Botnia Skincare Key Ingredient – Rose Geranium

This year we celebrate the big 5! As something special for this milestone birthday, we’re bringing back our most beloved hydrosol, Rose Geranium! We call it our power plant because it has so many useful properties and benefits for the skin. The type of geranium we use for our hydrosol is called Pelargonium graveolens (its botanical name). Did you know that there are zero roses in rose geranium? The common name for this plant refers to the rosy floral note of its scent. What we find so cool about this plant is that the oil in rose geranium is excreted from the leaves and stems in a similar way to how our skin functions, through tiny follicles and hair shafts on the plant. Keep reading to see why we love Rose Geranium so much! 

How to use in a skincare routine//

On cleansed skin, use Rose Geranium Hydrosol as a toner or with hydrating serum to bring deep hydration to the skin.

You can also use the hydrosol mixed in with powdered masks. To avoid the mask drying out, periodically spray the hydrosol to keep the mask moist on your skin. (Pro tip: Spray the hydrosol into your mixing bowl first, before you add powder so it doesn’t make a mess!)

Other unique uses//

Use it as a refreshing spritz on your skin (over your makeup works great) throughout the day to help repair the effects of environmental damage and hydrate your skin.

Use it neat as a makeup remover on clean cotton or makeup pad. 

It’s effective as an astringent aftershave without being too floral: great for men to use. 

When used daily as a compress, you’ll see improvement of dry callused skin on elbows, knees, and even the hands and feet!

If you have a sunburn, rash, insect bites, or anywhere you feel heat in your skin, rose geranium hydrosol will help to cool it down and reduce inflammation. 

Combine the hydrosol with a high-quality raw organic honey to treat wind-damaged and overly dry skin to keep it glowing throughout the seasons! 

Rose geranium is also safe to take internally in small doses and can be spritzed into sauces and beverages! 

If you have your own plant at home, rose geranium leaves can be incorporated in the kitchen: try it infused in drinks or in sweets! Here’s a small selection of recipes featuring rose geranium:
Rose geranium recipes 
Victorian rose geranium cake
Tea cake with meyer lemons and rose geranium

Key Benefits//

Rose geranium is mildly astringent, which means it shrinks or constricts body tissue and tightens pores. This helps to minimize the appearance of enlarged pores. It’s a natural humectant, attracting moisture and holding it in the skin. The terpenes citronellal, linalool, and geraniol help to keep bacteria off the skin, and their antiseptic properties also help heal the skin. The terpenes also contribute to the lovely scent of the hydrosol.  Its antibacterial and antifungal properties make it a powerful ingredient that naturally preserves our skincare. This multipurpose plant is the reason we use it in almost all of our water-based formulations! 

The reason why this special hydrosol is so limited is that we provide it year-round for our holistic spa partners and there’s only so much plant material to go around! In a Botnia facial, rose geranium hydrosol serves as a soother to bring down inflammation and also buffers the potency of stronger botanicals when mask mixing in the treatment room. Its astringent qualities help aid in cellular turnover by weakening intracellular proteins and lipids. 

“I get so excited when Botnia comes out with their annual birthday Rose Geranium Hydrosol because my clients get to have a chance to experience it every day instead of only during their monthly facials! Not only does it smell divine, but it’s also so refreshing and helps tackle hormonal breakouts!”

—Monica, Wildflower Skin + Wellness in Las Vegas, NV 

“We’re always reaching for Rose Geranium Hydrosol in treatments. I really like to use it when I think the skin needs a little soothing, such as after extractions or after a light peel with steam. We apply it directly with our fingers in those instances. It also works well with a reusable bamboo pad to remove residual mask or product and the smell is grounding, so I’ll often use it to sort of ‘cleanse the palette’ before moving onto the next phase of the facial.  

Clients often comment on how pretty the scent is. Recently I used it after a brow and lip wax on a woman who had grown up in France. She gasped and said the smell had suddenly taken her back to her childhood backyard. She couldn’t place the geranium scent right away but it really transported her!”  

—Maiko, Primrose Natural Skincare in San Francisco, CA

Who it’s for//

Normal, acneic, oily, dry, and sensitive skin types are great candidates to use Rose Geranium Hydrosol. 

Shelf life//

Rose Geranium hydrosol is self-preserving; it’s a stable product that usually lasts 12 to 14 months or longer if kept properly


We grow our own rose geranium on Botnia’s micro-farm in Sausalito, CA. This particular batch of hydrosol is extra-special because we also sourced it from our local farm partner GEM in Marin County. Read more about the story of the harvest here.

We hope you enjoy the (gentle) power of this amazing botanical!


P.S. If you’re interested in growing rose geranium in your own garden, see our growing guide below.

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