Often, the beauty industry focuses on what’s new, next, and cutting edge — but I’ve found that sometimes, it’s better to look backwards and ask, What are the beauty rituals that have lasted thousands of years? The natural substances favored by ancient civilizations? The ingredients Cleopatra swore by? That final question is what led me to rose water: one of the Egyptian queen’s must-have skincare products; and now, one of mine, too.
Rose water —
which is quite literally rose petals boiled in water — has been used for medicinal and cosmetic purposes for a long time. The Egyptians, Byzantine Greeks, and ancient Romans all swore by its gentle, healing properties. “Rose water helps to keep skin pH balanced, and it helps to decrease excess oil production,” Dr. Aanand Geria, a dermatologist with Geria Dermatology in New Jersey, tells Nécessité. In addition, it has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce redness and soothe irritation on contact (making it the perfect remedy for those with eczema or rosacea). “It’s also known to be very hydrating by allowing moisture to be drawn to the skin, giving it that refreshed look,” Dr. Geria says. On top of that, rose water is antibacterial — so it helps clear pores, kill acne-causing bacteria, and heal scars and scrapes.
You can drink it (and it tastes incredible). Dr. Geria notes that the substance is full of antioxidants like vitamins A, C, E, which help to prevent fine lines and wrinkles from the inside out.
Where To Get Rose Water
While there are a lot of rose water facial sprays on the market right now, you’re going to want to opt for a pure version instead if you want to add rose water to your diet. (Let me repeat: Do not drink a spray bottle of skincare!)
So how to get your hands on pure rose water? One of two ways: You can buy it, or you can DIY it. Buying it is probably the easier choice; I like the Cortas Rose Flower Water (available on Amazon), which is sourced from Lebanon. If you want to make it yourself, you can follow the instructions in this video — just make sure to use 100 percent organic roses. Otherwise, your beautiful homemade rosewater will be full of pesticides and preservatives… which aren’t so great for your skin.
How To Use Rose Water Topically
Once you have your rose water — either store-bought or handmade — you’ll want to dilute it by mixing one third rose water with two thirds plain filtered water. From there, it’s best to funnel the mixture into a spray bottle for easy cleansing and toning. Spritz your face morning, night, and any time in between (it’s even great to refresh makeup midday!) to get your fix of Cleopatra’s skincare staple. Store the spray in the refrigerator to keep it fresh and potent.
How To Use Rose Water Internally
To make your own “beauty water,” simply mix a tablespoon of pure rose water in with eight ounces of water and drink it down first thing in the morning. Rose also has aromatherapy benefits — it’s been shown to ease symptoms of anxiety and depression — so there’s really no better way to start the day.
Photo Credit: @osunsparkling