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Essential Oils Blog

Hydrosols: They’re Not Just for Summer Anymore!

What is a Hydrosol?

plant therapy hydrosols

Very simply, a hydrosol is the water that is distilled with essential oils. When the steam from the distilled water passes through the plant material, it takes with it the volatile oils from the plant. The two travel through the tube at the top of the steam vessel (typically copper) and down through the condensing tube. Once the water and oil have separated, the essential oil is siphoned off the top and what you have left is the hydrosol.

A  “hydrosol”  is actually a chemistry term meaning “water solution.” Hydrosols may also be known by several other names:

  • Hydrolats
  • Hydrolates
  • Floral Waters
  • Plant Waters

It’s important to note that hydrosols are NOT simply distilled water with essential oils added to them. In this case, the two would not mix. Some of the water-soluble plant oils will combine with the water and impart therapeutic properties. This creates a much gentler, more diluted product, which is generally safer to use than an essential oil.

How to use Hydrosols:

There are tons of unexpected ways to use hydrosols. They have the benefit of being essentially safe for anyone to use. They can be used undiluted on the skin for adults, children, pregnant and nursing women,  the elderly, and even most pets. You can use them in DIY products (like lotions), or spray on your skin as a toner. You can even mix them together!

With almost no cautions, hydrosols truly are a perfect first-use item if you’re a beginning aromatherapy user. That’s not to say there aren’t a few rules to follow. Two excellent reference books are:

  1. Hydrosols: The next aromatherapy by Suzanne Catty
  2. Understanding Hydrolats: The Specific Hydrosols for Aromatherapy by Len and Shirley Price

Hydrosols do need to be stored properly. A cool, dark environment (like a refrigerator) is best, and make sure to check them often for any cloudiness or mold.

Since hydrosols contain no preservatives, they have relatively short shelf lives of between 6 months to 2  years. However, since hydrosols are relatively inexpensive, it’s more economical to use them up and buy new ones when you need them than to save them for special uses.

So basically, you’ll love hydrosols.

Hydrosols are also amazingly gentle, safe, and easy-to-use products that can be used in tons of ways. They’re more diluted than essential oils since a hydrosol is – very simply put – the light and refreshing aromatic water that is distilled with essential oils.

Here are some of our favorite uses for hydrosols:

1. Facial Toners

girl looking in a mirror washing faceRose, Helichrysum, Tea Tree, and Melissa Organic Hydrosols make wonderful facial toners. They are safe and gentle enough to use directly on the face. Just spray onto a cotton pad and wipe onto your face.

Helichrysum and Rose help balance the skin by reducing facial redness or dryness. Melissa and Tea Tree promote healthy skin as well, especially for those who are prone to blemishes. You can also add these to facial products you currently use to enjoy their benefits.

Try out this DIY dry skin toner mix, using just hydrosols!

Dry Skin Toner DIY

What you’ll need:

What you’ll do:

Mix together in a 4-ounce bottle and spritz the face after cleansing. Refrigerate between uses.

2. Soothe minor cooking burns

mom and kid cookingLavender, Rose, and Chamomile Organic Hydrosols are incredibly soothing to skin with minor burns. If you’ve got a small burn, just spritz on the affected skin to help soothe any redness.

3. Help keep yourself in a great, relaxed mood

Happy couple running into the sunsetRose, Melissa, and Lavender Organic Hydrosols help bring comfort and calm after a long, hectic day. They can also help during times of sadness, to uplift and calm your senses.  Spray them directly onto your skin, clothes, pillows, or linens to help freshen scent and give you a relaxing whiff. You can also add ¼ – ½ cup of hydrosol to a warm bath to help relax.

4. Help keep you sleeping soundly

sleeping soundlyFor a relaxing atmosphere that promotes a good night of rest, try Lavender, Chamomile, or Rose Organic Hydrosol. You can mist it on linens, furniture, and pillows before bedtime to help unwind and relax. These hydrosols are also wonderful for babies and young children, to promote calmness and help soothe them to sleep.

5. Use Hydrosols safely with babies and toddlers

two boys and brothers laying together on a bedLavender Hydrosol is great to help promote sleep and relaxation for even the fussiest babies. You can spritz the Lavender Hydrosol directly on the baby, or you can spritz the baby’s bed right before bedtime.

Plant Therapy’s Chamomile Hydrosol is excellent at providing some gentle, soothing comfort that typically accompanies teething. Soak a clean, warm washcloth in our chamomile hydrosols and gently rub it on the gums or outer jawline. If your little one develops some skin sensitivity or irritation, our Helichrysum Hydrosol is gentle, soothing, and perfect for your little one.

For more great information on how to use your essential oils with babies and toddlers (including hydrosols), check out these two great blog posts:

6. Keep skin healthy

hydrosols being used on a cotton padWinter skin can often be dry and itchy, even when it’s snowing outside. To help soothe dry, itchy skin and keep it soft and happy, Tea Tree, Peppermint, and Lavender Organic Hydrosols provide quick relief. Just spray on the area of concern and let air dry.

Dry winter skin can also lead to overactive oil glands – and acne. If you have skin that is prone to blemishes and breakouts, keep it healthy and happy with Tea Tree, Melissa, and Chamomile Organic Hydrosols. They all make amazing compliments to your current skincare routine. 

These are just some of our favorite ways to use hydrosols, but trust us—there are so many more ways! Check out each product page to learn more.

49 thoughts on “Hydrosols: They’re Not Just for Summer Anymore!”

  1. I use hydrosols daily. I love the rose for my hair and face. Use them for facial toners and more. I recently used peppermint and lavender for a small burn on my thumb. The combo was very cooling and felt really good on the burn. It healed up really fast too.

  2. I just ordered my first hydrosols a couple of weeks ago. Looking forward to using them and seeing how well they work for my skin.

  3. I love hydrosols! I use them on my face everyday and it’s so nice to not have to worry about overuse and safety. Thank you for the great summary of the many ways to use them!

  4. I love hydrosols! I like that I can use them every day and not have to worry about safety since I spray them on my face 🙂 Thank you for the great summary on all of their uses!

  5. I love mixing rose and lavender hydrosols together and use that mixture as a personal perfume. It lasts all day, too, when I spritz it on my clothes. Hydrosols also make unique gifts! I like to out them inside of gift baskets, along with other goodies, as hostess gifts.

  6. I’m new to hydrosols and I just recently bought Helichrysum. I’m using it as a facial toner and love it so far! After reading this blog I’m interested in trying several others, thank you for the great information!

  7. Hydrosols are so awesome. My favorite is heli-great for minimizing redness and overall skin tone. I also love rose and Melissa. Please expand selection and carry neroli hydrosol!

  8. I love all my hydrosols! I keep some in the fridge downstairs and then some in a mini fridge in my bedroom, depending on their most used function. I love that I don’t have to dilute or “prep” them to be ready to use. I just used my lavender last week when I burned my finger in the kitchen.

  9. Thank you for posting this! It answered afew more questions I had pertaining to Hydrosols. Of course I still dont know which one I want to try first…lol wish I could try them all at once 🙂 Cant wait!!

  10. I’ve been using chamomile for my daughters teething and dry skin and it’s been working amazingly! So thankful for this gentle alternative!

  11. Chamomile hydrosol is my favorite for bedtime. I like to spritz my pillows before laying down. Heli hydrosol is wonderful as a facial toner. I love that they’re gentle enough to use on and around my children!

  12. I was so excited to see this blog on your Facebook page! I have been wondering about these products for awhile. Some lavender and tea tree will deffinately be added to my wish list as well ad as chamomile for when baby boy starts teething!

  13. I just received the heli hydrosol it seems to work nicely as a toner. However I am planning to order the rose hydrosol soon for my super staticy hair this time of year and I think the lavender hydrosol will be lovely as a linen spray on my sheets. The rose and lavender have to smell better than the helischrisum one.

  14. Just ordered my first one! I’ve used floral waters before (rose) but I’m excited to add hydrosols to my skincare routine!

  15. I have the rose, lavender, and helichrysum Hydrosols. My favorite thing about them is that I can use them much more liberally than essential oils. I already use them as s skin toner and hair spray, I loved learning that they can be used safely on both babies and toddlers. While I do refrigerate them, it would be even more perfect to be able to buy a complete set of all 7 that you currently sell in 1 or 2 ounce spray bottles.

  16. I’ve tried Rose, Tea Tree and Melissa for facial toner, and I love it all (Melissa, the most!) . There’s an overall improvement to my face.

  17. I have the peppermint and lavender and I will be using them on my face and for dry skin. I have used the peppermint for cooling effect summertime and just love the smell of lavender.

  18. I have not used hydrosols as of yet. I see many ideas that I am going to incorporate these into the line of product I sell.

  19. Love hydrosols. Thanks to the add ons I have been expanding from just lavender and heli. I find them very helpful with all sorts of things. Diaper rash, burns and itchy scalp/skin are our top uses so far. Thanks for the ideas on expanding what we use them for!

  20. I love the heli hydrosol. I use it daily- I keep it and my facial oil ( the near perfect carrier oil is what I’m using currently) in the fridge together. After washing my face I spray heli then apply my oil. I also spray my allergy ridden Boston terrier with it daily and it has really helped her skin. I also apply it to my 5 year old (he has eczema and dry skin) and even though he hates the smell, it helps.

  21. I have just started using hydrosols and am really excited to know a bit more about how to use them. I cannot wait to try the recipe! Thank you!

  22. I love that we can use these on babies and toddlers! I have been waiting to see a blog like this from you because I never understood what hydrosols were or how to use them. EO’s are one of my favorite things but I cant use certain ones so I am so excited to try the hydrosol and expand my knowledge! <3

  23. I have never used a aresol. But this was a very interesting blog . I can’t wait to try them I think I’m gonna Stat with a peppermint

  24. Thanks for this article. I have what may be a silly question: Is rose hydrosol the same thing as rose water? I see rose water at my local health food store all the time, so I was wondering if there’s a difference. I never see it called hydrosol.

    1. It is very likely that the rose water you see is the same as the rose hydrosol, but you’ll have to contact that product’s supplier to find out for sure. Hydrosols have many names, including flower waters, floral waters, hydrolates, herbal distillates, herbal waters, and probably a few more names I can’t think of off the top of my head!

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