I have been on board with rosewater as a skincare product ever since discovering the moisturising magic of Heritage's Rosewater & Glycerin toner. Hypnotic scent aside, when applied to the skin, rosewater has a myriad of glow-inducing benefits. "Topically, rosewater balances the pH of the skin, hydrates dry skin, aids in antiseptic, and fights injury due to ageing and sun exposure," explains dermatologist Natasha Sandy, MD. Like I said, totally on board.
But the other week, a celebrity makeup artist told me in secret that she and all of her L.A. friends swear by drinking rosewater, too. "We mix it into our smoothies," she told me. Instantly, I was transfixed.
So I picked the brains of three skincare experts, who confirmed that rosewater is indeed one of humankind's oldest beauty ingestibles. The product, which is made from distilled rose oil, has been consumed by the gallon for millennia. "Nutritionally, rosewater contains vitamin A, B, C, and E, as well as flavonoids and other antioxidants," Sandy explains. And though there are few studies demonstrating definitive proof of rosewater's benefits as a beauty beverage, people throughout history have depended on it to help with stress, digestion, mood, and inflammation, as well as gorgeous skin. "Since the side effects of drinking rosewater are negligible there may be no harm drinking until the evidence evolves to support current rosewater theories," adds Sandy.
So for the time being, bottoms up. Keep scrolling to learn more about the intriguing benefits and rituals of drinking rosewater!
1. It reduces acne, rosacea, and eczema.
If inflammation is your problem, sipping on rosewater can help. "Rosewater is a great anti-inflammatory, which is good for reducing acne, rosacea, eczema, dermatitis, skin redness, and psoriasis," explains celebrity facialist Ildi Pekar. The active inflammation-blasting ingredients in rosewater are its terpenes and glycosides, says naturopathic doctor Gabrielle Francis, DC.
For acne in particular, rosewater offers double the healing effects, as "the essential oils in the rose have anti-microbial activity," adds Francis. The product also contains "geraniol and eugenol, which have antibacterial properties," says Sandy.
2. It makes the skin look hydrated and glowy.
If nothing else, nursing rosewater all day will deeply hydrate your skin from the inside out. "Rosewater plumps up the skin because is it hydrating and helps to restore water and fluids in dry skin," says Francis.
To reap the hydrating benefits, Sandy and Pekar suggest infusing one of your eight recommended daily cups of water with rose.
3. It minimizes wrinkles and large pores.
Rosewater also has incredible anti-aging effects. "Rosewater reduces wrinkles and age spots due to its antioxidants, such as vitamin C and E and flavonoids," Francis explains.
In fact, women have been turning to rosewater as a source of youth for centuries. "In ancient Egypt, women used rosewater to help reduce wrinkles and tighten the pores," says Pekar.
4. It's been used in Middle Eastern cultures for centuries.
Modern experts agree that there's really no downside to drinking rosewater. But where did the custom originate?
According to our sources, the human species has a rich history of consuming rosewater for beauty. "The tradition of edible or oral consumption of rosewater goes back thousands of years though it was primarily for flavour," Sandy explains. "Rosewater, which is a byproduct from the distillation of rose oil, was initially most popular in Persia [Iran], and then India and Europe."
As a beauty ingestible, rosewater's origin story goes a little like this: "During an Imperial Royal wedding, a water fountain filled with rose petals developed tiny oil droplets," says Sandy. "These droplets were rose oil, and once the Princess applied them to her skin, the tradition began." From then on, rosewater was regarded as a symbol of beauty in Persia and was "often given as a gift," says Pekar.
Today, people all over the world consume rosewater for its beauty benefits. "I have seen people drinking rosewater for health and beauty on travels to Greece, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Morocco, and India," says Francis. "In Lebanon, where I am from, we have something called White Tea, which is hot water with rosewater—yum!"
5. It's easy to make yourself.
You can purchase rosewater at many health foods stores and juice bars. "Just be on the look out for added sugar and how much is added," says Sandy.
Better yet, you can easily make your own rosewater at home, which our experts highly recommend. "If you make it yourself, you can refrigerate it and use it for up to one week," says Pekar.
Here is Francis's recipe for how to make your own drinkable rosewater:
1. Remove the petals from a fresh rose. Be sure to clean the rose petals with a fruit or vegetable wash (like this one from WelleCo) to be sure the pesticides and insects are gone.
2. Put several rose petals in a glass jar of water and let them steep for six hours in the sun. This makes a gentle rosewater that is good to drink.
3. Drink one glass per day for maximum benefits, which will be noticed in one week.
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