Rose Water: The Skincare Ingredient You Can Eat
It’s no secret — I love rose. I love the way it smells, looks, and tastes — yes, tastes! I was first introduced to rose water in Lebanese and Indian cuisine, mostly in desserts like rice pudding and baklava. Then I started seeing it pop up on menus in more unusual places. A chance encounter with a lemon and rose water spritzer while in L.A. last summer got me excited enough to add it to my own pantry, and I’ve found endless ways to incorporate rose water into my diet since.
Rose water is a byproduct of rose oil production. When rose petals are steam distilled, the water that’s left behind after the oil is separated out has a rich rose fragrance and contains the hydrophilic (water loving) components of the plant material, giving the water therapeutic qualities. In skincare, we often refer to this water as a hydrosol, and it is one of the most gentle and refreshing things you can put on your skin. In the case of rose, the water is infused with soothing, moisturizing and regenerative properties. As long as it’s pure and not cut with artificial fragrance, flavors or additives, the rose water in your kitchen doubles as a skincare ingredient.
Cortas Rose Water is an easy and accessible place to start. This Lebanese brand is commonly found at middle eastern grocers, Whole Foods, and other gourmet markets. It’s affordable (a little goes a long way) and pure distilled rose water — no extra ingredients.
Here are 3 ways I use rose water in my kitchen…
- Rose water + tea. In the morning I like to enjoy a cup of black tea with a little milk and honey. A dash of rose water makes it extra special. It also pairs well with mint tea.
- Rose water + oatmeal. This winter I can’t get enough of steel cut oats. I make a batch at the beginning of the week and reheat each morning. I love topping it with a little cream, honey, pistachios and a drop or two of rose water.
- Rose water + smoothie. Rose water compliments most fruit, and my favorite pairing is rose and mango or rose and peach. I dress up a simple smoothie made from plain kefir, frozen mango and cinnamon with rose water.
When adding rose water to food and drink, start with a conservative amount. It can quickly overpower, but just the right amount will enhance flavors in a subtle but sparkling way. While you’re dosing your tea, feel free to splash some of the rose water on your cheeks.
Do you keep rose water in your kitchen or bathroom cabinets? How do you use it?