5 Great Ways to Use Hydrosols

by Andrea Butje on November 30, 2011

What is a hydrosol?

Hydrosols are pure healing waters produced during distillation. There are many different ways to use hydrosols.

When plant material is distilled, it’s exposed to either boiling water, steam or both. The steam moves through the plant, and breaks open the structures that contain the essential oil and other plant fluids.

These fluids are then carried with the steam, and are separated as the steam cools in the condensing coil. The essential oils tend to float on top of the water (except for a few oils that sink to the bottom). The essential oil is siphoned off, leaving us hydrosols.

Here are my 5 favorite ways to use hydrosols:

  1. On skin: for burns, rashes, acne, hives, cuts, blisters, as a toner and for cooling
  2. On my animals: for abscesses, little wounds, itchy areas, and any skin issues
  3. In my house: for cleaning counter tops, windows, glass tables, garbage cans, shower walls, any tile, and to freshen the air
  4. In my car: cleaning windows, dashboard, steering wheel and for aroma
  5. In the classroom: on the back of the students’ necks on hot days, to keep everyone awake during chemistry lessons, to freshen the room and to clean the blending tables.

What are your favorite ways use hydrosols? Please share your ideas in the comment section! Thanks!


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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Trent January 21, 2017 at 9:21 pm

I am curious about using hydrosols as a replacement for the water portion of a perfume formula. I have never done it and wonder how big a difference it would make, & how to choose a hydrosol to blend harmoniously in a perfume. Say you’re blending a fougère for men, w/ a oakmoss/lavender/tonka/vanilla accord- how do you pick the hydrosol?


Andrea Butje January 25, 2017 at 12:20 pm

Hi Trent!
Yes you can add a hydrosol instead of water for sure. It would shift the overall aromatic experience of the blend so I can see why you are asking. In terms of picking the hydrosol, I would consider the aroma and be sure it works well within the various accords you are working with. In terms of your example, I think a sandalwood or vetiver hydrosol would be beautiful!


roshni September 29, 2013 at 5:20 pm

I have acne and wanted to do a blended hydrosol, can i mix rose, lavender and lemon thyme?


Andrea Butje September 29, 2013 at 7:33 pm

Yes and that is an excellent combination. 🙂


Little Feather Gruwell July 4, 2013 at 11:57 am

Have used hydrosols (lavender & chamomile) to heal infected eyes on both cats and baby rabbits. Works beautifully and the animals don’t usually get stressed out like they would if using antibiotics.


Carolyn June 22, 2013 at 12:16 am

I have used a rose/lavender blend since Dec as a prep for deodorant-then a salt crystal stick-very cleansing and light.
The aromatics international victorian blend is a more lemony delight to use.
For recovery from a tooth crown prep yesterday with a congestive debilitating headache for 36 hrs, I am spritzing the USA lavender hydrosol(aromatics intl also)-on the injured gums, neck and face and hair roots-then total body after lymphatic dry brush. I smile with the relief. Rosewood(Brazil) and mentha piperata (S. Africa EO’s have also supported the recovery.


Bonny June 19, 2013 at 5:22 pm

would love to learn more about this . . . and how to do it myself!!


Jamie April 5, 2013 at 10:09 pm

I use frankincense hydrosol daily on my face. I also use it in the bath. When I have a sore throat I spray it directly on my throat for instant relief. I also use it on sunburns. I have friends who use it for eczema relief. I also use myrrh hydrosol as a mouthwash.


Andrea Butje April 6, 2013 at 7:26 am

Hi Jamie,
I love all those suggestions for using hydrosols. The Frankincense and Myrrh hydrosols at Boswellness are the best I have ever used.
For those of you who want extraordinary Frankincense and Myrrh oils and hydrosols, visit: http://www.boswellness.com


Tiziana March 14, 2013 at 4:47 pm

In addition to all the wonderful ways you have already listed, I use homemade hydrosols in food preparation, tea, lemonades (think of a basil lemon peel hydrosol lemonade) and sweets…almond butter balls with rose petals and rise hydrosol…as eye washes and compresses, especially chamomile and rose for he eyes or as bases to be mixed for natural Eau de toilette….


Andrea Butje March 14, 2013 at 4:55 pm

fantastic suggestions! Thank you for sharing them!


iva March 20, 2016 at 5:24 pm

which rose (petals) is edible.

Thanks xxx


Eleanor March 12, 2013 at 6:58 pm

I make toner for daily use. Aloe, Witch hazel, Hydrosol ( Rose, Rose geranium, helichrysum, lemon verbene – what every moves me). Sometimes I infuse herbs from my garden in the witch hazel for 10 days or more. Examples: Rose petals, geranium leaves, ivy leaves, chamomile, calendula, Rosemary. also add EO to suit. This really acts like a moisturizer.


Andrea Butje March 12, 2013 at 7:14 pm

I love your suggestions and ideas. Aloe and hydrosols are a great combination. You must have a lovely garden!


iva March 20, 2016 at 5:25 pm

what kind of rose (petals) do you use?

Thanks xxx


Berekhet December 1, 2011 at 2:38 am

Good morning! There is a little distillery in Corsica where I found for the first time hydrosol from Myrtle green Myrtus communis , leaves. This wonderful hydrosol can be used internal and external. Mucolytic, experienced users do use this as an eye wash to lubricate and relieve dry, itching eyes, eyewash for tired, irritated eyes. Internally by the educated for intestinal inflammation, allergies, reviving and refreshing for sore throats and coughs, bronchitis, the best in wintertime if its could outside with a warm tea! Quickly heals conjunctivitis, skin irritations. Concentration, better memory, relaxes, mental fatigue, before an exam.


Andrea Butje December 1, 2011 at 7:03 am

Claudia-thank you for all the great information about Green Myrtle hydrosol! I have been to Michelle’s distillery in Corsica and have seen the Myrtle growing all over the Island. Wonderful!


Karen Williams November 30, 2011 at 3:46 pm

I really love the hydrosols and all the ways that they can be used. I especially liked the list of the different ways of using the hydrosols. Last summer, when at the Component Blending class, you came around and sprayed our necks. It was bliss!!


Andrea Butje November 30, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Thanks Karen,
I love spraying the hydrosols on my neck when I need refreshing!


Christina November 30, 2011 at 3:11 pm

I use them daily as skin toners and also like to mist them on skin before moisturizing. Add a little jojoba oil and you have a great light moisturizer or leave in conditioner for hair.


Andrea Butje November 30, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Great suggestions Christina-thank you!!


Karen Williams November 30, 2011 at 3:47 pm

I also use them daily as skin toners. I notice such a difference in the texture of my skin. Plus the aroma is amazing!!


Yani May 6, 2017 at 11:35 am

Hello from sunny South Florida. Can I use a hydrosol in a diy owie spray? If so, how can it be prepared? Thank you.


Andrea Butje May 6, 2017 at 2:43 pm

Hi Yani!
I do have an owie spray here on the Aromahead blog using 3 hydrosols – Tea Tree, Frankincense, and Lavender hydrosols! You can find the hydrosol version of my “Ouch-Away Blend for Cuts and Scrapes” at this link!

The hydrosol version is wonderful for for kids under five!

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