Getting Rose-mantic: Here’s Declaring Our Undying Love for The Multipurpose Rose Water

Skincare trends and trending ingredients may come and go but there are old-school favourites that will always have our hearts, and for good reason; rose water is one such product.

Published On Feb 20, 2024 | Updated On Mar 07, 2024


Let’s be clear: this article has nothing to do with Valentine’s month or the fact that roses are top of mind this time of year. Instead, thinking back, the oldest memory I have of rose water is me as a kid of 7-8 years back in the early 90s watching my older 20-something cousin taking an opaque plastic bottle of rose water from her fridge and dabbing some onto her skin with a cotton ball. I overhear her and another cousin talking about using it as a toner and how it helps their acne and refresh their skin. I had no idea what all that meant, but I was intrigued! And it smelt so good I almost wanted to take a sip! 


Cut to decades later, I still love rose water and how refreshing it is (yes, I figured that out eventually) But I’ve also come to realise that the simple yet delicate gulab jal is not only a good natural toner, but has a multitude of uses! It can be used after dermaplaning, for dark circles, redness, cuts & burns, and other skin issues too. 

Fascinatingly, the age-old process of making rose water by steeping rose petals in water or distilling rose petals with steam still continues in largely the same way, and so has its usage for centuries across Asia and the Middle East for a variety of beauty and health purposes. 

Delving into its significance in Ayurveda, Lasakan Cholayil, co-founder, Sadhev a luxury Ayurveda brand, shares, “Rose water embodies the essence of Ayurveda, offering more than just its delightful fragrance. It’s a holistic remedy that soothes the mind, body, and spirit, balancing emotional health and skin wellness. In Ayurveda, it’s prized for its ability to harmonize internal energies and promote serene and radiant skin. At Sadhev, we cherish rose water as a testament to ancient wisdom, integrating it into our products to blend tradition with modern care.” 


Dr Aruna Purohit, Ayurvedic consultant at Kama Ayurveda, the luxury Ayurveda beauty and wellness brand, too shares, “In Ayurveda, rose water is revered for its sweet, cool, and oily properties, which not only pacify Pitta and Kapha doshas but also cleanse the skin and alleviate skin disorders.” She shares a few verses that mention the benefits of roses and rose water in Ayurvedic texts: 

"Yasminnanjanapuṣpeṣu tasminnidaṁ gulābakam। 

Gandhavānapi tvacchreṣṭhaṁ śītalaṁ kaphanāśanam॥" 

Meaning: Among all fragrant flowers, the rose is the best. It is fragrant and cool, and alleviates Kapha dosha. “These verses emphasise the cooling, soothing, and purifying properties of roses and rose water, highlighting their efficacy in maintaining skin health and balancing the doshas,” explains Dr Purohit. So, if you haven’t enjoyed the many benefits of rose water and rose mists yet, here are some tips on how you can use it in your skincare routine.  

  • In face packs: If you enjoy your DIY face masks, you can try mixing rose water into them instead of plain water. You can mix rose water into ingredients like aloe vera, turmeric or multani mitti before applying to the face. 
  • To soothe redness: Rose water has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and can help reduce redness and also puffiness. Not many know that rose water can also be used post waxing & threading to soothe the skin. 
  • A dermaplaning aid: If you’ve been dermaplaning, that is, shaving your facial skin, rose water works well to soothe any nicks, cuts or sensitivity that may arise from this. Also being antibacterial, rose water can help prevent cuts from becoming infected. 
  • For dark circles and tired eyes: Being rich in vitamins A & C, rose water can help lighten dark the undereye area and refresh tired eyes. This can be done by dabbing rose water onto cotton pads and placing these as eye masks to rejuvenate the skin around the eyes. You can also dab rose water on the undereye area and leave it overnight. 
  • As a skin drink: Been out and about all day from one meeting to the next and need a pick-me-up? Just spritz on your rose water as a quick refresher to hydrate and literally act as a thirst-quencher for the skin. 
  • Refresh makeup: If you notice your foundation caking in places, rose water sprays also work well to refresh your makeup. Spritz it on and simply dab gently with a powder puff where needed. 
  • Heals cuts and burns: Rose water has antiseptic and antibacterial properties that can help wounds heal faster. These properties can help clean and fight off infection of cuts and burns. 
  • Helps treat acne: Not only is rose water antibacterial and an anti-inflammatory, it is also an astringent and an antiseptic – which can all work wonders for acne. It is also packed with phenolics and vitamin C, making it a good treatment for inflamed acne. 
  • As a mood enhancer: Not many know that rose water can even work on improving one’s mood! Research has shown that rose water has strong antidepressant and antianxiety properties that can uplift one’s mood by relaxing the nervous system with its gentle floral scent. It can relieve headaches, release tension and promote feelings of calm after stressful periods. So, if aromatherapy works for you, do try this. 

All this makes us wonder, is there anything rose water can’t do?

Made from the roses of Kannauj in North India using the steam distillation process, this popular rose water hydrates, and tones, and helps balance the skin’s pH and moisture levels, while its light cleansing action refreshes and clarifies the skin, preparing it for further skincare treatments. 

Sadhev’s rose water is made using handpicked centifolia roses that are steamed, distilled and bottled. You can use it to hydrate and tone the skin, smoothen the skin and rejuvenate tired skin & eyes. 

This tonic mist hydrates the skin and minimises enlarged pores. It can also be refrigerated before using for a cooling experience. 

From a much-loved French skincare brand, this toner includes a combination of flower waters such as rose, orange blossom, cornflower and hamamelis from natural origin with purifying, smoothing and toning properties. It also cleanses the makeup, dirt and grime from the skin. 

Photo: Shutterstock; Pexels