Floral waters, also known as hydrolats or hydrosols are obtained as a by product of essential oil distillation (see our suggestion for distilling Floral Waters and Lavender Essential Oil). Aromatic plants or flowers are placed in alembic pots and the heat generated releases minute pockets of essential oils contained in the cells. Once the distillate condenses the essential oils are separated from the water. As essential oils are insoluble in water they will tend to float on the surface although some particles will dissolve in the water transforming it into floral water.
Floral waters contain some elements that are soluble in water and therefore not present in essential oils. They may be used as air deodorisers, for cleansing and for toning the skin. Hydrolats shave the same properties as essential oils but in reduced concentrations.
Floral waters are often used for toning the skin and as lotions:
- Rose water: softens the skin.
- Camomile floral water: soothes and softens the skin.
- Lavender Floral water: tones the skin. Ideal for irritated skin and tired eyes.
- Rosemary Floral water: stimulates and regenerates the skin.
- Sandalwood Floral water: recommended for all skin types.
Various applications for floral waters are:
- Facial and body care.
- Blending of natural perfumes.
- Aromatic baths.