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What are Hydrosols and Witch Hazels, and How Do You Use Them?

August 22, 2019 | sheabrand

Let’s have a chat about hydrosols. These all-natural, aromatic, and healing waters are great for sensitive skin types, provide a refreshing and cooling effect, and can do wonders for keeping skin healthy and hydrated. What a combo!

What is a hydrosol? Also known as “flower waters,” hydrosols are produced by distilling fresh leaves, fruits, and flowers to create a soft and subtle liquid that benefits skin and spirit. And they pair sooo well with summer!
We’re honestly not sure how we ever got through beach, pool, and outdoor festival days before we discovered hydrosols. They are a great addition to your summer skincare routine, as they are refreshing, hydrating, anti-inflammatory, and balancing for your skin. A quick spritz of a hydrosol on a hot summer day is a simple and effective way to cool down your body and lift up your spirits.

What is a witch hazel? Our witch hazel face sprays are technically hydrosols, too. They are distilled from the branches and flowers of the witch hazel tree, a plant that has a long history of medicinal use. Since this plant has such powerful and distinct benefits for skincare, we have witch hazels for sale as a different product. The bottom line is that they are made from just plants, water, and essential oils and because they contain the antioxidants and other wonderful properties of these ingredients, our witch hazel face sprays are amazing for taking care of your skin!

Hydrosols are different from essential oils mainly in that they are less concentrated (hydrosols usually contain less than 1% volatile oils aka essential oils). This makes them gentler, and therefore safer for use on sensitive skin types. Hydrosols also contain beneficial molecules from the plants they are distilled from, molecules that can only be captured in water.

What are hydrosol and witch hazel sprays used for? Here are our top five uses:

1. Skin care
We wouldn’t be Shea Brand if we didn’t lead with the skin benefits of hydrosol and witch hazel! They help your skin glow by repairing damaged areas, balancing oil production in your pores, and helping to control water retention. This means that both hydrosols and witch hazels can benefit dry and oily skin with their restorative benefits. We like to use hydrosols when we need a little extra moisture or something extra gentle on our skin, and we like to use witch hazels when our skin feels more oily and in need of a cleanse. The Teafruit Witch Hazel is our favorite for acne care!

2. Sunburn relief
Whoops! Did we forget to re-apply our sunscreen again?? Thank goodness hydrosols can help with a sunburn! Since our hydrosols and witch hazels contain essential oils and nourishing plant acids, they can help to repair your damaged skin. They also fight inflammation which can help to reduce pain and itching caused by a sunburn. And the best part? Spritzing these cool floral waters over a lobster-red sunburn provides instant relief. Our Cucumber Hydrosol and Lavender Witch Hazel sprays are our favorites for cooling and healing a sunburn. Check out our blog post for more tips on how to relieve a sunburn, and fast!

3. Hair care
Did you know that essential oils and other compounds found in plants can help keep your hair soft and your scalp healthy? It’s true! Hydrosols and witch hazels contain low concentrations of these beneficial molecules that are antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antioxidant. If your hair is damaged and needs some extra TLC, we highly recommend giving it a spritz or a full-on rinse with a botanical hydrosol. We love the Rose Witch Hazel for this because it smells amazing and feels super cleansing!

4. Makeup setting
If you love a full face of makeup but hate that caked-on look, this is a super useful tip for you! Spraying a light mist of a hydrosol or witch hazel on top of your finished makeup can help set it properly. The healing waters work to close up your pores and adhere the makeup better to your skin, giving you that covetable soft, dewy, glowing look! Try our Holy Basil Hydrosol for setting makeup as it has a delicate scent and anti-inflammatory properties.

5. Aromatherapy
One of the most mind-blowing things about plants is their ability to change our state of mind through aromatherapy. If you are sensitive to strong scents or undiluted essential oils, we highly recommend using hydrosols as a gentle alternative. Because they contain low concentrations of volatile oils, hydrosols and witch hazels make for a great aromatherapy experience that is safe for sensitive folks, pets, babies, and elders. You can simply spritz your hydrosol around the house as an air freshener, spray it on your linens to spruce things up, or just mist it on your body for a direct hit of aromatherapeutic benefits! We love the light floral scent of our Jasmine Hydrosol because it is both uplifting and calming to the senses.

With any hydrosol you seek out, make sure that hydrosol is the main ingredient rather than water. Our hydrosols for sale are always made from pure, distilled plant waters so they have the most beneficial effect on your face.

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