What are Hydrosols: Benefits, Uses & Precautions


Hydrosol benefits – Hydrosols are often discussed along with essential oils which make sense since therapeutic and chemical & preservative-free essential oils cannot be made without producing a hydrosol.

Though the market is flourishing with essential oils and floral waters prepared using synthetic fragrances hence always make a conscious buy when looking for genuine therapeutic and plant-derived essential oils and hydrosols.

The word HYDROSOL is formed from the combination of two words “hydro” meaning water and “sol” meaning solution.

Hydrosols are water-based products made from the distillation of fresh flowers, leaves, fruits, and other plant materials prepared through the traditional technique of deg-bhapka method ( ark – kalpana) suitable for consumption, application, and inhalation.

Fact - Distillation is one the best ayurvedic procedures or method to make a more palatable form of ayurvedic dosages in comparison to swarasa, kalka, kwath etc. Its specific mode of preparation makes it a versatile product containing all volatile active substances.   

Hydrosols may also be called hydrolats, hydrolates, distillates, flower waters, and most commonly floral waters.

Hydrosols may be used in a variety like;

  • perfumes
  • skin toners
  • makeup
  • aromatherapy
  • Medicine
  • Food flavor


The steam distillery is then injected with hot steam, which causes the plants to open up and release their extracts. The steam mixes with the botanicals, forming a hot herbal distillate that then rises to the top of the distillery. Once it reaches the top, the distillate condenses upon contact with the cool roof and the resulting liquid runs down a tube into a completely different chamber.

This is where the essential oil and water is then collected. The oil, which contains the most concentrated amount of oil-soluble extracts, floats to the top and is skimmed off to make the essential oil, while the remaining water is bottled up to produce the hydrosol.

Can you drink hydrosol?

Yes, hydrosols made using edible herbs are edible and can be added to soups, salads, milk or shakes, or simply plain water such as green tea and much more.

What are the ingredients of hydrosol?

A true hydrosol is steam-distilled water of the particular herb used to make the hydrosol. For example – Rose hydrosol ingredients are rose petals only.

How are hydrosols used?

  • skin and makeup products, like toners, creams, and other emollients
  • topical creams for wounds, inflammation, or soothing the skin
  • body products like deodorant or perfume
  • aromatherapy products that can be diffused into the air
  • Flavor to food and beverages, here how
  • An instant way to make healthy green tea
  • Healthy wet wipes, here’s how

What are the benefits of hydrosol?

Hydrosol benefits are becoming popular again with the conscious cult who have closely witnessed the side effects of using chemicals in skincare products. Here’s a quick reference table for nature enthusiasts who really want to go natural and make use of different hydrosols in day-to-day life. 

Does hydrosol contain healthy nutrients?

Yes, hydrosols contain water-soluble nutrients of the plant parts with tiny needle-like oil scattered on them making them apt and truly nutrient-rich for eating, inhaling and applying.

Is hydrosol good for oily skin?

Yes, hydrosol is good for not only oily skin but for various types of skin and conditions. It’s just important to use the right kind of hydrosol for it to work on the skin. Oily skin loves hydrosols of lemongrass, peppermint, eucalyptus, camphor, sweet lime, mandarin etc. 

Hydrosol vs essential oils

Hydrosols and essential oils are produced through one process called steam/hydro distillation where water and oil both are produced from the plant material. Hydrosol or say water solution contains the water-soluble nutrients of the herb used in the distillation tank and essential oil contains the volatile oil – oil-soluble nutrients of the herb. Both are collected in the same chamber or sterilized jar and the oil being light, floats on top of the water and becomes easy to separate.

Hydrosols are the lighter version of essential oils. Essential oils are the concentrated – power (pran) of the plant hence should always be used after dilution. Up until the 19th century essential oils were used as antibiotics to treat and prevent various illnesses in the human body. Likewise, hydrosols too were used as medicine, supplement, food nutrition, etc.  

In other words, hydrosols are lighter versions of essential oils. True hydrosols prepared from edible herbs are palatable and effective products.

What is the best technique for making hydrosol with essential oils?

The best technique for making hydrosol with essential oil is the traditional steam distillation method. In this method, both hydrosol and essential oil are produced. The newly devised techniques like CO2 or solvent etc. produce only the essential oil and not the hydrosol therefore fake hydrosols are majorly found in the market.

Why are Hydrosols important in your skincare routine?

Hydrosol benefits it is nutrient-rich highly therapeutic water and when incorporated into a skincare routine provides the skin surface with the needed nutrients & hydration. It helps in better absorption of face oil/cream which keeps skin soft, smooth & hydrated for the whole day. A skincare routine is incomplete without a hydrosol, a need usually felt by those who use hydrosols in their daily life.

Can I mix different hydrosols and create a hydrosol blend to use as face toner?

Yes, depending upon the skin type and aroma that you like, you can create a blend using your choice of hydrosols and give real goodness to your skin in the most cost-effective way. Refer to the table to understand hydrosols and skin types’ suitability.

Is hydrosol a toner?

Yes, indeed true hydrosol is the best natural toner for the skin with just no chemicals and preservatives and even no alcohol.

Hydrosol vs Toner

Hydrosols make up the best effective toner for the skin. Toners nowadays are synthetically prepared to contain majorly fragrance, synthetic emollients, with little to no hydrosols in them. Rosewater used as skin beautifying aromatic toner in earlier times was indeed a rose hydrosol. The introduction of various chemicals and fragrances to the toners these days has made the skincare industry fall to the lowest standards with margins as the main vision of the players.  


Not all hydrosols are created equal. There are a lot of companies that manually blend essential oils with water and sell them as false hydrosols. To avoid this, make sure to check the ingredients label every time.

Here’s what to look for in a hydrosol:

  • Make sure “hydrosol” or “steam distilled” is listed in the ingredients.
  • No added colors or dyes
  • If the herb is edible, the hydrosol should be edible too. 

Do Hydrosol Contain Water? Do they need a preservative?

Hydrosols are steam distilled water that contains the steamed plant parts – herb water-soluble nutrients in it. Hydro means water & sol means a solution, hence hydrosol means a water solution. In other words, hydrosols are in the form of water containing the whole plant’s hydrophilic & lipophilic nutrients. Since it is steam distilled that leaves behind all the deris, bacteria, and other contaminants making it stay good for months to years when stored in sterile glass bottles in a cool place. Therefore hydrosols have been in use for centuries and really do not need any preservatives. The unique make, similar to our earth’s rain process, gives it a natural shelf life making it last for years.   

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