I keep this Witch Hazel, Aloe and Rosewater facial spray in the fridge for a refreshing pick me up. It smells divine and hydrates without feeling heavy on my skin.
On days like today, when I work up a sweat just hanging out a load of washing, its gorgeous scent lifts my mood and makes me feel like a perky English rose, rather than a hot, bothered, and wilted bloom!
“The Rose is without an explanation; She blooms, because She blooms.”Angelus Silesius
As part of my process to transition to a plant-based lifestyle, my skincare and beauty products came under scrutiny along with my garden and kitchen.
My go-to facial spray used to be a well-known brand, which in the context of other beauty products was reasonably priced.
But when I examined the label, I got a bit of rude shock. Because my reasonably priced product’s first ingredient was water.
Suddenly, I realised my reasonably priced bottle of facial spray was, in fact, an expensive bottle of scented, coloured water.
There was also a number of ingredients I would rather otherwise avoid, like polysorbate 20 and propylene glycol, especially when I use my facial spray around my mouth, eyes and nose! These areas are much more sensitive to irritation and absorption than your arms or legs, and while they aren’t the worst of the ingredients out there, if I can avoid them, I will.
Fortunately, I was able to re-create my own facial spray using whole, plant-based ingredients for much less than what I spent on my brand label facial spray.
And that is the beauty of making your own skin and body care products! Much better quality and volume, for less.
My recipe is just four ingredients and I make it in small enough batches to make frequently. So on a hot day, I can use a whole bottle and I don’t feel like I’m spraying my money into the wind!
This spray can also be applied with a cotton pad as a skin toner in your cleansing routine. It is also an excellent aftershave.
Plus you can refill the same bottle over and over again.
If you have a vintage atomiser this is a perfect recipe to make it feel special again. I just recycled the bottle my old facial spray came in!
Win, win, win!
First, let’s check out the ingredients to Witch Hazel, Aloe and Rosewater Facial Spray
Vegetable glycerine is a by-product of soap making and is a natural humectant. It is a clear, viscous liquid with no scent, that dissolves in water.
Humectants have emollient-like properties which soften and soothe the skin. Most importantly, vegetable glycerine helps the outer skin layer (the epidermis) to retain moisture. This is most beneficial for your skin, especially on hot, dry days! The vegetable glycerine in these recipes is 10% of the blend, any more than 20% in a solution, the humectant will draw moisture from your skin. So don’t be tempted to double down on this ingredient!
Vegetable glycerine also acts as a mild preservative in our mists. I purchase organic vegetable glycerine online, which is pricier, but a little bit goes a long way!
Witch Hazel is also known as Hamamelis water is the result of distilling the herb Hamamelis virginiana. Most Witch Hazel products contain a small amount of alcohol as part of this distilling process so check the label if you wish to avoid alcohol.
Several studies have discovered that Witch Hazel to be an excellent treatment for soothing sensitive and reddened skin, perfect for those hot days when your skin can start to feel prickly!
Traditionally used as an astringent, Witch Hazel is reputed to soothe minor irritations like razor burn, insect bites, and the compounds found in Witch Hazel are known to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Rosewater is a product of the steam distillation of roses that also extracts the rose absolute.
Despite its demure scent, Rosewater is powerfully therapeutic. It has anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, all beneficial to preventing and treating itchy, inflamed skin conditions.
I buy my rosewater from a Middle Eastern specialty shop. Avoid the red or pink rosewater, it has colour added.
Aloe vera is a hardy succulent that thrives in my sun-drenched sandy soil. Ironically, I have discovered my aloe vera seems to do best with a little shade. My full-sun positioned plant looks a little blanched.
Aloe Vera Gel can be applied directly from the plant, but be careful to avoid the bitter, yellowish juice that is close to the skin of the leaf as it can be irritating to sensitive skin.
I “fillet” the leaf, carefully using a sharp knife to trim away the skin to reveal the clear gel. Next, I process this gel in my blender to make a juice that keeps well when frozen in an icecube tray. I keep them in a clearly marked box so they don’t end up in smoothies!
Witch hazel, Rosewater and Aloe Facial Spray
You will need
- 60ml Rosewater
- 20ml Witchazel
- 10ml vegetable glycerine (I like to use a homemade Lavender Glyceride in this recipe, but you can use regular vegetable glycerine until you can make your own extracts.)
- 10ml of fresh Aloe Vera Gel.
Combine all ingredients into a spray bottle and shake thoroughly to incorporate.
As the aloe vera is fresh, this recipe will keep in the fridge for a week.
If you like, you can remove the fresh aloe and the spray will last for up to a year in the fridge.
Use whenever you need a refreshing spritz!
If you suffer any irritation from this facial spray, discontinue use immediately.
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Witch hazel, Aloe and Rosewater Facial Spray is just one of the many skin and body preparations you can make using plants and herbs grown in your own garden!
So do have a favourite skincare product that you would like to re-create at home? I would love to hear from you, be sure to leave a comment below.