What are hydrosols? Everything you need to know about this all-natural beauty booster

what are hydrasols
Photography by Andrea Victory-LaCasse
what are hydrasols
Photography by Andrea Victory-LaCasse

What’s a hydrosol? Commonly called floral waters, hydrosols are becoming increasingly popular in all-natural and organic beauty products. Less concentrated and more mellow than essential oils, hydrosols still possess the healing and aromatic applications of aromatherapy and are often used in place of water in natural products. By boiling plant materials (petals, roots, leaves, you name it) with water, oils and essences are released into the steam as it rises and collects in a separate container. Once cooled, the oil that remains is essential oil, and the steam that settles becomes a hydrosol. 

Carol-Ann Granatstein, founder of Aromacentric—a Toronto-based natural scent and skincare company—will soon launch a skin mist and has been working with hydrosols in her formulation process. “Hydrosols are like the homeopathy of aromatherapy in that the trace elements of the essential oil properties exist in the hydrosol in a minute but substantial way,” she says. “They are delicate, very cooling and wonderful to work with.”

Hydrosols are also quite easy to use and serve a great way to deliver benefits to skin. Depending on the ingredients, hydrosols can reducing inflammation, form a protective layer for sensitive skin and provide a delightful sensory experience. Most often found in natural face mists and toners—what better way to sneak in some good-for-you ingredients as you mist throughout the day?— here are four suggestions for getting your mist on.

Crawford Street Rose Geranium Toner ($15, clementinefields.ca) contains rose geranium flower water and is best used post-cleanse as it is a mild astringent which will reduce inflammation. (It’s also an ideal option to help heal a sunburn.) La Bella Figura Jardin de Fleurs Skin Revitalizer ($61, clementinefields.ca) contains a blend of several flower waters, notably honeysuckle, jasmine, rose damascena and carrot seed. Also containing calming and balancing rose damascena, Pai Lotus & Orange Blossom BioAffinity Toner ($54, clementinefields.ca) helps calm visible redness, and is ideal for sensitive or irritated skin. And finally, Tata Harper Hydrating Floral Essence ($73, freshfaced.ca) is a hydrosol blend with more than 19 active ingredients including rose water and lavender floral water.