What is a hydrosol? What are its benefits for the skin?
The past few years saw more people shifting towards plant-based beauty and wellness practices. Hydrosol, being a natural derivative, is fast rising in popularity in the skincare and aromatherapy industry. But what is it about hydrosol that makes it a worthy addition to your skincare ritual? How are they made? And what are their uses and benefits? In this article, we wish to address such questions and more and try to understand whether you need to invest in hydrosols.
What are hydrosols?
The word hydrosol is made up of combining the words “hydro”, which means water and “sol” which means solution. When fresh flowers, leaves, fruits, roots, stems, barks and other plant materials are made to go through steam or hydro-distillation, a condensate called hydrosol is produced as a by-product. No wonder they are called “flower waters” since hydrosols are made through the distillation of flowers and plant products. These plant waters are less concentrated than essential oils but have properties similar to them.
What is the process of making hydrosols?
Both hydrosols and essential oils are made through the process of steam distillation or hydro-distillation or a combination of both. The process of distillation to make hydrosol involves exposing a plant part to hot steam in a distillery. This process is done to make the plant part open up and release its extracts. The steam is then allowed to mix with the botanicals, creating a hot herbal condensate. This condensate rises to the top of the distillery. Once on top, the condensate gets cooled off and runs down a tube to gather in a separate chamber. This is where the most concentrated material of the plant part gets stored. The oil which floats on top of this material is in fact the essential oil obtained from that plant part. It is skimmed off while the water that is left behind is called hydrosol. This hydrosol or water solution can have a few essential oil droplets dispersed in it. Since it is formed with the essential it, hydrosol is basically just a very diluted liquid form of that essential oil. This water consists of therapeutic properties of the plant part that even the essential oil does not contain. Earlier, this water solution that was left behind used to be discarded. But as its benefits became more apparent, people started using them in skincare rituals more often.
Uses Of Hydrosols
Now that you have understood how hydrosols are made, it is quite clear that each hydrosol has unique benefits, depending upon the plant part they are derived from. Their primary use in skincare is that of toner. Kzen brings you three powerful toners which cater to different needs of the skin. These toners are packed up with some of the most widely used hydrosols in the skincare industry.
Ageless Face Toner: This toner is rich in orange peel hydrosol, which is widely used for its various skin benefits. Orange peel hydrosol is made by distilling the peels of oranges and has a sweet and citric aroma. This hydrosol is rich in nutrients, antioxidants and, of course, Vitamin C. These ingredients are capable of removing excess oil and sebum from the skin, thus helping curb acne. The toner leaves supple, bright, and fresh skin behind. Vitamin C helps in getting rid of pigmentation and mitigates fine lines too. Apart from its strong healing properties, it also helps improve overall mood and promotes better sleep. This powerhouse of a toner also comes with rose water, Vitamin E and peppermint hydrosol. Rosewater balances the skin’s natural oils, is anti-inflammatory and minimises the appearance of large pores. Vitamin E prevents ageing, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. Peppermint is antiseptic and anti-bacterial and reduces acne. It also cools and refreshes the skin.
Pure Vetiver Hydrosol: This hydrosol is derived by steam distillation of vetiver (khus) root. Vetiver or khus has naturally calming properties and is a boon for the skin. It is known for its hydrating, nourishing, anti-ageing and anti-inflammatory benefits. It helps reduce the size of pores, balances the skin’s pH level, and also removes excess oil from the skin. It is packed with antioxidants and mitigates signs of ageing. When you mist it on your face, it is also shown to reduce depression, irritation and mood swings. This hydrosol can be applied liberally to the skin to rapidly replenish dehydrated, overheated, or rash-affected skin's suppleness, hydration, and vitality. The benefits of vetiver hydrosol on the skin are amazing. It can be used in many ways, such as toner, mist and even as an aftershave.
- As a toner: Vetiver is very hydrating and has a great ability to store water. Moreover, it minimises pores and acts effectively as a toner. It evens out skin tone and lessens skin irritation.
- As an astringent: As an astringent, it gives the skin a firm, strong, yet supple feeling. Without making the skin overly dry or sticky, it balances the pH level of the skin. Vetiver hydrosol helps to make the skin less greasy.
- As an aftershave: For men, vetiver hydrosol is the ideal all-natural aftershave to calm the shaven skin. Its antibacterial qualities soothe skin irritants and stop infections. The hydrosol's silky texture aids in giving freshly shaven skin a flawless touch. It moisturises and revitalises the skin.
- As a mist: Benefits of aromatherapy can be obtained from vetiver hydrosol. It really aids in soothing and reviving when misted.
AHA + Vit C Clarifying Toner: As the name suggests, Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and Vitamin C are naturally abundant in all components of this toner. The toner reduces acne and scarring while also gently removing dead skin cells. Alpha Hydroxy Acid, often known as AHA, acts as a gentle surface exfoliator to remove dead skin cells and leaves skin smoother and more radiant. With time, they gradually fade skin discolourations. AHA moisturises, hydrates, and provides excellent antioxidant properties for the skin. On the other hand, the strong antioxidant Vitamin C shields the skin from free radical damage and environmental aggressors. Moreover, it supports skin tone and collagen production while also aiding in skin growth and repair. It balances the skin's delicate pH level, moisturises the skin, and brightens and refreshes your complexion. This toner incorporates hydrosols of various fruits, flowers and other parts of various plants, such as Guava, Hibiscus, Sweet Lime, Eucalyptus, Grapefruit, Rose, Marigold and Rosemary.
- Guava hydrosol is a skin superfood that has numerous health advantages for the skin. It has a lot of AHA, vitamin C, and vitamin A. It prevents wrinkles, treats acne, lessens hyperpigmentation, improves complexion, and hydrates the skin.
- The anti-inflammatory qualities of hibiscus hydrosol help to calm skin rashes. Moreover, it works as an anti-ageing agent and maintains a young complexion.
- Astringent properties of sweet lime hydrosol help to remove pigmentation, acne, and hard spots. It also produces a glow.
- Due to its anti-septic and anti-bacterial capabilities, eucalyptus hydrosol controls excess sebum and has skin-cleansing qualities.
- Furthermore, acting as an astringent, grapefruit hydrosol tones and tightens the skin.
- Rose hydrosol clears away impurities and oil from the skin while also deeply hydrating the skin by holding onto moisture. It is also incredibly relaxing for the skin and has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Marigold hydrosol reduces skin irritation, redness, and inflammation.
- Rosemary hydrosol reduces sagging and improves skin suppleness.
How to choose the right hydrosol?
Hydrosols differ greatly from one another. Several businesses physically combine essential oils with water and market the resulting concoctions as hydrosols. Make sure always to read the ingredients label to prevent this.
When searching for a hydrosol, make sure you keep the following things in mind.
- Ensure that the ingredients list includes "hydrosol." The main component of a high-quality hydrosol should be the hydrosol itself, not an amalgam of essential oils and water. Check the components list for "__ (plant name) hydrosol, distillate, or hydrolat."
- If your hydrosol lists additional constituents, that is fine. Because of their advantages and therapeutic effects, extra ingredients are added to hydrosols to make them more potent. We also add rose water to our Ageless Face Toner. This gives the toner its anti-inflammatory properties and helps minimise large pores.
- A perfume or other aroma should not be included with your hydrosol. Because they are aromatic on their own, hydrosols don't require any artificial fragrance to be added.
- No additional dyes or colours. Make sure to steer clear of those nasty items.
Sometimes checking the ingredient label could make all the difference in your skin’s health. To narrow down to the right product for your skin and make sure you use the safest and best ingredients for your skin, read our blog on how to read and understand the ingredient label.
There can be many ways to use hydrosols. Since they are quite gentle on the skin, they can be incorporated into the skincare routine very easily. Kzen skincare understands the importance of natural ingredients in skincare, and our hydrosols are the ideal example of condensing the best of nature in the palm of your hands. Apart from using hydrosols as toners and after-shave lotions, they can also be used in the following manner.
- To aid in the oil's absorption into the skin, it should be used in combination with a face or body oil. After liberally misting the hydrosol over your skin, apply the oil while it is still damp. Using this method offers the same advantages as using cream or lotion, but without the extra emulsifiers and preservatives.
- To rehydrate your skin, spritz it three to four times each day. This will leave your skin moisturized, healthy, and looking its finest at all times.
- It can be used to set your makeup. Spray it on your face right after you are done applying makeup, and forget about it getting smudged during the day.
- It can also act as a makeup remover. Just take some amount in a cotton swab and rub it gently on your face. Repeat it till you remove any residue of makeup from the face.