I have to admit, I have been late landing on the Rosewater band-wagon. But now I’m on it, boy I’m loving the ride, but wondering how it passed me by for so long.
The first time I came across it was by way of recommendation from a friend who recommended a spritz of rosewater to revive flagging mascara (works well by the way, gets you at least an additional wel or two out of it) but since I had the product I figured I would research other uses for it. It was like having your eyes opened to a whole new world…! I thought it was confined to being used as just a natural perfume or occasional baking ingredient. Just look at some of the best uses for rose water I have found.
- And my personal favourite (apart from the mascara reviving trick) – Toner. Man, the money I used to waste on toners when this little beauty could have been doing the trick all along. Whilst many toners already contain rose water in varying degrees they can often be quite astringent, and often alcohol based (for people with dry, sensitive skin like me, read “drying”) rose water has a far more delicate yet perfectly balancing effect on your skin. It removes any residue from soap or cleansers as a traditional toner would, but it’s naturally anti-inflammatory properties make it soothing for dry, acne prone or troublesome skin whilst soothing and minimising any eye bags or dark circles you may have. I have also read strong anecdotal evidence of using rosewater as a toner to reduce the appearance of rosacea, though having no personal experience of that, I can’t expand fully, other than to say the stories are compelling.
- Make-up reviver. Now at first blush you may think what I am going to suggest is counter-productive, but trust me, try this – it works. If you ever feel like your make up or skin is flagging after several hours wear (particularly in air conditioned or polluted environments which can dry and dullen the skin no matter how much product and preparation you put into it) give this a go. Pin your hair back, close your eyes and try a spritz or two of rosewater to your face. Try and get one with a fine spray to ensure a fine and even distribution and just delight in the decadent, refreshing feeling for a few seconds before opening your eyes and seeing immediately your renewed dewy glow. Of course, the water absorbs in a matter of seconds, allowing you to get on with business, but in the process works it’s magic to make you feel more vital and hydrated and stimulating a radiant glow in the process.
- Hair rinse. You wear perfume every day to smell alluring, right? So why not treat your hair to the same treatment? But the rosewater gives so much more than a glorious yet subtle floral scent to your tresses, it promotes shine and many claim that using Rosewater on your hair stabilises it’s Ph balance and can help to repair damage within the pores of the hair since it’s own Ph is much similar to that of your hair than normal water is. Because it’s rich in flavonoids and vitamins A, B3, C, D, and E some claim that it stimulates hair growth and promotes luscious healthy locks, though the hair growth element needs more study to be taken too seriously. The same anti-inflamatory qualities that give such great benefits when used on the face also come into play on the hair as it helps reduce dandruff. I’ve only presently used it as a hair rinse, but am seeing more and more people creating hair treatments to great effect which I will definitely have a go at soon.
- Eye bag reduction. Although we always put these hateful bad-boys down to poor sleep habits, or lack of sleep, modern theories point more toward a combination of daily bad-habits paired with genetic disposition. OK so we can’t do much about the latter, but there are a lot of lifestyle choices we can take to improve and prevent under-eye puffiness. But until we do that, there is a soothing, bag-diminishing trick I can teach you, and of course it involves rose water. Spritz a couple of cotton wool pads with the rosewater, you don’t have to be wasteful and soak them as long as the face of each pad has a good covering of the product. Put the dampened face of the pads against each other, wrap together in cling-film and place in the freezer for a few minutes. It doesn’t take that long and makes the world of difference to the process, but of course if you’re in a rush you can skip the freezer bit. When you’re ready pop a pad on each eye. To hold them in place I like to place a sleep-eye mask over the top which serves to press the pads nicely against my eyes but you can do it without too. Relax like that for as long as your schedule permits, but it doesn’t take more than 4-5 minutes to get a noticeable result when the anti-inflams in the natural rosewater get to work. But this is the cheats way… do yourself a favour and check out those lifestyle changes that can help longer term too.
These are just a handful of my favourite uses – you can also use rosewater as a mouthwash to counter gum issues and sweeten breath, and when used as a scent there is evidence that it helps to de-stress and lift the mood. Some also credit use of rosewater in lifting depression, when used in alliance with more traditional methods. It’s often used to heal scars, ease cuts and burns, and is often used in the battle against acne or spot-prone skin and has many fans amongst eczema and dermatitis sufferers too.
For me, the above uses plus the fact that the antioxidant properties of rosewater are known to strengthen the cells of the skin from within, helping skin tissues to re-generate, ultimately re-winding and repairing the damage done to skin over years of tanning, weather-exposire, use of chemical products and generally just getting older, are all I need to know…. This is now a firm “must” in my beauty regimen and if anyone asked for a multi-purpose top buy for healthier hair and skin, it would have to be this.
An important point of note though – check the ingredients when shopping for Rosewater – all cosmetic and food grade rosewaters are not equal, with many being “watered down” versions and more still containing enough additives to change them beyond all recognition. Now we accept that some natural additives to preserve and enhance the products shelf-life are a good thing, but there’s a difference between a natural preservative and chemically diluting the product and that’s what you need to be careful of. If you want to be ultra-sure you can of course make it yourself (at the right time of year, of course) but it won’t last long. For me, the Younique rosewater ticks all the boxes I need and I’ve never looked back since using it, earning it a firm 5/5.