When it comes to skincare, we’ve all heard of toners and facial mists but the term hydrosol might be a new one you’re hearing more of these days. While not a new concept by any means, hydrosols are an often overlooked product that can give your beauty routine a boost.
In an age of overwhelming abundance in beauty products, you may be thinking "here’s yet another product that’s going to be that missing link in my skincare routine, the game-changer promising to give me the skin I’ve long coveted." We hear you. These days we’re all trying to take a more minimalist approach, paring back our daily regimen and incorporating more multi-use products that do double-duty into our skincare arsenal. If you’re a fan of multi-use products then read on because hydrosols pack a powerful punch and are an inexpensive way to elevate the performance of your skincare game.
We turned to Kristen Ma, skincare expert and founder of Pure + Simple to help us give you the 411 on hydrosols and how you can benefit from them.
What is a hydrosol?
Hydrosols (also known as floral waters or plant waters) are made by steam-distilling plant materials. They are like essential oils, but in a milder concentration. When plant materials are distilled with water in a large pot, the steam fills the pot and, as it rises, the glands of the plants burst and release the oils and essences of the plant into the steam. From there, the oil then rises and collects in a separate vessel and this is what we know as an essential oil. The remaining fragrant water that was steamed with the original plant material becomes a hydrosol. They contain all of the essence of the plant, and according to Ma, “are like a nutrient shot for your skin.”
How can you benefit from a hydrosol?
“The healing properties depend on the plant water you choose”, says Ma. “Chamomile hydrosols, for instance, are particularly soothing and anti-inflammatory, while Witch Hazel is astringent and purifying.” Ma often prescribes hydrosols in place of a toner or as a mist to be applied to the complexion throughout the day for skin-boosting benefits.
To maximize the absorption into the skin, Ma recommends gently pressing the misted product into the skin with clean hands, followed by a facial oil or serum. Not only does your skin benefit from the plant essences contained in the water, but the subtle floral aromas in a hydrosol is a welcomed bonus to luxuriate in.
Ma goes on to point out that a hydrosol’s benefits also extend to your makeup routine, making them a great finishing spray to soften the look of a powder makeup application. “A few light sprays will give your skin a dewiness and make it look less powdery.”
Ready to add a hydrosol to your skincare routine? Here’s a handful of some of our favourites to steer you in the right direction.
These hydrosols from The Aromatherapist by Essential Botanicals ($19) are certified organic and available in glass bottles. Roman chamomile, which is one of the best ingredients for healing inflammation, treating acne, eczema, and other skin irritations. Look for these hydrosols at Whole Foods in the beauty section.