Rosewater has such an intoxicating scent that legendary beauty Cleopatra soaked the sails of her ships in it, using it to seduce Mark Antony. And that wasn’t the only use she found for rosewater, according to historians, she made it a regular part of her beauty regimen, bathing in it and using it on her skin and hair. It seems that she was definitely onto something as rosewater is enjoying a well deserved resurgence in popularity and here we will delve into the the most important of its many practical beauty and health applications.
First and foremost, rosewater is known for being a phenomenal multi-tasker for skin. It acts as a cleanser, toner, and it reduces redness and inflammation. In fact, according to dermatologist Dr. Deepali Bhardwaj, rosewater “…has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the redness of irritated skin, get rid of acne, dermatitis and eczema. It is a great cleanser and aids in removing oil and dirt accumulated in clogged pores.” (http://food.ndtv.com/beauty) Furthermore, it also has antimicrobial properties and is a potent antioxidant (and therefore anti-aging) due to its high levels of vitamins such as C and E. So there you have it, if you haven’t already incorporated rosewater into your skincare regime, try it and discover smoother, healthier skin. PS – it also shrinks pores!
Not only is rosewater a boon to skincare, it also makes your hair shiny, soft and smooth. I use it as a final rinse in the shower after conditioning my hair, while also turning the water on as cold as I can stand for several seconds to close the hair shafts for maximum shine. An extra bonus is that you will have the lovely scent of roses in your hair all day, I’ve gotten many compliments on the smell of my hair after doing this so I can tell you that it’s worth it.
As if taking care of our skin and hair weren’t enough, rosewater can also be used for eye care. In Ayurvedic medicine, it is used to soothe tired, red and irritated eyes. In fact, it was actually one of my husband’s work colleagues from New Delhi (who appropriately enough is named Rosy) who told me about the benefits of rosewater for overworked eyes. And if you need extra relief, keep it in the fridge, and whenever you need to get the red out and reduce puffiness, use 2 cotton swabs dipped in rosewater on your eyes for 10-15 minutes and you will see and feel significant improvement.
And last but perhaps most importantly, there is scientific evidence suggesting that rosewater has significant aromatherapy benefits for your health. In a study conducted in 2012, researchers discovered that inhalation of rose essential oil lowered cortisol levels in humans, and it also helped skin retain its moisture by inhibiting transepidermal water loss, (a key marker for disruption of skin barrier function). For more details, please see the study here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22167272.
You can find rosewater for a reasonable price in Indian, Greek and Middle Eastern supermarkets and bakeries. Health food stores tend to price it significantly higher, often at $10+/250 ml bottle, whereas you can usually get the same amount or more in the aforementioned locations for $5 or less per bottle.
Rosewater truly is the ultimate all-in-one beauty tool and if you haven’t tried it yet, start now so that you can reap its myriad of health and beauty rewards for years to come.