Hydrosols – One of Nature’s Best Kept Secrets

My Pure Earth Hydrosol

Most people have heard of essential oils, but when we bring up the topic of hydrosols we are often met with confused yet intrigued faces. So we thought it was time to remove the mystery and start sharing all the amazing benefits of one of nature’s best kept secrets.

Hydrosols are simply the aromatic water that remains after steam-distilling botanical matter. When we distil essential oils, pressurised steam passes through the plants to extract the oils. When the steam and oil are condensed, the essential oil is separated from the water mixture and the water-based product left is hydrosol.

Hydrosols are quite often referred to as “floral waters” and carry many of the same therapeutic properties as the essential oil produced from the same plant. They are milder than their oil counterparts, can generally be applied directly to the skin, have an earthier, herbaceous tone to their aroma and are usually safe to use on children. These are some of our favourite ways to use them.

  1. All Natural First Aid

Hydrosols should be a staple in any all natural first aid kit. Lavender hydrosol contains anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and analgesic properties, making it beneficial to use on cuts and scrapes. It’s also great at calming itchy, irritated rashes and will take the sting out of those annoying bug bites. It is also great for soothing sunburns and you can check out our recipe for Sunburn Soother Gel here. German chamomile hydrosol is also great at calming itchy and irritated skin, while its strong antibacterial qualities give it an extra kick for disinfecting and healing scrapes and cuts (especially for kids).

  1. Children

One of the major differences between essential oils and hydrosols is that hydrosols are safe to use around babies and young children while essential oils should be used with caution and be heavily diluted. Lavender and German chamomile hydrosols are two of our favourite choices when it comes to the little ones. Lavender hydrosol is a great sleepy time spray and can be added to bath water to help relax baby and soothe diaper rash. German chamomile makes a great spray to apply directly to diaper rash during changing.

  1. Facial Toners

Essential oils can be irritating to use around the eyes and face, but hydrosols make great facial toners. They can also help with dry or oily skin (depending on which hydrosol you choose). One of our go to’s is rose hydrosol which has been used as a luxurious skin toner for hundreds (if not thousands) of years. It helps restore moisture, making it perfect for healing dry skin and is especially beneficial for mature, aging skin types. 

  1. Linen Sprays

One of our favourite ways to use a hydrosol is as a linen spray. Simply apply lavender hydrosol on your pillows before bed or rose hydrosol on your towels for a touch of all natural luxury.

  1. Body Spray

Rose hydrosol is known to be a hormone balancer and can promote emotional balance and a sense of wellbeing. Its antispasmodic properties can also be useful for combating PMS symptoms such as cramps. But any hydrosol can be used as a body spray, you don’t necessarily need to pick one with the best therapeutic qualities. Choosing a hydrosol based on smell is also a great alternative to chemical filled, over the counter body sprays.

  1. Baths

A couple of tablespoons of hydrosols can turn a normal bath into a relaxing, aromatic time out. Since hydrosols are water soluble, they are the perfect all natural addition to any good soak. Some of our favourites include lavender, rose and ylang ylang.

Shelf Life & Storage of Your Hydrosols

Since hydrosols are water-based, special care must be taken so they do not grow mould or become contaminated. We recommend storing your hydrosols in the refrigerator and always make sure that the lid is closed tightly. Also, make sure the spray nozzle doesn’t come into contact with anything as this can cause contamination. With proper care and storage your hydrosols can last 1-2 years.

Hopefully, we have taken away the mystery of hydrosols and inspired you to give them a try. One of the great benefits of hydrosols is the variety of ways they can be incorporated into your daily life and this is just the first of many articles we hope to write highlighting their uses. So share your hydrosol stories / questions in the comments below. We would love to hear your favourite way to use them and will be here to answer all of your questions.

My Pure Earth

I’m Marra Hensby, an environmental, social responsibility professional turned eco-living advocate.

I’m committed to helping you live a greener, healthier and chemical-free lifestyle whilst showing you just how easy it can be. We can keep our planet and homes clean and kick out harsh, toxic chemicals while introducing a more conscious approach to our daily lifestyle. All the information you’ll find here is well-researched and designed to give you the clarity and tools you’ll need to live a lifestyle that is chemical-free and safer for you and your loved ones.

One thought on “Hydrosols – One of Nature’s Best Kept Secrets

  1. Amy Watts says:

    I am a hydrosols convert! My newborn had bad heat rash and eczema shortly after he was born so I was nervous about using anything on his skin that was going to be too strong or irritate it further. I didn’t know anything about hydrosols until a friend told me about these products (she had success with heat rash and clearing the spots from hand foot and mouth) – I saw results within 24hrs and the rash had cleared up by 3 days. We used the 50/50 combination of German Chamomile and Lavender – I’ve also ended up using it on my toddler from time to time when he’s had heat rash, and it’s worked a treat. I can’t recommend these enough!

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