February is LOVE MONTH, so it's a great time to share some of my favourites with you. And when I look at my routine the product that I've been using the longest, with the most consistency, the one that I am NEVER without, is PURE ROSEWATER.
Let me count the ways I love you, Rosewater:
- You're the least expensive product I own
- You can be used by almost everyone (I give some on a cotton pad to my kid so she can do a routine too!)
- You make everything else work better
- You are pretty much impossible to fuck up!
- MOST OF ALL: You give me plump, luscious skin :)
But it's just water, right?
Yes, it's water that smells nice - AND - it's been distilled so that it's very pure; there's really not much more to it. Rosewater is made by distillation - roses are macerated in water and then the water is boiled off and the steam is collected and condensed back into water. Sometimes there is a small amount of citric acid added as a preservative, but I haven't found that to make a difference (for me) in how I use it in my skincare.
What's so great about it? Couldn't I just use water?
Of course you could use water - water is water. Usually. Unless you live somewhere where the water is really hard, or you have to use water softeners, or the water is chlorinated, or fluoridated, or minerally, or smelly. So, maybe it's not the same?
What's the point of misting?
I don't find that there is much point of randomly misting throughout the day. Well, in the summer it can feel lovely and soothing to give yourself a spritz of refrigerated rosewater. However, random misting could pull water from the skin, because you're not sealing it in. But I'm not talking the occasional spritz - I'm talking supercharging your routine with a ton of hydration using Rosewater as a mist!
Maximise your products!
Watery hydrators help your other products to absorb. So if you want one or two drops of that precious serum you love to spread evenly across your whole face... mist with Rosewater first. You find that anhydrous active just a bit sticky? Drop the serum into the palm of your hand and add a few drops of Rosewater to thin it out. Rosewater drives those products into the skin so none of that goodness is left sitting on top.
HYDRATION TO THE MAX!
My Hydration Equation is: Humectant+Water+Occlusive = PLUMP JUICY SKIN!
I won't repeat my full article on Hydration, you can check it out yourself if you need a refresher. But suffice it to say that you can't have hydration without water! If you want all that lovely hydration to stay in place then don't forget a humectant in your routine (HA, glycerine, etc) and don't forget to seal it in with a final layer that's water-resistant.
What's the best way to keep and store Rosewater?
I generally keep a small bottle that I regularly top up from my big bottle of rosewater, and I keep the big bottle in the fridge. Actually, I have a couple of smaller bottles - usually a dropper bottle and a spray top bottle. In the summer I'm happy to spritz all over the place, but in the winter I don't like that chilly mist. I like to have options. Even with a spray bottle I usually spray into the palm of my hand and then pat into the face. Or the same with a dropper. I also use Rosewater as the base for my *hydrating slush*. It will take an entire post to fully explain my *slush* but it's basically Rosewater mixed with whatever random goodies I have around and then use as a hydrating toner.
Where does it go in my routine?
Everywhere! I basically do a layer of my Rosewater slush between every step in my routine!
How else can I use Rosewater to maximise hydration?
It can be used for 7 Skins.
It can be used if you live in a hard water area (you can google your area to find out if that's you) to rinse your face after getting it wet from cleansing, showering etc.
It can be used when travelling so your skin doesn't get stressed from unfamiliar water.
But it's water, it's thin, shouldn't it go thinnest to thickest?
By now you know how I feel about *Rules*! You've got to figure out for yourself the best way to use it in your routine. I tend to alternate a layer of hydration between every step because that works for me. Play around and see what works.
Does Rosewater have any conflicts?
If you're allergic to roses then it's probably not for you. As with any product there is always the potential for irritation or reaction because ... there always is.
There are also conflicts with watery products that are not specific to Rosewater but are true for anything water-based. Any acid that relies on it's acidity to perform can be adversely impacted by any water (so don't combine hydration with AHA exfoliation, for example). Also, keep in mind that hydration and the use of watery products within the routine can assist actives and other products by drawing them into the skin. So it's not a great idea to do tons of hydration before or after a new active or product if you're unsure that your skin will be happy with deep absorption. These conflicts aren't specific to Rosewater though, they are generally true of all watery products.
Other great things to do with you Rosewater:
- you can use it to swish around a bottle of almost-done serum to get that last drop!
- you can use it to moisten your beauty blender or make-up brushes
- you can use it dilute skincare products (if you know what you're doing)
- you can use it to re-moisten wipes or dried out makeup
- make baklava!
But I don't like the smell of roses... Are there options?
Of course! Most places that sell Rosewater also sell Orange Blossom water so that's a straight swap. The difference pretty much being the smell. But you can actually get a wide range of similar products if you search for Hydrosols. This is the technical name for flower water. There are many many different hydrosols available, but because this is more of a specialty product it is likely to be both more difficult to find and more expensive. However, it still might be cheaper than commercial *hydrating toners*.
I'm sold! How do I get me some of that goodness?
My rule of thumb is: if a place sells lentils there's a good chance they sell Rosewater. I buy food grade as it's pure, although there are some beauty brands that are good. If you buy food grade make sure there are no sugars or added extras. I tend to look for Rosewater made in Lebanon because they have a big industry there - Cortas is a brand that's widely available. Health food stores, Middle Eastern stockists, Turkish corner shops, Baking suppliers and even big box grocery stores are all good places to look. You may have to poke around a bit because there is no universal agreement as to which section in should be in! At Sainsbury it is in the international aisle, and it's £1!