What could be better than a little rose hydrosol to gently cleanse and rejuvenate tired skin?  Well pretty much everything as far as we are concerned and don’t take that the wrong way, hydrosol are lovely in theory but in practice they are rare, expensive and difficult to manage as we shall see below. So, what’s a hydrosol again?

The good.

Hydrosols are otherwise known as the water of distillation. Let me just give you an example to illustrate:

Lavender is picked from the fields when it is looking and smelling divine.  It is gathered up and popped into a large vat where water is added to make what looks like one almighty large cup of herbal tea.  The vat is then heated which boils the water and water leaves the vat as steam.  Now if you have the ‘perfect’ distillation vat the design will be such that pressure can build up a little to force the boiling point of water up to past 100c to help with the essential production……

Anyway back to the nitty gritty.  The water boils, steam comes off and with that steam are little molecules of oils.   Essential oil manufacturers collect that steam and condense it back from a gas to a liquid (by simple cooling) before collecting it. The water goes into one pot and the oils into another.

The water from the above experiment is the hydrosol and the hydrosol contains the water-soluble aromatic components of the plant being distilled.  Well, those that survive the process anyway.  This hydrosol is quite different in chemistry to the oil and is prized by some skin care manufacturers IF they can get it.

The bad.

Let’s just re-frame the notion of what a hydrosol is for […]