here are some highly touted skin and hair benefits of rose water:
1. Rose water relieves skin irritations
Rose water is rich in vitamins A and C, which exhibit strong anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe irritated skin.
Skin disorders such as eczema and rosacea are characterized by skin inflammation that leads to itching, redness, swelling, and peeling in the affected areas. Applying rose water to these irritated patches can help curb the underlying inflammation to soothe the skin.
Not just that, this topical remedy helps to calm other forms of skin irritations and sensitivities. Plus, rose water is deeply hydrating, further reducing the skin discomfort.
2. Rose water helps maintain your skin’s pH balance
Normal skin pH is slightly acidic, which renders it inhospitable for microbial overgrowth and thereby keeps infections at bay. However, several factors can increase your skin’s pH to make it more alkaline and susceptible to infections.
Unlike regular toners that contain harsh chemicals, rose water does all this without drying your skin. It even leaves a refreshing flowery scent behind.
3. Rose water hydrates the skin naturally
The skin needs moisture to maintain its structural integrity and properly perform its barrier function. Dry skin is less elastic and tends to tear more easily, which can provide entry to external irritants and microbes. The lack of elasticity also makes the skin age faster.
Rose water can provide an instant burst of hydration to parched skin without clogging your pores or feeling heavy. It penetrates deep into the skin without leaving a greasy residue on the surface of the skin.
4. Rose water improves signs of aging
Rose water is loaded with antioxidants that neutralize the activity of free radicals to minimize the skin damage they cause. Free radicals are reactive molecules that attack healthy skin cells and trigger premature skin aging.
5. Rose water gives hair a natural shine
Rose water deeply cleanses and conditions your hair without subjecting it to harsh chemicals that are found in regular shampoos and conditioners. Thus, it serves as a safer and cheaper alternative to these hair products, and it is especially recommended for damaged hair or a dry scalp.
With regular use, this remedy can help moisturize, repair, and nourish your hair to impart a healthy shine to them.
6. Rose water helps combat dandruff
Rose water works as an excellent hair rinse as it has antimicrobial properties that can disinfect your scalp without making it dry or irritated. This is especially a boon for people with a naturally dry scalp or a dandruff problem.
Plus, chemical hair treatments can disrupt the natural scalp pH, but a rose water rinse can help correct that.
7. Rose water helps control acne
Rose water helps clear acne by eliminating excess oil from the face and inhibiting bacterial growth.
8. Rose water shields your hair from solar damage
The sun’s UV rays damage and dry out your hair, making them dull, rough, and unattractive. But the antioxidant properties of rose water can help reduce and repair this hair damage.
9. Rose water soothes razor burns
As discussed above, rose water can help relieve irritated skin due to its strong anti-inflammatory properties, making it a great remedy for razor burns.
Other Uses of Rose Water
In addition to skin and hair remedies, rose water is also used in the following ways.
- Rose water is used in cooking to give a delicate rose flavor and fragrance to various dishes.
- Rose water can help relieve a sore throat when used as a gargle or added to your tea. (2)
- Rose water can be used to prepare a relaxing body soak by adding it to your bathwater.
- Rose water is often used in aromatherapy, primarily to soothe the nerves and relieve headaches.
- Rose water-infused linen sprays impart a pleasant fragrance to your bedsheets and pillows that can help relax your senses and make your sleep better.
How to Make Rose Water at Home
You don’t have to buy commercially prepares rose water. You can easily make one at home by following these steps:
- Add 1 cup of rose petals to a saucepan.
- Pour water over the petals until they are completely immersed.
- Cover the pan with a lid and let it simmer on low heat.
- Keep checking to see if the rose petals have started to lose their color. When that happens, remove the pan from the heat, shut the lid, and let it cool down to room temperature.
- Filter the liquid into a clean glass container, and your rose water is ready for use.
How to Apply Rose Water
Rose water has so many benefits on your skin and hair and you can use it in so many ways.
Note: Rose water is a very mild liquid and is therefore generally safe for application, but it can cause adverse skin reactions in people who are allergic to it. So, it’s best to patch test it on a small area of skin (the underside of your arm or the neck) before using it. If you don’t experience any irritation or dryness in the area of application, the product is safe for you to use!
a. As a face mist
- Fill a spray bottle with rose water.
- Spritz it on your face whenever you need to refresh your skin and senses.
b. As a makeup remover
- Mix rose water with micellar water or coconut oil.
- Use the solution to remove your makeup.
c. As shampoo
- Dilute your shampoo by adding rose water to it in a 50:50 ratio. This solution is not only gentler on your hair and scalp but also moisturizing and nourishing.
- You may add a few drops of apple cider vinegar to your conditioner for added hydration.
d. As a facial mask
- Mix 2–3 teaspoons of rose water with 1 teaspoon of Fuller’s Earth (multani mitti) until you form a smooth paste.
- Evenly apply the paste to your face and neck.
- Gently massage the oily regions of the face (nose, T-zone, chin) for 2 minutes.
- Wipe the paste off with a soft cloth dipped in lukewarm water.
- Make a rose water acne mask by mixing equal parts rose water and lemon juice in a bowl.
- Apply the mixture to your face.
- Let it sit for 30 minutes before washing it off with warm water.
e. As a hair mask
- Simply mix rose water with vitamin E oil or any essential oil of your choice.
- Massage the mixture into the scalp and all over your hair.
- Wait for about 10 minutes before rinsing it out with a shampoo.
f. As a toner
- Cleanse your face and neck.
- Wet a cotton ball with rose water and gently wipe your face with it.
g. As an aftershave and treatment for razor burns
- Soak a cotton pad in rose water.
- Gently dab it on the razor burn to relieve redness, itching, and irritation.
Some side effects of rose water are:
- Topical use – It can trigger itching, burning, stinging, redness, or rash, which indicates an underlying allergy
- Oral use – It may cause nausea and an upset stomach.
Rose water is a commonly used ingredient in a variety of beauty, skin care, and hair products, underlining its healing properties. You can also use this ingredient by itself to address a number of common dermatological issues.
The remedies mentioned in this article will only show results when used consistently for several weeks and as part of an overall wholesome beauty regimen.