Florence, 1380, the plague raged in the city. In the convent of Santa Maria Novacella the friars worked hard to distil a fragrant and miraculous water obtained from rose petals, capable of counteracting the illness. In fact, the friars had noticed that rose petals were resistant to certain insects. Not only that, at the time it was thought that the contagion of the plague occurred through smells and that if you were surrounded by perfumes, such as the scent of roses, you were immune from infection. The friars were thus able to obtain the first rose water. It soon became clear that rose water could not protect against the plague but, despite making a mistake, the friars had in their hands what would become the most popular facial tonic in the history of cosmetics, an ingredient considered essential for the beauty of the skin. And this fame is absolutely deserved, in fact, several studies have focused on the properties of rose water for the skin, let's see their conclusions! Then, we will try to understand how to use the precious rose water for our beauty.
Rose water, properties
Rose petals are rich in antioxidants, such as anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are soluble in water and therefore are found in the precious rose water. Studies have observed that the anthocyanins of rose petals show anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and photoprotective properties, that is, capable of protecting the skin from damage caused by exposure to sunlight, such as dehydration, early appearance of wrinkles and dark skin spots (Lee et al, Food Sci Nutr, 2018 - Song et al, J Med Food, 2020). Not only that, rose water also shows an interesting antimicrobial, soothing and anti-allergic action and is useful in case of dermatitis (Bayhan et al, GMS Hyg Infect Control, 2020 - Choi et al, Lab Anim Res, 2015). And then, the strength of the rose is that every type of rose proves to be a real cosmetic for the skin, even the white rose! In fact, extracts of white rose are anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, help against wrinkles and uneven complexion (Choi et al, Lab Anim Res, 2015). Finally, spraying rose water on the face not only means protecting the skin from redness, irritation and aging, but also using a remedy that improves mood, calms and relaxes (Boskabady et al, Iran J Basic Med Sci, 2011).
Rose water, powerful cosmetic
You can make your own rose water at home, the advantage is that in this way you can always have it fresh and customizable, adding ingredients according to your needs. The basic recipe involves pouring the petals of 11-12 roses, well cleaned, into a large bowl. Bring two cups of water to a boil, remove from heat, wait a couple of minutes, then pour over the petals. Cover and let it rest for a few hours, then filter. Bottle and keep in the fridge for no more than a few weeks. And then, let's see how to customize your rose water. For example, in the case of mature skin, with discoloration caused by excessive exposure to the sun and premature aging, you can add green tea, which is characterized by a powerful antioxidant and anti-aging action (OyetakinWhite et al, Oxid Med Cell Longev, 2012). Together with the rose petals, add a green tea bag, leave to infuse for 20-30 minutes, then remove the bag, let the petals rest for a few hours before filtering them. What about acne-prone skin? In these cases, there is the thymus, with a high antiseptic and healing power (Patil et al, Heliyon, 2021). Pour a teaspoon of thyme leaves in a gauze sachet, put the sachet in the bowl as soon as you have poured the water over the rose petals. Leave to infuse for fifteen minutes, then take the sachet and let the petals rest for a few more hours. In case of tired skin that tends to get irritated by atmospheric agents, you can resort to chamomile, which is soothing (Wu et al, J Drugs Dermatol, 2006). As with thyme, dip a gauze sachet containing a teaspoon of chamomile and leave to infuse for fifteen minutes, then remove the sachet and let the rose petals rest for a few hours before filtering them.
Rose water, uses
As seen, you can create your own rose water. Alternatively, you can buy it in cosmetic stores and herbalists. You can spray the rose water in the morning and in the evening before applying the serum oil and cream, or even during the day, when the skin is heated or tired. Alternatively, you can also use rose water as an aqueous ingredient in beauty masks, from the mask prepared with ventilated green clay and rose water, purifying and sebum-regulating, to the mask prepared by crushing the pulp of half an avocado, adding 1 tablespoon of oat flour and a little rose water, deeply nourishing, moisturizing and anti-aging.