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All You Need to Know About Hydrolat & Floral Water

Okay first things first, are hydrolat and floral water the same?
Hydrolats come from the steam distillation of plants.

The manufacturing process is the same as essential oils: distillation of plants. The water is transformed into steam in contact with the plants, this distillation process makes it full of rich and active aromatic molecules, and once it’s cooled, it becomes an hydrolat! It’s basically the water leftover from essential oil production.

These waters are naturally loaded with active principles and aromatic molecules. Even if the process is the same, they are not essential oils and for this reason, they can be applied directly to the skin.

The floral water is obtained exactly by the same process.  The goal being to manufacture floral water and not essential oil, the concentration of floral water will be expressed in %. Floral water at 3% means that 3 kilograms of dry plants were necessary to produce 100 kilograms of floral water.

This ratio is not necessarily the one used during the extraction of the essential oil.

There are certain plants, such as cornflower and witch hazel, from which essential oils are not extracted, but floral waters only.

What are the benefits of hydrolats on the skin? And how to apply them?
Low in essential oils, they can be used as :

A tonic, in the morning, when you wake up, using a spray bottle

A pH regulator, to help your skin regain its pH after cleansing with liniment or saponified soap

An important thing to know is not to let the hydrolat dry on your skin but to wipe it off 10 to 20 seconds after applying it!

Application on the skin
You can use hydrolats as a tonic as we just said to pump your face skin in the morning, but also instead of water if you make your own creams, tonics, watery gels, etc... In your clay masks, always instead of water to create a smooth paste, easy to apply.

Or in your bath to give and make it a scented and beneficial experience. In this case, we will put between 3 to 6 tablespoons in the water!

Or in vaporization on the solar plexus for energetic or psycho-emotional purposes.

Application on the scalp
Hydrolats can be very useful as an astringent, purifying tonic lotion if you used it in a spray bottle as a rinse after your shampoo.

Oral Application
For a therapeutic effect, taking the hydrolat orally would be the most effective way. For example, 1 teaspoon of orange blossom floral water in a glass of water before bedtime helps insomniacs as well as hyperactive children and those who are afraid of the 'dark' to fall asleep.

How to choose your hydrolat?

You should choose a hydrolat made from wild or organic plants.

Contrary to essential oils, rich in anti-putrid active principles, the life span of the hydrolat is from 6 months to one year, even two years maximum.

Check the INCI list of ingredients on the packaging label, in addition to the Latin name of the plant, see summary table below, the preservative will be mentioned. Make sure that the preservative does not appear on our blacklist.

The must-have would be an unpreserved hydrolat, i.e. without any preservatives! This is possible if the hydrolat has been filtered to 200 microns at the time of packaging - almost all germs (99.99%) are retained.  In this case, its shelf life should only be six months. And it is better not to expose it to heat and light.

Which hydrolat for your type of skin? Here are our recommendations

Oily skin with a tendency to acne will love Cistus Ladinifera, Noble Laurel, Peppermint, Tea Tree, Clary Sage, Green Myrtle, or Orange Blossom. To improve skin healing: geranium and lavender.

Mature skins will prefer Damas Rose, Cistus, Common Sage, Rosemary verbenone

Dry skin should go for cistus ladinifera, Orange Blossom, or Roman chamomile

Atopic skins: roman chamomile

Rosacea: Italian helichrysum

Sunburns: Italian helichrysum, or peppermint

Dark circles: cypress, or cedar of the atlas

Detailed benefits for the skin for each hydrolat

CISTUS - Cistus Laniferous: Repairs sensitive skin, fight skin problems, anti-wrinkle, and skin regenerator

COMMON SAGE - Salvia Officinalis: Toning for oily skin, regulates perspiration

DAMAS ROSE - Rosa Damascena: Prevents and fights against skin ageing. It purifies, softens and refreshes the skin

GREEN MYRTLE - Myrtus Communis: Purifying, toning, and balancing for oily, dull skin and puffy eyes.

ITALIAN HELICRYSUM - Helichrysum Italium: Tones and repairs dull and reddened skin

PEPPERMINT -  Mentha Piperita: Toning, purifying, and refreshing

PISTACHIO LENTIST - Pistacia Lentiscus: Acne-prone skin, but also known for its decongesting action

NOBLE LAUREL - Laurus Nobilis: Purifying for mixed skin, it helps to fight against fatigue

ORANGE BLOSSOM - Citrus aurantium Amara: Tones, refreshes, regenerates and soothes dry skin

ROMAN CAMOMILE - Chamaemelun Nobile: Regenerates, soothes and purifies delicate, sensitive and dry skin

ROSEMARY - Rosmarinus officinalis ct.verbenone: Purifies the skin and prevents imperfections

SALVIA SCLARIA - Salvia sclarea: Toner for oily skin

ST. JOHN’S WORT- Hypericum: Very powerful healing, astringent, softening, anti-inflammatory

Essential oil or hydrolat, which one to choose?

Even if the hydrolat contains aromatic molecules and water, it is not water with essential oil added.

The essential oil and the hydrolat, although both stemming from the same plant and from the same extraction process, do not have quite the same properties. Their taste and scent can be also different.

The hydrolat is water-soluble whereas the essential oil is liposoluble = soluble in fats.

The hydrolat has no contra-indication. It will be very indicated for sensitive people, like young children,  pregnant women, or older people.

The hydrolat is an energy healer.

Other uses of hydrolats - For the kitchen ? For the house?

In the kitchen, spray on your desserts before serving in very small quantities!  Orange blossom floral water in an orange salad works wonders. Put about 1 tablespoon for 4 oranges.

Personally, I’ve also tested the following recipe to fall into the arms of Morpheus and it worked wonderfully:

Put 1 tablespoon of cocoa in half a glass of plant milk (preferably oat milk). Let it cool down. Add a teaspoon of orange blossom water. Stir. Your drink is ready!

For the house you can use hydrolats:

As linen water or mist to spray on cushions, bed sheets, pillows

1 tablespoon of hydrosol in the water of the iron or steam plant to perfume it. Even if the smell is ephemeral, you will benefit from a shot of aroma while ironing!

We hope you now know everything about hydrolats and floral water!