This post was last updated on July 9, 2021 by srinivas krishnaswamy
An important Ayurvedic skin care tool is to use rose water as an Anupana (medium) for certain skin types
When we give this recommendation to customers , they often ask how to make rose water at home
Rose Water in the Krya Formulations
We use a lot of Desi gulab (rose) in our skin formulations. Rose is an excellent astringent and pitta balancing flower. When used topically it helps control the oiliness of pitta secretions, cools heated skin and also helps shrinking down reddish pitta abscesses, pimples, etc.
Our aromatics are stored in a separate area, and we periodically take out a small amount of stock to check for quality. This is a picture of us making a small batch of Rose kwatha using the maceration and boiling technique to check for aroma and colour. Technically this is a kwatha, (a decocotion) and this is a quick way for us to check the essential oil content of our flowers and also check the depth of colour, etc.
Rosewater when used on the face is a floral hydrosol. It is extracted in the steam distillation process and the rosewater vapour arising from steam distillation is separately collected for use as a facial toner or hydrosol. We are often asked to recommend a good quality rose hydrosol, and we are always wary of recommending any brand. Floriculture is pesticide driven, so most commercial brands of rosewater should contain a lot of the pesticides and fungicides sprayed on the rose.
Even if you are not able to obtain your own hydrosol, a rose kwatha is a quick easy and do-able option at home. It is much more diluted compared to a Rose hydrosol, but is still a good pick me up for skin.
How to make Rose Water at Home
Collect good quality fresh, fragrant, pesticide free deep red roses (the deeper the colour, the better). Put it into a thick bottomed vessel and add just enough water to cover the roses. The lesser water you use, the more concentrated your kwatha becomes.
Boil on the lowest possible flame and bruise and macerate the petals using your spatula, so that the oils are released into the water. When your roses turn colourless, switch off the gas. Filter out the rose deocoction and squeeze the petals well. Store in your fridge and use within a month. This rose water is quite unstable unlike a real floral hydrosol.
This rose water (kwatha) can be used to mix your Krya face wash , bodywash or ubtan, added to your bath water, spritzed on as a pick me up on your face (especially if it is hot), added to your bath water, etc. It is safe to be used for babies as well in the same way, especially if the weather is hot.
The rose petals that have been used to make the kwatha can be ground to a fine paste and added back to your ubtan or bodywash. The natural plant waxes and balance oils help keep skin super smooth and soft.