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What’s the difference between a hydrosol & an essential oil?

Whilst hydrosols and essential oils have similar therapeutic properties, hydrosols are much less concentrated. We often call hydrosol “flower water” Why? Because, as in the case of essential oils, they are produced by distilling flowers, leaves, and other plant materials. Distilling a plant through hydro or steam distillation results in two final products: an essential oil on top and condensate water, known as a hydrosol, sitting at the bottom. Hydrosols have a high water content, making their scent much lighter than essential oil. They are very gentle and can be applied directly to the skin without having to dilute them with a carrier oil or cream. Just like essential oils, not all hydrosols are of good quality. Many companies mix essential oils with water and fraudulently market them as hydrosols.


Here’s what you should look for on the ingredient list when buying a hydrosol:

  • Make sure “hydrosol” is the first ingredient on the list.

  • Water should not be the first ingredient on the list. This indicates poor quality.

  • There might be other ingredients listed on your hydrosol such as Calendula, Aloe Vera, or other essential oils, depending on the desired properties. 

  • Ensure that there are no added fragrances or perfumes of any kind. Hydrosols smell amazing enough on their own! 

  • Make sure there are no added colors or dyes. Hydrosols don’t always have a color; if they do, it will be a very soft tone.

How to Use:

Hydrosols have an endless number of applications and can be used multiple times a day. But just like essential oils, we always recommend using hydrosols in lesser quantities. Less quantity, used more often, will have a better therapeutic effect on your body instead of using larger doses less frequently. You can bring hydrosols into your beauty routine by combining them with your face or body cream/oil. Hydrosols like Rosewater and Witch Hazel can be a great addition to your DIY skincare recipes. You can also lightly mist your face with them to replenish and rehydrate the skin. Apply hydrosols beforehand to set your makeup or use them as a natural makeup remover.  

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