The proverbial flower blooming at the end of winter, and bringing with it warmer weather and longer hours of sunlight might be my favorite image of spring. Once spring rolls around, blooms spill out of bodegas, onto the sidewalks in the city, tulips are actually everywhere you look, and the whole place gets a lot more green. Even though temperatures have made it seem like we haven’t quite been released from winter’s clutches, I’ve been filling my apartment with blossoming stems so that at least it looks like spring is here. #Globalwarmingsucks
Usually, through some tricks I’ve learned, I can make my cut flowers last about a week or so but it’s always so sad when they get just a little too wilted and have to be chucked in the garbage. So, I’ve been trying to repurpose them.
This rose water recipe/DIY is an easy way to reuse your rose petals (thrifty), and you end up with some bomb skincare product (awesome). Rose water is an astringent, but tends to be gentle enough for use on your face. It can help calm redness, acne and to balance the pH of the skin, bringing a whole new meaning to ‘rosy cheeks’. The most important bit about making rose water at home is that you use organic roses, aka ones raised without pesticides. If you’re going to be DIY-ing your own beauty products, you want to make them as good for your skin as possible, and pesticides aren’t something I want on my food, my flowers, or my skin.
After poking around the internet to get some tips, below is the easiest way I’ve found to make rose water at home. I suggest throwing it into a small spray bottle and spritzing after you wash your face in the AM and PM.
Homemade Rose Water Tonic
8-12 cups of Rose petals
Large stock pot
Glass or metal pot lid
Brick, stone, or another heatproof bowl
- Put your large stock pot on the stove and place an brick, stone, or heat proof bowl (turned upside down) in the center. Place another heatproof bowl on top and surround the bowl with your petals. The petals should fill the stock pot enough that the top layer reaches about halfway up the sides of the top bowl.
- Add enough water to just cover the rose petals, and put the lid to your pot on upside down. This means the lid’s handle should be on the underside of the lid. Bring the water to a boil, then immediately reduce to a low simmer.
- As the water and petals simmer, put ice onto the top of the lid. This creates a sort of still (yup - like the ones you make spirits in!) that condenses the rose water vapor, and then drips it into the bowl in the center of your pot, via the lid’s handle. If your ice melts completely, siphon the water off the lid of your pot with a turkey baster and add more ice to keep everything cool.
- After about 20 minutes, check your bowl inside the pot. You should have about 2 cups of rose water. If you’d like, you can set this rose water aside, replace the bowl and simmer the rose petals and water for additional 20 minute intervals.
After you’re finished, funnel your rose water into a blue or amber bottle to keep it safe from sunlight. I like to store mine in the fridge. I think it helps it last longer, and it’s nice to have a cool spritz after I wash my face with warm water. You can also use it as a daily facial toner, in making other DIY beauty products, and in baked goods or cocktails.