Roses, revered for centuries as a symbol of beauty and love, have a delightful fragrance and are extremely therapeutic. The water distilled from roses is rich in flavonoids and Vitamins A, C, D & E, and is found in several medicinal, cosmetic, and culinary concoctions. Rose water is said to help fight bladder infections, heart disease, digestive problems, eye irritations, nervous tension, and periodontal-related issues.
Rose water was highly valued in Ancient Persia, India, and Egypt, and was a favorite beauty product of Cleopatra no less. Cleo’s love of rose water as a beauty aid was more than justified. Rose water purifies, soothes, and hydrates dry and aging skin, and stimulates, nourishes, and strengthens hair follicles as well. Aromatherapy-wise, the sweet smell of rose water is emotionally and psychologically soothing.
While there are other more involved recipes out there, here’s a quick and simple recipe for making homemade rose water that works well for me:
Wash and place one cup of firmly packed fresh rose petals in a ceramic or glass bowl. Pour 2 cups of boiling distilled water (plain water can also be used) over the petals and allow petals to steep until cool. Strain the petals and pour the liquid into a clean bottle. Store in the refrigerator until needed.
You can use your homemade rose water as a toner to tighten your pores and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. It can also be used as a gentle facial cleanser and it makes an excellent sunburn and aftershave treatment. Put the rose water in your bath to relieve fatigue and to smooth and firm your skin. Take the rose water in the shower with you and use it as a hair rinse, or put some in your shampoo, to promote hair growth and moisturize your strands.
For a commercially prepared rose water-infused skincare line, try Duchess Marden. Nourishing, hydrating, free of parabens, petrochemicals, and chemical preservatives, and beautifully packaged, you’ll feel more like a princess (or a queen for that matter) than a duchess after using these products. The Damascena Neck & Décolleté Serum, $59.00, in particular, containing damascena rose flower water and mushroom extract, will help smooth, tighten, and lighten those often neglected areas. I was amazed at the results after just one use and personally couldn’t keep my eyes off my décolleté area the entire next day. Cleopatra would certainly approve.