It’s back! Welcome back one of my favorite holiday offerings, Juniper Hydrosol . Every year around November, we dig into our professional skincare stash to bring you our juniper hydrosol for home use. It’s the center to Botnia, along side our Rose Geranium Hydrosol in our back bar that is a gentle exfoliating tonic, helpful for oily skin types. We’re digging deep to find out why juniper is such an ally for skin during the winter season.
Juniper hydrosol is a perfect ally for winter skin because it contains juniperic acid, a slightly exfoliating component of the hydrosol that aids your skin in cellular turnover. Juniperic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid that exists in the waxy deposits on the outer coating of juniper needles and can be found in most needles of conifer trees.
Juniperic acid works a lot like glycolic acid in the way it functions. What this means for your skin in the most simple explanation is that it liquefies the bonds that hold the keratinized (dead skin) cells in place. It creates a gentle exfoliation that allows the surface of dead skin cells to slough away easier.
When we make a hydrosol extraction of juniper needles we are getting a small amount of juniperic acid dispersed with the essential oil that’s naturally diffused in the hydrosol. This is super unique for a hydrosol because it makes this hydrosol slightly exfoliating. I love this powerful way of exfoliating the skin because it’s very gentle and aids your skin’s natural ability to turn over skin cells.
We’ve also gotten a bit nerdy… we’ve created a Wikipedia page for Juniperic Acid! We noticed there was very little research done on this incredible constituent, so we decided to create a page dedicated to this powerful long-chain fatty acid. We hope to continue adding more to it the more we learn!
As an esthetician with 20 years of history in the skincare industry, I’ve seen many trends. The most destructive trend in my opinion is the overuse of strong acid peels and retinoids. When you use these methods to achieve quick results you are actually depleting your skin of its 21-day cycle, thus creating a chain reaction of degradation of the way your skin protects you. This is why I believe in gentle and mild forms of exfoliation like juniperic acid in juniper hydrosol or beneficial enzymes in a diluted format that will aid your barrier in exfoliation but won’t overly strip away your skin’s protective barrier.
Key benefits of Juniper Hydrosol
– Helps to fight bacteria on the skin
– Helps to fight fungus on the skin
– Brings down inflammation using potent flavonoids protect skin and combat dry skin issues
– Terpenes remove oils to fight oily skin, acne, and congested pores
– Gentle exfoliator which helps with cellular turnover
How to use
On freshly cleansed skin, use Juniper Hydrosol to tone your skin and follow up with our Hydrating Serum and finish with a moisturizer or face oil.
Story of the Harvest
On the outskirts of Santa Fe, a family tradition has blossomed: the annual harvesting of juniper for our Botnia winter hydrosol. For more than seven years, my mother has cultivated and harvested juniper on her ranch. These gnarled, hardy trees have endured the extremes of desert seasons, their resilience mirroring our family's own.
The year 2023 holds special significance for our juniper hydrosol. It marked the first time my mother, daughter, and I harvested juniper together, symbolizing the strength of three generations. On my husband's side, he and his father joined in our piñon harvest, creating a perfect balance - a yin and yang - for Botnia’s seasonal hydrosols.
This year's juniper yield is a distillation of rich beauty, capturing the robustness of the flora and a story of survival deeply rooted in the soil. For me, it embodies my mother's resilience, the last 30 years spent in the high desert training horses and battling the elements. This hydrosol reminds me of her strength both in its aroma and its herbal action for the skin. The aromatic profile is crisp and comforting, reminiscent of a stroll through a protective evergreen forest.
Our juniper hydrosol is a testament to the enduring spirit of the land, our family’s commitment to sustainable stewardship, and the symbiotic relationship we maintain with the earth that sustains us, our Mother Earth. Juniper possesses properties that rejuvenate and invigorate, making it an asset for anyone seeking to gently exfoliate and strengthen their skin. Perfect for normal or oily skin types. Born of the New Mexico desert, it is a piece of our home offered to the world, a reminder that the rugged desert can nourish and transform.
What makes Botnia’s Juniper Hydrosol special?
Wintertime is one of my favorite times of the year for juniper hydrosol. Because as we sit indoors with dry heat from our heaters, our skin can hold onto dead skin cells more readily. Our Juniper Hydrosol is very special because I make 100% of it in-house and the juniper comes from my mother’s land outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico. It’s a wildcrafted juniper that has had a serene existence and on an emotional level, feels magical to use in my skincare ritual. I hope you use it in good (skin) health!