Hydrosols are wonderful liquids that are used for a number of purposes which can be related to the skin or the human body in general. Hydrosols are indeed a boon for the skin. When in the right manner and proportion, they do wonders for skin.
Hydrosols, sometimes also known as floral waters are the product of plant steam distillation. Hydrosols are like an essential oil but far less concentrated, in fact there is generally less than .02% essential oil in the average separated Hydrosol. This is because the Essential Oils are gleaned from the top of the distillate and collected separately.
Both Hydrosols and the Essential Oils are produced through the process of steam distillation.
An amount of Lavender, dependent on the size of the ‘Still’ is placed in a basket suspended over a water bath. The water is heated to boiling causing the steam to rise through the plant material. This steam causes the plant glands to burst and release the oils and essence of the plant into the steam. As the steam carrying the oils rises, it is passed though a cooling condenser which turns it back into a liquid, dropping it out into a collection device.
As this liquid cools, it separates with the Essential Oils rising to the top. These are generally separated out further using a French Seive or mechanical Essencier giving two distinct products, Essential Oils and Hydrosols or Floral Waters. When separating the Essential Oil out, there is still generally .02% Essential Oil remaining. However there are many current distillers who prefer to create a more potent Hydrosol with a greater concentration.
Hydrosols contain the complete essence of the entire plant but in a milder form.
Hydrosols make great toners and refreshers for the skin. Having no alcohol they are not drying so they can be used several times a day – useful for hot days or when travelling. Try keeping a spray bottle of hydrosol in the fridge in summer. Hydrosols can also be used as -
- The basis for room sprays
- To mix with clays to make masks
- In skin care products
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