In my last post, I described how to make your own "steam distilled" rose water. In this post, I will suggest a few ways to use your rose water now that you have made a batch. Rose water is great for the skin, so it has a variety of uses for skin care; rose water is also useful for hair care, and even has culinary uses.
Using Rose Water for Skin Care
My favorite use for rose water is as a skin toner. Rose water will help to improve your skin's tone and texture. After I cleanse my skin with a mild soap or my oatmeal cleanser, I like to follow up with rose water as a toner. Dab a cotton ball into the rose water, and apply it to your face, using short, upward strokes; do not rinse it off. You can also get a little more creative if you'd like, and mix the rosewater with a splash of witch hazel or vodka. This will create a mild astringent helpful for removing any dirt your cleanser may have missed and tightening pores.
Help for Skin Irritations
Sunburn, bug bites, rashes, and dry skin are all examples of skin irritations that rose water can help remedy. Rose water has anti-inflammatory properties, and helps to repair skin cells and regenerate new skin tissue. Applied to the skin with a cotton ball, soft cloth, or spritzer, it is very soothing.
Rose water is a great addition to any facial mask, in place of the plain water you would normally use. Here is a recipe for a very soothing facial mask, perfect for those with sensitive skin.
Milk 'n Honey Facial Mask
2 teaspoons rose water
2 teaspoons milk
1 teaspoon honey
oatmeal (powdered in a grinder or mortar and pestle)
Mix together the rose water, milk and honey. Add enough powdered oatmeal to make a paste. Apply the paste to the face and neck. Allow the mixture to stay on your skin for 20 minutes. Then, rinse the mask off your face with lukewarm water, and pat dry. This mask can also double as a facial cleanser.
Using Rose Water for Hair Care
The pH of rose water is near the same as the pH of a healthy head of hair. When your hair's pH is off, it is more prone to breakage, frizziness, and split ends. To improve your hair's health, put 1 cup of rose water in a spray bottle with a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice. After showering, spritz the rose water mixture onto towel dried hair and comb through. Style as usual. Keep refrigerated to prolong shelf life.
Culinary Uses of Rose Water
Rose water is fairly uncommon in most food prepared in the United States, but it can be found in many ethnic dishes. Rose water is a fragrant flavoring that pairs well with sweet foods, and can even be used in cocktails. Try replacing some of the water or vanilla extract with rose water the next time you make cake, cookies, and other desserts.
This recipe for a Rose Water Champagne Cocktail would be a nice compliment to any celebration or party:
Rose Water Champagne Cocktail
1 ounce rose water
1 ounce orange juice
Pour the rose water and orange juice into a champagne flute. Fill the rest of the glass with champagne, and drop in a couple rose petals for garnish.