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With new hydrosols coming to the market every year, it can be hard to keep up. They seem to pop up everywhere! However, in today’s post, I would like to look at tried and true lavender hydrosol, aka “lavender floral water”. A gentle, natural by-product of steam distillation, which many believe offer numerous skin benefits.
Lavender, also known as Lavandula angustifolia, is a perennial herb with a long history of use in various medicinal and cosmetic preparations. Abundant in over 100 active compounds, linalool (its primary constituent) is a terpene thought responsible for most of the lavender’s remedial effects. Other constituents (1) found in lavender hydrosol include terpenes, phenolic and lactone compounds.
Let’s take a closer look at the skin benefits lavender hydrosol has to offer.
1. Helps to Keep Skin Hydrated
Lavender hydrosol is a natural skin care ingredient that you can use daily to improve your skin’s moisture content, giving you a naturally plump look. Whether you add it to your toner, use it as a cooling mist, or add it to your DIY moisturisers, its lasting hydrating effect will keep your skin supple.
2. Tightens the Pores
The ability of lavender hydrosol to tighten pores makes it an excellent addition to toning products. Naturally astringent (2), tannins found in lavender hydrosol can help tighten the pores and keep oiliness at bay. So if you have oily or acne-prone skin, lavender water is for you. Use it as a facial toner to strip away excess oil and restore the skin’s pH balance.
3. Regulates Sebum Production
Apart from the tightening effect, tannins can also help regulate sebum production (2). As such, it is helpful as an astringent if you suffer from very oily skin. Add it to your cleanser or toner for a quick fix if you have oily skin. If your skin is dry, don’t fret, as lavender hydrosol can help balance the sebum production in dry skin too.
4. Helps Reduce Redness
Safe in low concentrations, lavender hydrosol’s main constituent Linalool and Linalyl Acetate, are natural anti-inflammatory agents (3) that may help reduce inflammation in the skin. Topically, lavender hydrosol works well in soothing products such as mists, helping reduce redness in after-sun care.
5. Protects the Skin
Phenolic compounds (2), antioxidants found in lavender hydrosol, work to protect the skin against free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that damage healthy cells and cause premature ageing. Lavender hydrosol’s antioxidant properties will help to keep your skin looking healthy and youthful for longer.
6. Reduces Fungal Infections
Increased resistance to antifungal drugs in the last few years has led to a surge of interest in complementary and alternative remedies. Lavender hydrosol is a natural antifungal agent (4) that can potentially be used in skincare products to reduce fungal infections in the skin.
7. Acts as Penetration Enhancers (PEs)
Terpenes are natural compounds that can act as potential penetration enhancers (5) due to their high enhancement activity and low toxicity — improving the penetration of active ingredients into the skin.
8. Natural Preservative
The use of synthetic preservatives has raised many concerns over the safety of cosmetics in the last few years. However, using natural by-products as a natural preservative, like lavender hydrosol, with its inherent antimicrobial properties (6), can help prevent bacteria and fungus from developing in products such as moisturising gels, making it a promising ingredient in natural preservation.
9. It is a Safe Natural Fragrance
Synthetic fragrances can cause various adverse reactions like skin irritation, eczema, psoriasis or contact dermatitis, for instance. Lavender hydrosol is a natural by-product of steam distillation. As such, you can use it to add a heavenly smell to formulations and soothe and calm the skin. The cooling effect of lavender hydrosol is a welcome addition for a variety of applications.
10. Keeps Insects Away
Even though we find lavender scent soothing, insects seem to think otherwise. As such, you could add lavender hydrosol to your mists and creams to help keep pesky insects away.
So there you have it—just a few of the benefits you can enjoy with lavender hydrosol. At present, there is growing interest in exploring the use of hydrosols for their therapeutic effects. With the ever-growing popularity of natural skincare ingredients, we might see more hydrosols and floral waters making their way into the skincare industry.
- Hydrosols from Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)-Determination of the Chemical Composition Using Dispersive Liquid-Liquid Microextraction (DLLME)
- Organic Lavender Extract
- Anti-psoriatic effect of Lavandula angustifolia essential oil and its major components linalool and linalyl acetate
- Review on the medicinal properties of some aromatic hydrosols
- Natural Terpenes as Penetration Enhancers for Transdermal Drug Delivery
- Preservative activity of lavender hydrosols in moisturising body gels