Make herbal wa­ters & HY­DROSOLS

Flo­ral and herb wa­ters have a long his­tory in nat­u­ral skin­care. Learn how to make your own us­ing ba­sic equip­ment you al­ready have, and save money.

Herbs & Superfoods - - Herbs For Natural Beauty -

Herbal wa­ters are ba­si­cally herbal teas, made us­ing whole, dried herbs via in­fu­sion or de­coc­tion. These fra­grant wa­ters, as well as hy­drosols, can be used in place of plain water in DIY skin­care.

You can use which­ever herb you like. Pop­u­lar choices in­clude chamomile, which is sooth­ing and anti-in­flam­ma­tory; plan­tain, which is use­ful for prob­lem skin; gotu kola, which has ex­cel­lent skin re­ju­ve­nat­ing prop­er­ties; neem, which soothes eczema and pso­ri­a­sis; and rose­hip, which is sooth­ing and rich in vi­ta­min C.

To make a sim­ple herbal water, steep one gen­er­ous ta­ble­spoon of your cho­sen herb to three cups of boil­ing water in a non-me­tal teapot for 10 min­utes. Strain well and mea­sure 148ml into a saucepan for later use (see Donna Lee’s Sim­ple Base Cream, right). Make this just be­fore cre­at­ing your herbal creams.

Hy­drosols (some­times called flo­ral wa­ters), or dis­til­lates, are the re­sult of steam dis­till­ing plant ma­te­ri­als. They’re sim­i­lar to es­sen­tial oils but in far smaller con­cen­tra­tions. They can also be used in place of water for most for­mu­las. You can make your own rose­wa­ter us­ing this ba­sic method.

DIY rose­wa­ter

• 8-10 cups spray-free, heav­ily scented rose petals • water • ice • large saucepan with a domed lid • 2 heat-re­sis­tant glass or ce­ramic bowls (should be heavy so that they don’t move around in the water).

Place one of the glass bowls up­side down on the bot­tom of the saucepan. Place the other bowl on top of the first bowl, right side up. Sprin­kle the rose petals onto the bot­tom of the saucepan. Fill the saucepan with water so that it just cov­ers the rose petals. Place the lid on the saucepan up­side down (this is where a domed lid comes in handy), turn on the heat and bring the water to the boil.

Re­duce to a sim­mer, then fill the in­verted lid with ice cubes. As the steam from the boil­ing water hits the cold lid, it con­denses, flows down to the cen­tre of the lid and drips into the bowl. Voila! Rose­wa­ter.

Check the bowl ev­ery 10-15 min­utes. You should end up with 1-2 cups of water that smells rosy. If you leave it on the stove too long, the scent will even­tu­ally be­come di­luted. The dis­till­ing process should take 20-30 min­utes. Al­low the rose­wa­ter to cool be­fore bot­tling.

Rose­wa­ter has skin soft­en­ing and hy­drat­ing prop­er­ties when used reg­u­larly. It can be used in an atom­iser bot­tle and misted onto the skin as of­ten as re­quired, or gen­tly wiped over the face and neck sev­eral times a day.

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