Lavender hydrolat (hydrosol) has a grassy, "straw-like" fragrance that bears no resemblance to Lavender essential oil. It has a wonderful healing, regenerative effect on the skin which makes it a popular aromatherapy ingredient to use within natural skin care. It is excellent for use as a natural skin toner, and can also help to soothe irritated skin.
Lavender hydrolat is produced from the flowering tips of the lavender herb, which has been used for therapeutic purposes for thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians used lavender in the mummification process and for perfumery, and the Romans used it for bathing and to fragrance their hair, bedding and clothes. They were also the first people to use it for medicinal purposes.
Lavender hydrolat is useful for all skin types, but is especially recommended for mature, dry, damaged or fragile skin. Its soothing, healing, antimicrobial and regenerative properties can be particularly useful for treating blemishes, mild acne and other irritated skin conditions such as heat rash, sunburn and insect bites. Its antiseptic properties also beneficial for cleansing minor wounds.
To use as a gentle skin cleanser and toner, simply soak a cotton pad in the liquid and wipe across the face with an upwards motion.
To create a non-setting, restorative face mask, try blending it with green or white clay until you have a thick yoghurt-like paste. Apply to the face and neck with a mask brush or clean fingers, avoiding the delicate eye area. Leave for 10-15 minutes and then remove with warm water or a cotton pad soaked in hydrolat.
Feeling hot and bothered? Try spritzing it onto the face and body to calm the mind and soothe overheated or sunburned skin.
Lavender's calming, sedative properties can aid relaxation and promote a restful night's sleep for people of all ages. Try adding lavender hydrolat to your bath water (100ml for adults and 50ml for children) or use it as a room and pillow spray at bedtime.
If you suffer from headaches and migraines, soak a clean muslin cloth in the cooled liquid and apply as a cold compress to the forehead, neck and shoulders.