Hydrosols are nature’s skin tonic

“Living waters” is how I like to refer to pure hydrosols, and when it comes to skincare, hydrosols are often underestimated.

They are often considered the “poor cousin” compared to the more popular essential oils.

When in reality, a hydrosol is a highly therapeutic tonic containing many essential components that have real benefits for your skin.

What are hydrosols?

A hydrosol is water distilled with essential oils; the plants are steam distilled to pre-release their essence in the form of essential oils.

When the steam passes through the plant material, it takes the volatile oils from the plant; many of the valuable properties released by the water-soluble plant are found only in the hydrosol.

This gives these living waters their therapeutic properties without the irritant potential often associated with essential oils; the word hydrosol is a chemistry term meaning “water solution.”

The condensed steam referred to as a hydrosol can be referred to as hydrolats, hydrolates, plant, floral or herbal waters

Hydrosols wonderful benefits

  • calming
  • healing
  • antiseptic
  • astringent
  • hydrating
  • refining
  • stimulating
  • sebum clearing
  • anti-microbial
  • boost circulation
  • anti-inflammatory

Their benefits with different skin types

Oily skin

  • kanuka
  • yarrow
  • melissa
  • atlas cedar
  • neroli
  • witch hazel
  • lavender
  • geranium
  • rosemary verbenone
  • clary sage
  • thyme
  • peppermint
  • rose



  • witch hazel
  • sweet thyme
  • marigold
  • carrot seed
  • calendula

Sensitive skin

  • wormwood
  • witch hazel
  • everlasting
  • german chamomile
  • myrtle
  • honeysuckle
  • blue tansy
  • calendula


  • scarlet pimpernel
  • liverwort
  • elderflower
  • soloman seal

Dry, mature skin

  • yarrow
  • rockrose in small amounts as can be astringent
  • bitter orange flower
  • everlasting
  • cypress
  • carrot seed
  • witch hazel
  • lavender

To conclude. The naked truth

So we have established that hydrosols are amazingly gentle, safe, and easy to use and are more diluted than essential oils; however, it is important to mention here that not all hydrosols are created equal; a true hydrosol is sourced from steam distillation.

Often, companies will use an ingredient termed ‘floral water,’ which is water with essential oil added to it; we mention this because it is crucial to be aware of purity when purchasing your hydrosols, especially if you are considering using them neatly on your skin.

Some people make the mistake of thinking that hydrosols are distilled water with essential oils added to them, they aren’t, and these are to be avoided as the two don’t.

With hydrosols, some water-soluble plant oils combine with the water, imparting its therapeutic property, which has more affinity with your skin than essential oils used neat.

This book is excellent for anyone considering getting creative and delving deeper with hydrosols.

The Naked Chemist products are formulated from true hydrosols, which contain all the wonderful water-soluble molecules from the plant material; if you want to learn more about their benefits on the skin, this article looks at hydrosols in more depth.

2 replies on “Hydrosols are nature’s skin tonic”

Hey! I noticed that calendula is not on the list – I have very mild rosacea, and my skin get irritated and inflamed during periods of stress (and on very cold winter days). Calendula has been the one thing that calms it down more than anything else I’ve tried (followed closely by centella asiatica, depending on the product). Chamomile is very calming as well, but calendula has a cooling affect that chamomile doesn’t.

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