Our suppliers in the Stara Planina rose valley of Bulgaria have just finished harvesting roses for our beautiful floral water which will be making its way into your Rose Moisturisers and Rose Petal Tonics very soon.
I thought it might be a good opportunity to tell you more about the benefits of our particular rose water and in a second blog I’ll talk about how rose can help the skin.
What exactly is rose water? When rose essential oil is produced from rose petals (by steam distillation) the rose water – more correctly termed hydrolat (also known as floral water, hydrosol or distillate) is the cooled (condensed) steam. The hydrolat is special as it picks up some of the rose essential oil compounds as well as useful organic acids and flavonoids. At pH 5-6 and with a good dilution of essential oil, a hydrolat is very skin-friendly. It is ideal for use as a facial toner; indeed our Rose Petal Tonic is pure rose hydrolat plus a couple of other beautiful extracts of rose.
A hydrolat differs from other cheaper variants of ‘rose water’. Some skin care contains water mixed with rose absolute. Rose absolute is extracted by solvents (usually hexane which is a petrochemical) and isn’t allowed in certified organic skincare. This form of ‘rose water’ also needs a dispersant to get the oil and water to mix. You can’t really tell whether rose absolute is in a product or not because on cosmetics label it is just referred to as
- ‘rosa’ then the variety of rose and then ‘extract’.
A true hydrolat is denoted
- ‘rosa’ (variety of rose e.g. damascena or centifolia) flower water’.
We believe a true hydrolat makes the best skin care because of the natural way it is obtained and the naturally occurring beneficial rose constituents within it.
Our rose hydrolat is a really great quality one because of its concentration. To make a tonne of floral water, a whole tonne of petals are needed. Some hydrolats use less than a tonne of petals to make a tonne of water which creates a weaker (more watery) hydrolat. Because our rose water is so strong - with a healthy level of the elements of rose like phenethyl alcohol that are self-preserving - it needs very little added preservation. And its high floral content make the hydrolat smell gorgeous. In fact when we’re making Rose Petal Tonic or Rose Moisturiser, the whole building smells of roses!