Rose Water Beauty Benefits and Recipes

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Rose Water for Healthy and Beautiful Skin

rose petals in water
Pascal Broze/Getty Images

Rose water is used medicinally, in food, (notably in Persian (Iranian) and Middle Eastern cuisine), in religious rituals and in cosmetics.

Rose Water (also referred to as rose hydrosol, rose floral water or rose distillate) is the by-product of steam distillation, a process used to isolate the plant’s essential oil. After the essential oil is drawn off, the rose water is collected.

Old World Beauty

In ancient Egypt, women used rose water to help reduce wrinkles and tighten the pores. In Persia, it was revered as a symbol of beauty and rose water was often given as a gift. In India, women rose water was spritzed onto the face for fragrance and to moisturize the skin. Iranian women still use rose water as a daily facial toner.

A Brief History of Rose Water

The rosa damascena species, which is one of the most common varieties found in perfume, cosmetics, and skin care products, is said to have originated in the Middle East in Iran (known then as Persia) and is also where steam distillation of rose petals was first discovered and developed.

The rose, as well as rose water, was a valuable commodity. Between 810 to 817 AD, during the reign of El-Mamoun (the caliph of Bagdad), the province of Faristan in Persia was required to pay an annual tribute of 30,000 bottles of rose water to the treasury of Bagdad.  

Rose Water Today

Rose water is cheaper than rose oil but has many  (if not all) of the same skin benefits.  It is beneficial to all skin types, especially sensitive, dry, and mature skin.

Rose water contains antioxidants that help strengthen skin cells and regenerate skin tissue.  It is often used as an astringent after facials to close pores and tighten capillaries.

The Benefits of Rose Water Address Common Beauty Concerns

  • Sensitive and sun-exposed skin – It has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe irritated skin and reduce redness.
  • Blotchy and Discolored Skin – Rose water helps reduce skin blotchiness and evens out skin tone.
  • Mature skin – It decreases damage to skin’s elastin fibers and it is believed that it may also help reduce or delay wrinkle formation.
  • Dry skin – Rose water is a good moisturizer that treats dry skin (which is also a problem for aging skin. Excessive dryness can also lead to wrinkling and fine lines.
  • Oily skin - It also has anti-bacterial properties, making it a good skin cleanser for removing oil and dirt that can result in clogged pores and, therefore, preventing acne and blemishes.
  • Problem skin – Rose water helps maintain skin’s natural pH, which helps regulate skin that is prone to conditions like rosacea and eczema.

Buying and Using Rose Water

You can purchase rose water extract from health stores or make it yourself.  It’s ideal if you have a rose bush or garden from which to pick fresh roses, but you can also purchase fresh roses from the florist. The only problem with purchasing from a florist is that pesticides might have been used. If you do use roses from a florist, rinse off the petals with cold water.


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Rose Water Recipes

To level up your beauty routine, try making these popular rose water recipes at home.

Face Refresher

Drop 2 to 3 drops of rose water onto a cotton ball or pad and wipe the face and neck to remove dirt and sooth and refresh the skin.

Tired Eyes Soothers 

Place a few drops of chilled rose water onto cotton balls or pads and place over to soothe red, tired eyes and reduce puffiness.Alternatively, mix a few drops of sandalwood oil with rose water and apply to eyelids. Leave on for 10 to 15 minutes, and then rinse with cool water. Rose water also helps with reducing dark under eye circles.

Rose Milk Moisturizing Bath for Dry Skin

Combine 1 cup powdered milk (or 1 ½ cups whole liquid milk), 1-cup rice starch, 2 tablespoons rose water and 1 teaspoon of evening primrose oil (optional). Add to running water and mix around bath until dissolved. 

Studies have shown that ​rice starch as a bath additive improves the healing of barrier damaged skin and skin conditions like atopic dermatitis and eczema improved. Milk contains lactic acid and is good for relieving dry skin, eczema and redness from sunburn, as well as hydrating and improving the texture of the skin. Evening primrose oil is also good for dry and mature skin and for treating inflammation, eczema, and dermatitis.


US National Library of Medicine/National Institute of Health