It is easy to get lost in the heavenly fragrance of rose water. This amazing ingredient is a staple in most skin care routines. Its use dates back to the period when Cleopatra used it in her beauty regimen.
Rosewater offers numerous benefits for the skin. However, it may also cause some adverse skin reactions. In this article, we have discussed everything you should know about rose water – the benefits and risks before you use it on your face and skin.
Table Of Contents
What Is Rose Water And What Are The Other Forms?
Rosewater is fragrant water prepared by steeping or steaming rose petals. For long, it has been used for skin care benefits, flavoring food, and in perfumes. The usage and origin of rosewater date back to the Middle Ages. The Middle Eastern people (especially Iranians) used rose water for medicinal purposes, apart from culinary and beauty benefits. Traditionally, the Damask rose (or Rosa damascena) is used for preparing rose water, and there are several by-products of this process (1).
Rosewater contains about 10%-50% of rose oil, which is one of its major by-products obtained by distilling rose flowers. Since R. damascena has very low oil content, rose oil extracted from this species is one of the most expensive essential oils in the world (1).
The dried rose flowers or petals are other by-products and are mainly used for eating. They are said to help manage digestive issues (1). The other products include rose hips (the fruit of the rose flower), hydrosol, absolute, ethanolic, aqueous, and chloroformic extracts of the flower(1).
There are several benefits of using rose water.
Benefits Of Rose Water For The Face And Skin
1. Contains Antioxidants
Rosa damascena has antioxidant properties. The extracts of this rose and the essential oil derived from it have free-radical scavenging properties (1).
2. Helps To Ease Redness
A pre-feasibility report on rose water states that rose oil and rose water have an astringent effect on the blood capillaries close to the skin surface. Applying rose water helps ease redness caused by the enlarged capillaries (2). However, make sure that the product contains pure and natural oil.
3. Has Anti-inflammatory Effects
A study evaluated the effect of essential oil and hydroalcoholic extract of Rosa damascena on rat paw edema. It found that the essential oil had no anti-inflammatory effect, but the rose extract could reduce edema. However, the study stated that the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect of R. Damascena (mainly its extracts) could be attributed to vitamin C present in it (1).
4. Has Antimicrobial Effects
Rose essential oil has antimicrobial effects. A study found that the essential oil and absolute had a strong antibacterial effect against strains of S. Aureus (cause acne), E. Coli, C. Violaceum, and several other bacteria (1). Since rose water contains rose oil, it may also help in keeping your skin healthy.
5. May Help Balance Skin pH Levels
Our skin has a pH between 4.1- 5.8 (3). The pH of rose water is usually between 4.0-4.5. A study observed that skin care products with a pH between 4.0-5.0 can help minimize skin irritation and maintain the skin’s natural pH levels (4).
Apart from these benefits, rose water is considered to be incredibly soothing and refreshing for the skin and slows down skin aging. Rose water is often used as a toner, to reduce puffiness of eyes (cotton pads soaked in cold rose water), soothe sunburns, and keep the skin hydrated.
6. May Heal Wounds
Traditionally, rose oil is used for wound healing (1). Rose oil has anti-inflammatory benefits and antimicrobial properties. Rose water contains rose oil, so using rose water may also help heal wounds.
Although rose water is considered safe for the skin, you may experience certain side effects.
Are There Any Side Effects Of Rose Water?
There aren’t any significant side effects of rose water. However, it contains rose essential oil, which may cause allergies in some people. Hence, it is better to do a patch test before you use rose water. If you are sensitive to rose water, you may experience
- Redness or rashes
These are signs of an allergic reaction. In such cases, consult a dermatologist immediately.
If you are not allergic to rose water, there are several ways to use it on your skin.
How To Use Rose Water For Your Face and Skin
1. Rose Water As A Toner
Soak a couple of saffron strands in half a cup of rose water and store the mixture in a bottle. Saturate a cotton pad with the mixture and dab it on your cleansed face. Let the rose water dry. This combination may help brighten your skin.
If you have dry skin, you can also add 5 ml of glycerin to 30 ml of rose water. For combination skin, add 5 ml of glycerin and apple cider vinegar each to 30 ml of rose water. For oily skin, combine 5 ml of apple cider vinegar with 50 ml of rose water.
2. Rose Water For Sunburns And Rashes
Crush 10-15 holy basil (tulsi) leaves and add 200 ml of rose water to it. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and refrigerate for a couple of hours. Spray the mixture onto the affected areas.
The holy basil-rose water mixture has excellent cooling properties. Holy basil also has antibacterial and antifungal properties (5). This solution helps calm your skin, soothe sunburns, and heal red and itchy patches of skin.
3. Rose Water As A Lip Stain
Chop a beetroot into small pieces and place them in the oven at 60°C for 8-10 hours until there is no moisture. Grind them to a powder. Add a teaspoon of rose water to the powder and mix well until you get a thick paste. Apply the paste to your lips and leave it on for 15 minutes. Wash the paste off.
This pack not only adds a beautiful pink tint to your lips but also makes them super soft. If you do not like using cosmetics, this natural treatment is an amazing way to add color to your lips.
4. Rose Water As A Moisturizer
Mix a tablespoon of cold-pressed or virgin coconut oil (solid) with 3 tablespoons of rose water. Massage a small amount of the mixture onto your skin.
This mixture is one of the best natural moisturizers. Coconut oil helps hydrate your skin and protect the skin barrier (6). Rosewater makes your skin feel refreshed. If you have extremely dry skin, this mixture will hydrate it instantly. However, if you have oily skin, avoid using coconut oil.
5. Rose Water As A Cleanser
If you prefer natural DIY cleanser, try this recipe. Mix a cup of rose water with 2 tablespoons of Castille soap. You may squeeze a vitamin E capsule into it and use as a face wash or cleanser.
Mix a teaspoon of diluted lemon juice and a teaspoon rose water. Apply the mixture to the acne-affected areas. Leave it on for 15 minutes and wash it off.
Lemon contains vitamin C and has an exfoliating effect on your skin. In combination with rose water, it helps to manage and soothe acne. Rose oil (also present in rose water) has antimicrobial effects and may help reduce acne inflammation.
7. Multani Mitti And Rose Water For Exfoliation
Multani mitti is widely used as an exfoliating agent. This face pack can help clear and brighten your skin . Mix 1 tablespoon of multani mitti with 2 tablespoons of rose water and apply it to your face. Massage your face gently for a couple of minutes. Let the mask dry before washing it off.
8. Honey And Rose Water For Hydration
Mix 3 tablespoons of rose water with 2 tablespoons of honey. Apply this mixture to your face like a mask. Leave it on for 15 minutes and wash it off with cold water.
Honey has hydrating properties that help seal moisture in your skin (7). In combination with rose water, honey makes for an excellent hydrating solution for dry skin.
9. Cucumber And Rose Water Refreshing Face Mask
This face mask will soothe sensitive skin. Cucumber feels extremely cooling on the skin and has a refreshing effect. Extract the juice of half a cucumber and blend it with 2 tablespoons of honey and 1 tablespoon of rose water. Apply this mask to your face and leave it on for 15 minutes before washing off.
10. Aloe Vera And Rose Water For Inflammation
This face pack helps to soothe your skin and prevent inflammation. Combine a tablespoon each of rose water and aloe vera. Apply the mixture to your face like a face pack. Leave it on for 20 minutes and wash it off. Aloe vera gel is an excellent skin care ingredient that helps reduce inflammation. It also has antibacterial properties (8).
11. Besan And Rose Water DIY Face Mask
Besan or gram flour is a staple ingredient in most Indian households and is widely used in home-made face packs for its brightening and exfoliating benefits. In combination with rose water, it makes for the perfect face mask that helps keep your skin healthy. Mix a tablespoon of gram flour with rose water and massage it on your face. Let it dry and then wash it off.
12. Sandalwood And Rose Water For Healthy Skin
Sandalwood powder is used as a popular home remedy for soothing the skin. Mix 2 tablespoons of sandalwood powder with 3-4 tablespoons of rose water to make a paste. Spread it on your skin and wash it off after it dries.
Sandalwood oil was found to have therapeutic benefits, along with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties (9).
It is best to prepare rose water at home as store-bought variants might contain additives that irritate your skin. If you are wondering how to make rose water at home, you can follow the simmering or distilling methods. To learn more about it, click here.
Rosewater is an extremely popular ingredient and preferred by women of all ages as their go-to solution for irritated skin. You may follow these recipes to keep your skin healthy and calm. But remember to do a patch test before using rose water.
Expert’s Answers for Readers Questions
Can I sleep with rose water on my face?
Yes, you can. Rosewater helps to cleanse and tone the skin.
Can I use rose water daily?
Yes, you can use rosewater daily on your face, as it is safe and gentle on the skin.
How to preserve home-made rose water?
You can store the rose water in a clean glass jar. It will stay in the refrigerator for at least 6 months.
- 1. Boskabady, Mohammad Hossein et al. “Pharmacological effects of rosa damascena.” Iranian journal of basic medical sciences vol. 14,4 (2011): 295-307.
- “ Pre-Feasibility Study Rose Water”, SMEDA, Government of Pakistan., (2008): 5-18.
http://www.amis.pk/files/PrefeasibilityStudies/SMEDA Rose Water.pdf
- Proksch, Ehrhardt. “pH in nature, humans and skin.” The Journal of dermatology vol. 45,9 (2018): 1044-1052. doi:10.1111/1346-8138.14489,
- Blaak, Jürgen, and Peter Staib. “The Relation of pH and Skin Cleansing.” Current problems in dermatology vol. 54 (2018): 132-142. doi:10.1159/000489527,
- Cohen, Marc Maurice. “Tulsi – Ocimum sanctum: A herb for all reasons.” Journal of Ayurveda and integrative medicine vol. 5,4 (2014): 251-9. doi:10.4103/0975-9476.146554,
- Varma, Sandeep R et al. “In vitro anti-inflammatory and skin protective properties of Virgin coconut oil.” Journal of traditional and complementary medicine vol. 9,1 5-14. 17 Jan. 2018, doi:10.1016/j.jtcme.2017.06.012,
- Burlando, Bruno, and Laura Cornara. “Honey in dermatology and skin care: a review.” Journal of cosmetic dermatology vol. 12,4 (2013): 306-13. doi:10.1111/jocd.12058,
- Surjushe, Amar et al. “Aloe vera: a short review.” Indian journal of dermatology vol. 53,4 (2008): 163-6. doi:10.4103/0019-5154.44785,
- Moy, Ronald L, and Corey Levenson. “Sandalwood Album Oil as a Botanical Therapeutic in Dermatology.” The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology vol. 10,10 (2017): 34-39.,
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