New: A treatment designed for rosacea-prone skin

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Les différents hydrolats à utiliser au quotidien.

What are the different hydrosols to use on a daily basis?

Known for several millennia, hydrosols were highly valued for skincare in ancient Egypt and other ancient civilizations. From the time of the Babylonian empire to our era, the use of hydrosols has persisted due to the numerous benefits they provide. Discover all the benefits of certain hydrosols in your daily life to adopt this new skincare step in your beauty routine.

Hydrosol or Floral Water: Why Use it Daily?

In everyday language, we refer to hydrosol as a natural aqueous extract (recondensed steam) obtained during the steam distillation of various parts of aromatic or non-aromatic plants (flowers, seeds, leaves, roots...) in parallel with the essential oil obtained by the same extraction process. When it is solely derived from flowers, it is more commonly referred to as floral water. Therefore, it is common to speak of orange blossom water, cornflower water, or Damask rose water.

Hydrosol is primarily composed of water, but also includes aromatic compounds with hydrophilic characteristics from the distilled plant in varying proportions (polyphenols, acids, phenols, alcohols, ketones, aldehydes, oxides, etc...) that will not be found in the essential oil if the plant is aromatic, as well as traces of hydrophobic molecules characteristic of essential oils (between 0.05 and 0.5%) such as monoterpenes, terpenic esters, and sesquiterpenes. This composition gives hydrosols the scent and properties of the plant from which they are derived, without being as potent as the essential oil. It is often said that the hydrosol is a diluted copy of the essential oil.

Often considered a byproduct of distillation, hydrosols actually offer numerous significant benefits for all skin types, which can sometimes differ from their corresponding essential oils. Thanks to a slightly acidic pH (between 3.9 and 6.8), hydrosols can be used as toning lotions for the face to remove any remaining residues left behind by makeup removal/cleansing of the skin, to rebalance the skin's pH, and to prepare the skin for treatments. They can also be used in place of tap water for cleansing the skin. Indeed, the residues of limestone can irritate the skin and dull its glow. As they are loaded with active molecules, they are suitable for many skin issues and thus allow for gentle skin care. They can be purifying, soothing, strengthening, sanitizing, balancing, softening, toning, illuminating, and more...

Highly diluted in active molecules and primarily composed of water, hydrosols represent a gentler version of essential oils and are thus very well tolerated by all skin types. Indeed, they do not present any usage risks, except in specific cases. They can therefore be used by the most sensitive individuals such as pregnant or breastfeeding women, children, babies... who often cannot use essential oils.

6 examples of the most useful hydrosols for daily skincare routine.

There exists a wide variety of hydrosols with highly diverse properties. Here are examples of some of the most common ones:

  • Cornflower Hydrosol (INCI name: "Centaurea Cyanus Flower Water"):

    Decongestant, circulatory, soothing, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory, the cornflower hydrosol is a must-have for swollen or irritated eyelids due to allergies, fatigue, and also in cases of eye conditions such as conjunctivitis, blepharitis, stye, or chalazion. It is even nicknamed 'glasses breaker water'. Indeed, when used in conjunction with eye contour care, it helps to reactivate local blood and lymphatic microcirculation in order to fade visible signs of fatigue, that is, to decongest the water bags and reduce the blueness of dark circles. How to use it? Apply directly to the eyes a cotton pad soaked in cornflower hydrosol. Leave it on for a few minutes and then perform a circular massage of the eyelid with the cotton pad.

    Little extra : To enhance its effectiveness, it can be stored in the refrigerator.

    Although cornflower hydrosol is a go-to for eye care, it can also be embraced by dry, dull skin prone to discomfort. In addition to its astringent, restorative, antioxidant, and revitalizing properties, it brightens the complexion, tones the epidermis, soothes feelings of discomfort (redness, minor irritations, sunburn), strengthens the skin barrier, and helps neutralize free radicals and their cascade of skin damage. To enjoy its benefits, simply apply the cornflower hydrosol to your entire face and neck, previously cleaned, using a makeup removal pad.

  • Roman Chamomile Hydrosol (INCI name: "Chamaemelum Nobilis Flower Water

    Also known as noble chamomile, Roman chamomile owes its popularity to its numerous medicinal properties. Originating from Western Europe and North Africa, this herbaceous plant was used in traditional medicine to soothe pain. Acting gently on the skin, it is now known for its anti-inflammatory, regenerative, softening, and calming actions, particularly appreciated by reactive skin often prone to redness, tightness, itching, tingling, and discomfort at the slightest temperature variation, in case of stress, pollution, etc. Roman chamomile hydrosol, for example, can help soothe chronic skin problems like eczema, rosacea, hives, psoriasis... And that's not all, it is also astringent and toning.

  • Orange Blossom Hydrosol (INCI name: "Citrus Aurantium Amara Flower Water") : Contrary to what its name suggests, the orange blossom, which offers multiple benefits for the skin, is the fruit of a shrub native to India known as bitter orange or Seville orange. As a natural toning lotion, orange blossom hydrosol is a good alternative to its essential oil, particularly in rebalancing the skin's pH and microbiota with its slightly acidic pH ranging from 4.5 to 6.5, but also to gently benefit from its antioxidant, regenerative, brightening, and soothing actions on the skin.

    Rich in flavonoids (hesperidoside and naringoside), these molecules belonging to the polyphenol family give theorange blossom floral water a strong antioxidant and regenerative activity. In other words, it is capable of effectively neutralizing free radicals and thus slowing down the cellular aging of the skin. Particularly appreciated for its gentle floral scent, it also helps to restore uniformity and brightness to the complexion, ideal for dull and tired skin.

    An ally for dry and sensitive skin, or even after sun exposure, it provides comfort and flexibility to the skin due to its content of terpenes (linalool, limonene), sesquiterpenols, and sesquiterpenes. Indeed, these molecules with anti-inflammatory properties gently soothe skin tightness and irritations, in addition to hydrating, refreshing, and softening the skin.

  • Fine Lavender Hydrosol (INCI name: "Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Water") :

    The name of lavender floral water originates from the Latin word "lavanda" which means "used for washing". Similar to the properties of the corresponding essential oil but gentler, it has a purifying aspect that helps to minimize minor imperfections (pimples, etc...) and an astringent quality that helps to tighten skin pores for all skin types, although it is more recommended for combination to oily skin types and those with skin issues.

    Also an ally for dull skin, it accelerates skin regeneration, thereby revitalizing and toning the epidermis, while activating the healing process. Also known as true or officinal lavender, fine lavender hydrosol indeed promotes healing following skin problems such as acne or eczema for example, and fights against redness thanks to its slightly anti-inflammatory effects.Very versatile, its composition in terpenols (linalool, etc...) also gives it calming properties, thus helping to soothe sensitive skin and even minor irritations after shaving.

  • Peppermint Hydrosol (INCI name: "Mentha Piperita Flower/Leaf/Stem Water"): The peppermint is a perennial plant obtained after the spontaneous hybridization of watermint and spearmint. In the case of a blemished skin, peppermint hydrosol is the most suitable, particularly for its purifying, healing, and astringent actions: it helps to tighten the pores with its slightly acidic pH, calm the inflammation of pimples, regulate sebum production, oppose the proliferation of C. acnes due to its significant menthol content, a compound with anti-bacterial properties, and promote healing. It can thus help fight against acne.

    The aromatic hydrosol of peppermint also stimulates blood and lymphatic circulation, thus allowing better irrigation of the skin. This virtue helps to restore radiance to dull and tired skin. This circulatory effect is also effective in minimizing diffuse redness for a unified complexion. In addition, its immediate cooling action soothes skin damaged by the sun (sunburn), as well as skin discomforts.

  • Damask Rose Hydrosol (INCI name: "Rosa Damascena Flower Water") :

    Far more utilized than its essential oil, it is the most well-known hydrosol in cosmetics. Not to mention its refreshing and intoxicating fragrance provided by the monoterpenic alcohols it contains, theDamask rose floral water is one of the most recommended for mature skin and in cases of menopause, due to their antioxidant, firming, and regenerative properties to prevent and combat the effects of aging. Indeed, it has been shown to be capable of reducing the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), thereby protecting skin cells and helping to slow their premature aging. A perfect property for skin that is losing its radiance.

    Many of its uses also rely on its calming and anti-inflammatory benefits for a soothed skin, particularly conferred by the presence of linalool. Indeed, this substance limits the production of pro-inflammatory molecules on keratinocytes, thus reducing the dilation of blood vessels. Clinical studies have also shown the astringent effects of Damask rose floral water on the skin, thereby improving its appearance.

Sources:

  • BLUMBERG J. B. & al. A review of the bioactivity and potential health benefits of peppermint tea (Mentha piperita L.). Phytotherapy Research (2006).

  • HEO M. T. & al. Biological screening of 100 plant extracts for cosmetic use (II): anti-oxidative activity and free radical scavenging activity. International Journal of Cosmetic Science (2008).

  • LAWRENCE B. M. & al. Menthol: a simple monoterpene with remarkable biological properties. Phytochemistry (2013).

  • KUNICKA-STYCZYNSKA A. & al. Hydrolates from lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) – their chemical composition as well as aromatic, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. Natural Product Research (2015).

  • FAUCON M. Traité d'aromathérapie scientifique et médicale - TOME 2 Les hydrolats (2018).

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