Roses for Health and Beauty

Roses for health and beautyRoses are the official flower of Valentine’s Day.  In a bouquet or fragrance, roses are  a no-fail  gift.  But roses are  more, much more. Rose based  skin and hair care  formulations have been used for centuries in all parts of the world.  According to beauty  lore, it was  a  12th century  Persian princess  who discovered the  soothing benefits of rose oil. Jump forward a few centuries where  the famed  herbalist  Thomas Culpepper  recommended  rose extract for both heart disease and acne.  Modern science  has  been able to show that rose oil and extracts have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant properties.  But wait, there’s more.  Just smelling  rose oil can reduce  blood pressure.

Turning Roses into Beauty Aids

Roses offer a whole pharmacy in every petal but you can’t  just chop up  a few petals and mix them into a soap or lotion.  Like all other floral,  roses need to hydrolyzed into  essential oil and water.  Here’s how it works:

The flowers are steamed in a glass bell over boiling water.  The steam is captured and cooled in a second container.  The oil is collected in one  jar and the floral water in another.  This is not a DIY project.  Both floral waters and essential oils are available online and in well-stocked health food stores.  Rose waters can be used as a toner to freshen the skin,  in an eye compress  to relieve under eye  swelling, or  added to   bath water to soften winter dry skin.  Floral waters tend to be  extremely fragile.  They need to be stored in dark bottles in a cool dry place.  If they become cloudy or smell funky, they  should be discarded.

Genuine  rose oil is one of the most expensive ingredients in a skin and  hair care products.  It takes 30,000  rose petals to  make a single ounce of rose oil.  Fortuneately you need to use only about 20 drops in an eight ounce  beauty product.  You can add rose oil to an existing cleanser  or moisturizer to boosts its anti-oxidant  and anti-inflammatory benefits.  Buy very small quantities ( eg 1/8 ounce) and make  sure your rose oil is from a certified, organic suppliers like Eden Botanicals.

DIY Rose Water  Beauty Favorite

There is  certainly no shortage of beauty  products in the stores or online, but I  still  love to make my own.   Here is   one of my favs  using  rose water adapted from vintage Gaylord Hauser recipes.

Rose Water Skin Freshener

Ingredients: 3/4 cup rosewater, 1/4 cup witch hazel, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 teaspoon glycerin, 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar

Directions:  Mix all ingredients i a glass bottle with a tight cap.  After washing your face, dab  on with a cotton  ball.  beautifully refreshing on all skin types





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