What’s the Deal With Rose Water?
Rose water has been used throughout many centuries by many cultures, especially those around the areas in which roses are cultivated. Some of the most famous rose fields are in Turkey, Morocco, the Kashan fields in Iran, the Pushkar roses of India, the Taif fields in Saudi Arabia, and of course, the Kazanlak fields in my very own home country, Bulgaria (in which there is a rose festival every year, by the way).
There is a beautiful short film by Plamen Miryanov (in Bulgarian) that shows the festival and a bit about how rose oil is made, still following the ancient traditions:
Roses have played an integral role in our collective human culture. We flavor our foods with them (in Bulgaria we have rose candy!) We give them to our loved ones as gestures of our commitment, and dab drops of rose oil behind our ears to uplift our mood and spirit. We may drink rose or rosehip tea to improve our skin’s radiance, as well as apply it topically to the skin and receive its benefits. No wonder the rose is known as the King of Flowers.
Rose Water’s Benefits
Rose Water contains antioxidants which protect skin cells against damage caused by free radicals and every-day environmental stressors.
Rose water also has anti-inflammatory properties, which means it can be put on the skin to soothe the irritation caused by conditions such as eczema and rosacea.
In the official journal of the International Society for Complimentary Medicine Research, one study shows that rose tincture and aqueous solution of rose (rose water) inhibits elastase and collagenase. Elastase is an enzyme that breaks down the elastin in our skin, and collagenase is an enzyme that breaks the peptide bonds in collagen. To combat the effects of elastase and collagenase, we need powerful anti-oxidants that will inhibit these enzymes from destroying our skin’s bonds. These anti-oxidants are found in none other than the King of Flowers, the rose.
Rose petals contain tannins (an astringent), rosehips contain ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), carotenoids, pectins, flavonoids (strong anti-oxidant), tannins, and organic acids.
If you’ve ever tried rose water on your skin, you would notice that redness is immediately reduced, the skin feels smoother, acne seems to disappear, all powerful effects of something wholly natural. Who would’ve thought!
My Search Continues for the Perfect Rose Water
I’m testing out 2 waters so far: one is the Bulgarian Perla Rose Water, which I bought this summer while on vacation in Kazanlak.
The third bottle you see is a travel-sized version of Omorovicza’s Queen of Hungary Mist, which I had used up a long time ago and have then cleaned and filled with the Perla Rose Water, since the Perla bottle did not come with a spray.
To be honest, I don’t notice any difference in the effect on the skin of the 2 rose waters. However, I know it may be important for some to have that USDA organic seal on certain products. The big difference I’m experiencing is in the bottle (check out my Instagram post to see how the spray mechanisms work). The Cocokind bottle has a very generic spray pump that spits out the water in large droplets. No matter how far away you situate yourself from the bottle, your face is drenched and the water drips instead of sitting on the skin.
The Perla Rose Water is just a drop bottle – works well with a cotton round or just your hands. However, I like to spray the water on days that I’m wearing powder to kind of set it in place. So for that, I need a spray bottle. In comes the Omorovicza Mist.
The Magic Bottle that is Omorovicza
Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist, minus the Queen of Hungary water – you are what I have been looking for in a spray bottle for my entire skincare existence. The spray mechanism is just a dream – when they say “mist,” they really actually mean “mist.” It’s soooo so fine, you can’t over spray it because the skin absorbs the liquid so quickly, and by the next time you spray it on your face, it’s a fine mist once again. This bottle is so perfect you could write songs to it…poems… you can teach engineering classes on this bottle’s spray mechanism. It’s just beautiful. Simply beautiful.
However! It’s just not a sustainable way to obtain a rose water spray bottle. To decant or empty the mist and fill it with rosewater – it’s simply not worth it. So, the search continues for the perfect bottle of rose water. I’ve seen a couple bottles here in Switzerland that I want to try out and report back on. I will succeed!