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Rosewater has been popular in skin care preparations for centuries, and if stories are to be believed, Cleopatra herself used to bathe her face and body with it.  Rosewater is a by-product of the distillation of rose petals for their essential oils.  Since ancient times, many different cultures have used rosewater for medicinal, cosmetic and even culinary purposes. However, is its use supported by scientific and/or clinical studies?

The use of rosewater in skin care has a long history.  Anecdotal, historical and traditional applications abound including it being used to:

•Cleanse: The slightly antiseptic property of rosewater cleans the skin of excess oils and impurities.

•Tone: Rosewater helps maintain the skin's pH balance.  Its antibacterial power also clears blocked pores and tightens the skin.

•Moisturize: Softens the skin when added to the bath.

•Treat: Anti-aging benefits including a reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as well as fighting free radicals

There is no doubt about the aroma-therapeutic quality of rosewater, but however time-tested the anti-aging or skin healing properties of rosewater may be, there is a dearth of scientific evidence that clearly illustrates the benefits.

Certainly, the potential exists for rosewater to be an anti-aging and skin care powerhouse ingredient.  A recent study using rose essential oil to treat psoriasis and atopic eczema showed some potential in accelerating the recovery of the skin barrier function when tested on mice.  A separate study in 2011, published by the Journal of Inflammation, examined the potential for antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity of rose extract on fibroblast cells (the ones responsible for the production of collagen).  Hydrogen peroxide was used to induce oxidative stress in the cells, at which point the rose extract was applied to measure antioxidant activity. Results were also promising, warranting further study.

Until those studies are completed, I'll continue to use rosewater as a refreshing and delicately scented facial mist and luxurious additive to a relaxing bath.  Rosewater is calming, de-stressing and mood-enhancing.  No scientific evidence needed to convince me of that.

Sharmani Pillay is a Registered Pharmacist who specializes in anti aging skin care and women's wellness. She owns and operates an online skin care store at [Link Removed] 

For a limited time, Fabulously 40 members save 5% off all purchases. Code fab40 at checkout.

Pharmagirl, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.

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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jill O'Neal wrote Apr 7, 2014
    • Thisis the Rose Water I’ve been using [Link Removed] I absolutely LOVE it but had no idea it had so many benefits.  I mix it with my pigments to get a creamy eye-liner, but now I’m going to use it as a toner. I also suffer from severe dry scalp.  It started after I gave birth to my son.  I have since stopped nursing and my scalp is still severely dry.  I do have Rose Essential Oil...I may try on my scalp.  Thank you for this write up!

      Jo1279583469, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.

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