Hydrosols as Toners in Skincare

Hydrosols are enjoying a return to aromatherapy as the movement of artisan distillers continues to grow, and the benefits of these healing waters are rediscovered. Hydrosols are not a new invention. They have been around for millennia but lost favor to essential oils, and sadly delegated to a “by-product” of that process of extraction. True hydrosols are today distilled in their own right, and quality hydrosols are not distilled as by-products of the essential oil industry.

Hydrosols have many benefits. Although there are myriad of ways and uses for hydrosols, this article will look specifically at how to use hydrosols as toners.

Reasons to Use Hydrosols as Toners

  1. Hydrosols are a cost-effective solution for skincare. Commercials would have us believe that we need to spend hundreds of dollars on a skincare product for it to have any effect. The opposite is true when it comes to hydrosols. Even if you don’t distill your own hydrosols, purchasing a quality hydrosol from a reputable supplier is a relatively low-cost solution as a toner in skincare.
    And there are many different hydrosols to choose from, making it a relatively simple task to find a hydrosol for your skincare type and/or skincare issue.
  2. Hydrosols address many different skincare issues. As we’ve just mentioned, you will find a hydrosol to use as a toner for oily, mature, or combination skin types. You can also address different skincare issues with hydrosols such as acne, inflammation, eczema, dermatitis, bites, spots, and more. However, you’ll need to either have an understanding of the therapeutic properties of each hydrosol or consult a certified aromatherapist who can guide you. It may also be better to combine one or more hydrosols to make a custom hydrosol toner for your specific problem.
  3. Hydrosols are nature in its purest form: Water, with the addition of plant essences. Although the chemistry of hydrosols is a little more complex than this statement implies, in its simplest state, a hydrosol is a form of hydrotherapy for the skin. The skin needs water. Add in a beneficial plant essence, and the healing qualities of both benefit the skin greatly.
  4. Hydrosols are gentle to use. Hydrosols are so easy to use, especially as toners where you will be using them on your face, because they are a lot gentler than essential oils. You can use them in their purest form, without the addition of any carriers or preservatives.

How to Use Hydrosols as Toners in Skincare

First, identify either your skin type or the problem you wish to address. Once you have chosen your hydrosol or combined two or more to create a custom hydrosol blend, you can then prepare how to use it each day. I recommend using your hydrosol toner twice a day, once in the morning, after washing your face, and again in the evening, after washing your face. You can follow up each application with a custom oil blend for your face as well.

  • Dampen a cotton pad lightly with your chosen hydrosol or hydrosol blend.
  • Pat gently over your face and around the eye area, avoiding getting into eyes.
  • Allow to dry.

Hydrosol Recipes for Toners

These are a couple of easy recipes to create at home with hydrosols to use as toners:

Hydrosol Blend for Mature Skin Types

  • 1-oz. rose (Rosa × damascena) hydrosol
  • 1-oz. geranium (Pelargonium × asperum) hydrosol
  • 1-oz. frankincense (Boswellia carteri) hydrosol
  • 1-oz. rosehip (Rosa spp.) hydrosol

Hydrosol Blend for Oily Skin Types

  • 1-oz. witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) hydrosol
  • 1-oz. melissa (Melissa officinalis) hydrosol

Instructions for Use:

  • Blend the ingredients together in a suitable spray bottle.
  • Use as instructed above.
  • Store in the refrigerator.

Cautions for Use:

  • Discontinue use if irritation occurs.

Cool Mist Hydrosol

A hydrosol blend for hot flashes or for those lingering hot, summer days…


1-oz. peppermint (Mentha x piperita)
2-oz. geranium (Pelargonium x asperum)
1-oz. lime (Citrus latifolia)

Mix the hydrosols together in a spray bottle. Spray lightly to the back of the neck and/or forehead at first sign of hot flash or feeling of hotness. You can also mist lightly around the body. Close eyes before spraying. Discontinue use immediately if irritation occurs. For adult use only.

In Summary

Using hydrosols as toners are easy and your skin will thank you for it. Just make sure to source your hydrosols carefully and consult an aromatherapist for further advice on use if you are unfamiliar with them.