I am a total advocate for using all-natural beauty products, and nothing gets more natural than the juice of a blooming rose. This is precisely why adding rosewater in my skincare routine seemed like the perfect step for the advancement of my beauty endeavors. According to my bottle of Heritage Store Rosewater, the completely organic, natural, and gluten-free liquid seeps from rose petals that are boiled (how romantic!) and is then bottled in its completely unrefined form. While it's most commonly used as an additive to beauty products, using 100 percent rosewater can make for a surprisingly beneficial skincare outcome.
Heritage Store Rosewater, $9.79, Amazon
Admittedly, I have had a hard time adjusting to natural products when I've been so used to my beloved, sulfate-filled classics. But rosewater seemed easy to use, suitable for many types of skin, in possession of multi-tasking benefits, and chock full of natural ingredients. Plus, it's often one of the cheapest natural beauty products on the market (an 8-ounce bottle can be found for less than $7!). What more could a newbie all-natural beauty fan ask for?
So, for two whole weeks I treated my oily, acne-prone skin with rosewater in every way possible. From exfoliation to toning to makeup removal, I incorporated it into my routine wholeheartedly and was delighted by its multi-tasking properties, invigorating feeling, and that lovely, romantic rose scent. Here's how it affected several aspects of my routine.
My foray into a totally natural beauty routine first led me to cleansing with oil, which has helped control my oily, acne-prone skin. While I enjoyed working the gentle rosewater into my face, I definitely sensed that it didn't have the power or thoroughness of the oil in terms of fully cleansing my skin. It left my face feeling refreshed, for sure, but couldn't fully get rid of the oil or the makeup that was on my skin after a long day at work.
Toward the end of the two weeks, however, I started using the rosewater to splash my skin before massaging my face with the oil. The rosewater was a perfect way to break down the makeup preliminarily for an easier time getting it off later.
Desert Essence 100% Pure Jojoba Oil, $9, Amazon
Rosewater Rating: 6/10. I wouldn't personally use rosewater as a cleanser on its own (although if you have very sensitive skin or rarely wear makeup, it might be worth a shot). But it certainly worked well as a pre-cleanse to my oil routine.
For Removing Makeup
Like I said before, I'm a big fan of natural oils for removal of my daily face makeup consisting of powder, cream eyeshadow, and mascara. Because of its similar but slightly lighter consistency, I had high hopes for rosewater as a gentler — and perhaps more effective — alternative to my oil-based favorites. It worked well with my face powder and light concealer, but unfortunately rosewater struggled with my dark eye makeup.
I don't wear waterproof mascara, but the rosewater still couldn't get the black gunk completely off my lashes. It took quite a few wipes of the product on cotton pads to fully get my lashes clean. The same story was true of my cream eyeshadow. The rosewater simply moved it around before I roughly wiped it off with the help of water and soap. My face makeup of tinted powder and some concealer was easier to remove, though, and washed away easily with one swipe of rosewater.
Rosewater Rating: 5/10. Maybe it's the kind of makeup I wear, but the rosewater wasn't great at removing my eyeshadow or mascara. It did, however, do a great job clearing my skin of the powder and concealer. From my experience, it's a great, gentle remover for those days when you're not wearing a full face.
I regularly use witch hazel as a toning product to wipe away any leftover dirt or makeup residue that my cleanser didn't catch. But switching to rosewater for this experiment made me realize I might have been using something too harsh all along.
At first, I doubted rosewater's ability to clean out my pores like I wanted it to, since I figured its thin consistency and gentle ingredients wouldn't stand up against dirt and makeup residue. But to my surprise, the cotton pad I used to apply it as toner was covered in dirt when I was done. You can see from the cotton pads above that it really dug deep into my pores to remove all the gunk.
Thayers Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner, $9.50, Amazon
Rosewater Rating: 10/10. Rosewater was able to combat my oily/clogged pores by picking up dirt and scum left behind after cleansing, without over-drying or leaving me in need of an additional moisturizer. I would definitely recommend this for someone who's big on refreshing toning products.
For Brightening The Eyes
It's common for me to wake up with extremely puffy eyes, especially if I didn't get the full eight hours of sleep that I usually need. But I've never gotten into eye creams of any sort, which, as it turns out, may have been a good thing. I found that rosewater was actually great at reducing discoloration, puffiness, and dark circles. Naturally, I gave it a try every time my eyes needed an extra pick-me-up in the mornings.
Soaking a couple of cotton pads with rosewater and laying them over my eyes for a few minutes before applying makeup helped decrease the puffiness that usually takes the whole morning (and a large cup of coffee) to tackle. Plus, it's much more romantic than grabbing frozen peas to lay on your eyes like I usually do. Trust me when I say that waking up to a rose eye wash is very relaxing and luxurious.
Rosewater Rating: 8/10. Setting aside a few minutes in the morning can be tedious, but for those who suffer from discoloration, dark under eyes, or even puffiness, waking up a bit early to treat yo self might just be worth it.
For Spraying My Face
I'm a big fan of facial sprays, and the rosewater versions have quickly become my favorite kind. Their delicate yet invigorating properties help combat my irritated winter skin, provide a refreshing scent, and control my oily face during long days. When spritzing after cleansing and before makeup with my Boots Botanic Organic Rosewater Toning Spray, my skin loved the feeling of fresh rosewater.
Boots Botanics Organic Rosewater Toning Spritz, $8.39, Target
Mario Badescu Facial Spray With Aloe, Herb, And Rosewater, $7, Amazon
Heritage Products Rose Petals Rosewater Facial Toner, $9.79, Amazon
Rosewater Rating: 10/10. Whether you invest in a rosewater facial spray, or just get a spritz bottle and pour some rosewater in it yourself, you're in for a treat. I've tried a lot of facial sprays, and none have been as fragrant, gentle, and overall refreshing as the rosewater versions.
Final Rosewater Analysis
After the two weeks, my skin looked better than it had in months. I know that's a grand statement. But in all honesty, the gentle yet thorough nature of rosewater not only treated my skin well, but made it brighter, invigorated, and controlled my oil and acne.
There were certainly times during which I questioned whether rosewater was doing anything for me. Sure, it seemed to be great at toning, and worked well as a de-puffing agent for my eyes, but it didn't feel exceptionally special. Until, of course, I gradually noticed my skin improving. Unless there was a beauty guru angel above who happened to bequeath me nearly perfect skin by the end of these two weeks, I'm going to credit rosewater for the glowing, bright face that I couldn't stop photographing (you can never have too many selfies, y'all).
I think it's safe to say that I'll be making rosewater a staple in my all-natural beauty routine. Whether you're a natural beauty fan like me, or just looking for a new product to experiment with, rosewater might just be worth a try.
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Images: Melodi Erdogan