Exploring Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is an incredibly vast and rich field.

What are Hydrosols?

By Jade Shutes, New York Institute of Aromatic Studies

Hydrosols, also known as hydrolats, are the aqueous product of distillation and carry the hydrophilic properties (water-soluble components) of the plant in solution as well as microscopic droplets of essential oils in suspension.1 Every liter of hydrosol contains between 0.05 and 0.2 milliliter (less then 1%, typically 0.01 - 0.04%) of dissolved essential oil, depending on the water solubility of the plant’s components and the distillation parameters.2 Hydrosols also contain carboxylic acids, which may explain their observed anti-inflammatory activity.3

Be sure to store all hydrosols in the refrigerator. Average shelf life: 12-24 months.
Hydrosols have numerous benefits for the skin including:
  • Serve as hydrating components in a product, e.g. cream, cleanser, etc.
  • Effective toners
  • Anti-inflammatory, cooling
  • Wound healing
  • Safe for infants and young children in baths (1 tbsp) or spritzers.


  • 1Harmon, A. (2010) Healing Waters: A spotlight on anti-inflammatory hydrolats. International Journal of Clinical Aromatherapy 7
  • 2Catty, S. (2001). Hydrosols: The next aromatherapy. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.
  • 3Harris, R. (2006). Aromatic approaches to wound care. International Journal of Clinical Aromatherapy, Vol 3:2b, 2006.

Most common hydrosols and their uses

German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)

German Chamomile
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Cooling
  • Indicated for eczema, psoriasis, rashes, acne and other inflammatory conditions

Clary sage (Salvia sclarea)

Clary Sage
  • Astringent
  • Antidepressent
  • PMS
  • Hot Flashes

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

  • Relaxing
  • Great for children in baths or as a spritzer.
  • Anti-Inflammatory

Neroli/Orange flower (Citrus aurantium var. amara)

Neroli/Orange Flower
  • Stress Relieving
  • All Around Skin Care
  • Astringent

Witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)

Witch Hazel
  • Astringent
  • Wound Cleanser
  • Acne
  • Insect Bites
  • Oily Skin

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