When reading about essential oils for skincare or researching recipes with essential oils, you’ll often come across the term ‘hydrosols’. Maybe you thought you’d look into what are hydrosols but…you forgot? It happens.
Learning about what are hydrosols and what they are used for is a great way to ramp up your aromatherapy experience without the additional cost. Let’s dive right into what are hydrosols and how they related to but different from essential oils.
We’ll also talk about are hydrosols used for, benefits of hydrosols, and of course, where to buy hydrosols.
What are Hydrosols?
Hydrosols are also called floral waters, which is very appropriate given their method of extraction. A hydrosol is a by-product of the essential oil steam distillation process.
To extract essential oils via steam distillation, the plant parts are placed in a container with water and heated under pressure. The plant part that is used depends on which essential oil is being extracted. Some essential oils such as lavender, rose and jasmine, are extracted from the flowers of the plant. Others, such as cinnamon, rosemary, and eucalyptus, use the leaves or bark. Citrus oils such as grapefruit, bergamot, and lemon, are extracted from the rind of the fruit.
When the plant parts and water are heated under pressure, two things happen. Oils get extracted from the plant parts and the water gets converted to steam.
During the steaming process, the volatile molecules that evaporate more easily are carried upwards by the steam. This steam and molecule mixture is transported over to a specially designed condensing chamber. Here, the steam converts back into water. When this happens, the oil floats to the top just like any other oil floats on water. This oil is the essential oil that has just been extracted and the water that is left behind is the hydrosol.
The water that is left behind, or the hydrosol, is not just plain water. It contains the water-soluble portions of the plant’s volatile ingredients. These are the molecules that did not get collected with the essential oil. Hydrosols contain the properties of the plant that was used.
So are hydrosols and essential oils the same thing? No, there is a slight difference.
Hydrosols vs. Essential Oils
Basically, essential oils and hydrosols are derivatives of the same extraction process using the same plant material. However, it is important to note that they are not one in the same. Hydrosols have the same properties as the essential oil extract but with a difference.
Hydrosols are waters that contain therapeutic benefits. They are kinder and gentler to the skin. You can use them directly on your skin without worrying about any adverse reaction or irritation.
This is unlike dilute essential oils, which are highly concentrated oils and must be diluted before applying to the skin.
Hydrosols are a popular addition when making a variety of products including creams, skin cleansers, facial masks, facial toners, lotions. They can also be used as a mild, natural fragrance.
They contain the same therapeutic qualities as essential oils but are not as expensive.
They may take on the color of the herb or plant after distillation, and they contain a small amount of essential oil.
What are the Benefits of Hydrosols?
Hydrosols offer almost the same therapeutic properties as its counterpart essential oil but at a lower strength and potency. This is one of the biggest benefits of hydrosols because you can use them without all of the cautionary measures.
You can apply them to your skin directly, making them an excellent option if you like making your own body mists or other skincare products using all natural ingredients.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to serve as medical advice. Please consult your doctor before using any natural medication or if you experience any unusual symptoms. See Full Disclaimer here.