You might know and use our limited edition seasonal hydrosols like our Rose Geranium hydrosol, grown with love by my family. Or our Juniper hydrosol, wildcrafted and grown in the untouched New Mexico desert. But for those who are new to the clean beauty space, I’m sure you’ve asked the questions:
What is a hydrosol?
Is it a toner?
A facial mist?
Why do I need it and how do I incorporate it into my routine?
I like to think of hydrosols as powerful single-ingredient skincare: it’s condensed plant matter distilled in a copper still. The immune system of the plant is added to your skin’s immune system to boost or protect your skin. To heal and hydrate your skin.
Botnia’s hydrosols are made in an alembic still. My first still was a wedding gift from my husband Chris. We fell in love with distilling on our honeymoon, where we took our first class on creating these gentle yet powerful floral waters. The process is similar to making essential oils: steam passes through freshly harvested botanicals and then condenses back into liquid form to create potent floral water (with essential oil sitting on top of the water, which is separated out) that can be used in many different ways. These nutritive waters are much gentler than essential oils with higher water content, but still contain the plant’s healing properties that can be used directly on the skin without dilution.
How hydrosols are beneficial for skincare
Hydrosols are the water byproduct that includes flavonoids and terpenes, essentially the immune system of the plant.
Much like melanin in human skin, flavonoids are found in plant pigments for flower coloration, which helps flowers attract pollinator animals. They can play an important part in plant health by protecting it against the sun, drought, freezing temperatures, and other environmental damages.
Terpenes are mostly responsible for the smell of most plants. Some terpenes help plants recover from damage, and others can help keep away infectious germs. These terpenes can have positive effects on the body, like the calming scent of lavender, or the antiseptic (preventing the growth of disease-causing microorganisms) properties of rosemary for cold and flu symptoms.
Because of its antibacterial and antifungal properties, we use rose geranium hydrosol in many of our products as part of our preserving system.
You can see how using these plant powers can help with various skin conditions depending on the different immunities of different plants!
Hydrosol vs. toner
So what makes these different from a toner? Here are the quick and dirty facts.
Toners are meant to add acid into your skincare ritual to aid your naturally acidic barrier in protecting you against bacteria. Hydrosols (while sitting slightly acidic at times) are almost completely neutral on the pH scale, so if you’re using a foaming face wash or a soap-based cleanser you should use a conventional toner after cleansing. Hydrosols are better used as added sustenance to your skincare regime or if you use an oil cleanser. Even though they’re the consistency of a toner, they are actually closer to serum in use.
Using Botnia hydrosols
Add in your hydrosol right before you apply moisturizer or face oil.
If you oil cleanse, spritz a hydrosol onto your skin after cleansing, to give water-based nourishment.
If you use a conventional (soap-based) cleanser, spritz onto your skin AFTER your toner–hydrosols are not as acidic as toners.
If you’re experiencing inflammation (redness, heat, mild allergies), use a hydrosol to take down that inflammation.
Use your hydrosol to refresh your skin throughout the day. Organic acids found in some hydrosols provide astringent qualities and help to promote cellular turnover.
Use your hydrosol to refresh your MOOD throughout the day. Take a deep breath in to mentally absorb the energetics of your hydrosol (plant energetics!).
Use your hydrosol to mix with our powder masks and make a custom Botnia facial at home! And remember: the key to good masking is never letting the mask dry on your skin, so keep your hydrosol handy and give your face a spritz every time you feel your mask getting dry or tight.
Choosing a hydrosol
Because different plants contain different plant immunities, you always want to check for contraindications depending on the plant used for the hydrosol, especially for pregnant women and new moms.
Hydrosols’ versatile uses make them a wonderful addition to any skincare routine. As stewards of the earth, creating each hydrosol by the season allows us to be responsible harvesters of the plants we use. We hope that when you use our limited edition hydrosols, you feel the love that the earth provides us. And in turn that your skin is nourished and hydrated!
Shop our hydrosol collection here.