||DERMASCOPE Magazine Article
Aromatic Hydrosols for Beautifully Clean,
Hydrated & Conditioned Skin
~ by Maggie Smith with Vidya McNeill
Have you ever noticed how
you feel when you smell the incomparable fragrance of a red rose in perfect bloom or the perfumed aroma of Night-blooming-Jasmine
on a sultry summer eve? Imagine your delight as you gaze upon a field of fresh wild flowers or bright yellow sunflowers
in bloom? In our busy lives, what could be more uplifting than receiving an unexpected bouquet of beautiful flowers?
If you have then you know how flowers, their aromas and their delicate features not only delight our senses; they
add freshness to our lives and brighten our day.
While the use of flowers for healing dates back in time to the ancients, the primary difference when working with
Aromatherapy is in noting the distinction between Flowers, Essential Oils and pure Aromatic Hydrosols. Flowers,
in their natural state, are the obviously lovely part of the plant that bears the seed and usually has brightly
colored petals. Essential oils are one of Nature's miracles. They are the marvelous result of either cold pressing
the plant material or steam distilling various parts of the plant — flowers, leaves, bark, stem and root.
Considered the “blood” or
the “essence” of the plant, essential oils contain active constituents that give the oil its unique range of action,
its unique characteristic and specific healing property. Known for their aromatic healing properties, essential
oils and its by-product Aromatic Hydrosols, are in a variety of products commonly found on the shelves of skin
care specialists in salons and spas around the world. The popularity of Aromatherapy is evident in just about any
store one visits these days.
Do You Mean Aromatherapy?
No they are not the same!
-by Maggie Smith
DERMASCOPE Magazine Article:
Aromatic Hydrosols for Beautifully Clean, Hydrated & Conditioned Skin
- by Maggie Smith w/ Vidya McNeill
For more information about Flower Essence Energy products
Or to purchase directly from Maggie Smith, Contact us:
One can find a variety of Aromatherapy products ranging from bath salts, candles and massage oils to pure essential
oils in a variety of price range, depending upon the quality of the source and the essential oil used. With more
and more interest today in this ancient healing tradition we are finding a higher standard and respect for the
integrity of pure oils as more people thoughtfully move away from using synthetic or adulterated essential oils
and their byproducts.
One of the newest and yet oldest Aromatherapy product finding its healing way into salons and spas around the world
are Aromatic Hydrosols, better known as Floral Waters. A true hydrosol is the actual by-product of the aromatic
distillation process, made by distilling plant material at low temperatures and pressure in pure spring water and
stainless steel equipment to insure optimum cleanliness.
When plants are steam distilled to produce essential oils some very valuable compounds of the plant that are not
found in the essence become dissolved in the distillation water. Thus, Hydro — water and sol — the sun’s energy
in the form of the organic plant material. Hydrosols, actually referred to as hydrolats in Europe, are removed
from the still shortly after distillation. A true Aromatic Hydrosol has unique aromatherapeutic properties. Unlike
many of the floral waters on the market today that are made simply of distilled water with essential oils or synthetic
fragrance, alcohol and sometimes sugar added to them.
Although, the use of floral waters are not new to patrons of lustrous skin care, for centuries they have been utilized
since antiquity in Egypt, India and Persia. The rose was for the Islamic world a symbol of the mystical path to
God. The Persians would sprinkle some of this water on guests when they arrived in their homes to freshen and delight
them. The Sufis regarded the use of floral waters as essential in healing the emotional and spiritual centers of
an individual. Rosewater is a wonderful example of such a hydrosol.
Rosewater was used extensively during the Roman Empire and it was common for people of those times to fill their
fountains with this highly fragrant water. They believed that it was essential to refresh the air with aromatics
in order to maintain a healthy atmosphere. In particular, rosewater has been used extensively for centuries by
both Christians and Muslims for the purification of temples and mosques and by the middle ages rosewater was an
important product commercially and was a significant aspect of the economy.
By the 16th Century, many homes in England contained “still rooms” where the women created “sweet waters” from
distilled essential oils such as rose, violet and lavender. By the end of the 1600’s the “Kazanlik” rose, one of
the oil-bearing roses’ of Bulgaria was first distilled with the purpose of obtaining rosewater. This Bulgarian
rosewater was of such high quality that it eliminated Persian rosewater from the market place. In the following
centuries, rosewater became big business in France and medical books of the times prescribed it for a variety of
ailments. Today, Aromatic Hydrosols are being rediscovered for their practical and naturally therapeutic applications.
Ancient methods of using floral waters externally can be incorporated and used on a regular basis and will result
in beautifully clean, hydrated and conditioned skin. Aromatic Hydrosols are the perfect solution for skin care
and beauty practitioners who are interested in utilizing the highest benefits of Aromatherapy in their treatments
with their clients. Nearly free of irritating compounds, such as the terpene hydrocarbons, hydrosols contain the
same therapeutic effect as concentrated essential oils, only they are far safer and gentler, therefore, ideal for
unlimited use in beauty treatments. Aromatic Hydrosols are transdermal. They serve multiple functions for your
skin and are used in a variety of ways. They soften, hydrate and help the epidermis to absorb important detoxifying
and healing properties, which transport more oxygen and nutrients to the skin. This promotes an increase of blood
flow through the skin allowing healing if the skin is damaged.
Aromatic Hydrosols stimulate immune cells such as lymphocytes and macrophages to clean up harmful bacteria and
dead cells. In addition, Aromatic Hydrosols play an important role, as do essential oils, in wound healing. They
are a marvelous help in regenerating and rebuilding tissue. Aromatic Hydrosols are very helpful in preparing the
skin for cosmetic surgery and assisting the skin to recover, heal and renew after surgery. You could use a neroli
hydrosol compress that would stimulate and calm the nervous and endocrine systems making the skin receptive to
the surgery. It is excellent for recovery wound healing.
After surgery, a daily compress of Bulgarian Lavender water on the inflamed tissue is known to rejuvenate the skin
to prevent scarring. Bulgarian lavender water is immunoactive and is, in addition, an effective antibacterial when
treating dermatitis, burns, eczema and other rash conditions. Or you could use cooling Bulgarian rosewater. Known
for its especially hydrating quality, it is remarkable for soothing dry, sensitive or inflamed skin. One of my
favorite solutions in comforting inflamed skin is to gently place a saturated cloth of cooled Rosewater on the
inflamed area for immediate relief. It has astringent, antiseptic and toning characteristics, controls sebum production,
skin pH and is useful in treating dermatitis.
Geranium water, which helps alleviate bruises, is antibacterial, balances sebum and is suitable for all skin types.
Aromatic Hydrosol compresses are soothing to the skin. Compresses are folded cloths that have been immersed in
water and then applied to the skin. Take a natural cotton compress and let it soak in the floral water for a few
seconds, then place it on the inflamed area. Leave it on for 5 to 10 minutes. This can be repeated at least twice
a day in the beginning. Antimicrobial properties make them ideal for application before and after the treatment.
Hydrosols of lavender, rose, neroli, and geranium all make suitable compresses over open wounds. Extreme temperatures
are not recommended on the skin, especially the face. Compressing is one of the most comforting and relaxing ways
to unwind after a busy day.
Floral waters are absolutely marvelous and I use them for everything, bathing, cooking, even as a base in unguents
and formulas instead of ‘water’. They are very therapeutic. Because they are so gentle and pure they are excellent
for babies and children.
Hydrosols can also be used in feminine hygiene, medicine & first aid. Aromatic Hydrosols have the following
applications: · Directly on the skin — face, hand and foot soakings · Use with Facial Oils for added
moisturizing and anti-aging benefits. Apply the water on a clean face before applying the facial oil! Mix with
masks, cleansers and EO's, as a moisturizer, toner or as an aftershave · Compresses · Electrolysis
· Vaporizers — Lavender, Rose & Geranium (no neroli) · Hydrotherapy Bath - will not clog jets
or leave residue · Facial Steamers — excellent! · Environmental fragrancing — misting about face
and head; on pillow, in room · In nursing care, the patient can be given a soothing or refreshing wash or
sponge down, affecting their mood as well as benefiting their skin. The shelf life of floral waters is typically
Highly sensitive to microorganisms, hydrosols begin to form degrees of bacteria shortly after they are removed
from the still. Knowing the source of your hydrosols will help deter any floral water from going bad. The problem
is that many hydrosols are shipped, in huge vats, across the ocean, and are subject to days of transit and sitting
on the docks. Do not use them if they have clouds and foams floating about inside or if they “smell” off. Some
companies will bottle floral waters in small batches, provide verification of testing, or deal in specifics such
as ‘certified organic’ requirements.
Just as with any Aromatherapy product it is important to work with your manufacturer and distributor, like you
would with any essential oil and know your source. Beware of any additives or alcohol as the integrity of the hydrosol
is seriously compromised as is the benefits. Furthermore, I recommend that you store your Aromatic Hydrosols in
tightly sealed dark bottles away from heat and light in a cool place, or even keep them refrigerated. Special thanks
to Jeanne Rose, Herbalist for her extensive and expert source of information on this subject and to Eva-Marie Lind
at Australasian College for her guidance. And, to the “Rose Queen” Jan Salko for her commitment in making available
the finest Aromatic Hydrosols in the world.
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