Rose is synonymous with love but to me rose is much more than that! It is vibrant, sexy, enlivening, and it is a skin savior. Rose is used in many forms in both skincare and aromatherapy. You can use rose as fresh petals, rose essential oil, rose absolute, rose petal powder and rose water. Here are some of my favorite forms of rose and why I incorporate them in so many of our skincare products!
My favorite of all versions of rose, the absolute from Rosa damascena is a gorgeous red color and has the most intoxicating scent. Did you know that it takes 100 roses to create 1 drop of this magical stuff? To me, compared to rose water or rose essential oil, rose absolute provides the closest aroma to fresh roses. The aroma is intoxicating, but I also love this oil for a few other seemingly magical properties it has. . .
Rose absolute helps reduce anxiety and lower stress levels.
Sounds like hocus pocus, right? But several studies have actually shown that inhaling rose absolute actually does reduce cortisol levels. This is probably due to its citronellol and linalool content. And you know what, it works for me. So sniff away if you are feeling tense, stressed or anxious.
Inhaling rose absolute can increase self confidence.
Maybe this is because of the anxiety reducing properties, but people who use rose absolute tend to report it giving them a boost in confidence. Try applying a rose facial oil or our limited edition Rose + Violet Leaf body butter to your skin to help make you feel sexy and beautiful!
Rose absolute has anti-aging properties and improves skin's texture.
Studies have shown that rose absolute improves skin barrier function and reduces transdermal water loss. It contains antioxidants which help prevent premature aging from free radical damage. It also has some anti-bacterial effect, which comes in handy for those that are break out prone. Hence why we use rose absolute in our Rose Nourishing Serum
Rose water can also be referred to as rose hydrosol. Rose water is traditionally distilled from Rosa damascena the same way rose essential oil is, but you can find rose water distilled from many different species of rose. Before going into what benefits rose water has, I think it is important to understand how rose water is produced.
The raw essential oil found in plants, including roses, is made of water-loving and oil-loving components. When the rose petals are distilled to make essential oil and hydrosol, the water-loving components get infused in the water and becomes rose hydrosol (rose water), and the oil-loving components, which are not water soluble, are what we call rose essential oil. Rose absolute, on the other hand, is extracted using a solvent, like CO2, which can extract both the water-loving and oil-loving components.
By understanding this, you can see how rose water contains a small portion of the complete raw essential oil, and will share some similar properties to rose absolute. Because the amount of active components that rose water contains are significantly lower than the absolute or essential oil, rose water will be much gentler on the skin and to your nervous system. Rose hydrosol/water has shown in studies to contain antioxidants, to have antibacterial properties, and to have similar stress relieving properties to rose absolute.
For this reason, rose water is often used in facial mists to hydrate and "beautify” the skin. The aroma is also often used the same way rose absolute is to reduce anxiety and promote feelings of self love. We use rose water in our Rose Hydrating Toner for these reasons!
Rose Petals (whole or powdered)
Dried rose petals are so pretty and smell so lovely. If they were dried properly and are relatively fresh, rose petals should still contain some rose essential oil in them (very little – remember it takes about 100 roses – not petals - to make 1 drop!). Rose petals are reputed as being anti-aging but also high in antioxidants. So what do the studies tell us about rose petals?
Well, rose petals contain antioxidants and have anti-bacterial effects (not surprising). But, most interestingly (to me anyways), a Korean study showed that white rose petals (Rosa hybrida) had anti-aging properties. The study listed the ability of extract made from these white rose petals to inhibit skin aging-related enzymes. Sign me up please! We use rose petals in our Activated Purifying Mask, our Herbal Detoxifying Steam, and our Aloe + Rose Clay Soap.
Want to learn more about rose? Check out a full length (and more technical) article I wrote about roses and skincare (which includes a DIY rose mask recipe!) in the February 2017 issue of AromaCulture magazine!