How to Use Hydrosols

How to Use Hydrosols with Your Family

My first experience with hydrosols came when I received a pack of five of them in the mail as part of my aromatherapy studies. I opened them, smelled them, and … wondered what to do with them. Since that day a few years back, I’ve become a fan of them, well, really obsessed with them, and I use them almost every day. Their gentleness makes them perfect for use with the whole family—even the youngest ones. Let’s explore how to use hydrosols to nurture your family.

What Is a Hydrosol?

  • Hydrosols are a by-product of the essential oil distillation process. You may sometimes hear them called hydrolats, floral waters, herb waters, or distillates.
  • Hydrosols contain the water-soluble constituents of the aromatic plant and retain a very small amount of essential oil.
  • Hydrosols are not the same thing as a few drops of essential oils added to water. That is called an aromatic spritzer.
  • Hydrosols are so mild that they can be used on babies and children much more safely than essential oils can be. (For information on using essential oils with children, read my post on using EOs safely with children.)

Benefits of Hydrosols

Hydrosols vs. essential oils

Hydrosols have some of the same benefits as do their essential oils, while being much gentler. They are free of the lipophilic substances that are in essential oils and are richer in water-compatible (hydrophilic) components. This means that they are:

  • highly tolerable
  • soothing
  • generally anti-inflammatory
  • antiseptic
  • wonderful for sensitive skin
  • mildly astringent, yet nondrying

How to Use Hydrosols can be used as they are without diluting—except for use with children and when ingesting. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Babies. For babies up to six months of age, add 1 tsp of hydrosol to to an infant tub or 2 tsp in an adult tub filled for a baby. For children up to 12 years of age, use 1 tsp of hydrosol per year of age up to 8 tsp. For an adult, use from 1-8 ounces per tub. For foot baths, use 2-3 tbsp for an adult.
  2. For concentrated lotion, cleanser, cream, and gel bases: Add 1 tsp-1 tbsp at a time until you have the consistency you want.
  3. For handmade creams/lotions: Substitute a hydrosol in place of water while you are making the cream.
  4. Aromatic sprays. For adults, use full strength as body sprays or air refreshers.
  5. Toner: Adults can use full strength on face. Can mix multiple hydrosols together or can add aloe vera or honey (1-2 tbsp per 2 oz.) to the mixture.
  6. Masks. Mix a hydrosol (I love to mix German chamomile hydrosol) with green clay for a mask.  Add enough to get the consistency you want.
  7. Compresses. For children add 2 to 3 tsp of hydrosol per 1 liter of water; adults add 3-5 tbsp to 1 liter of water.
  8. Internal Use: For children OVER 3 years of age, add 1-2 tsp to 6-8 oz of a beverage, like water or tea and drink. German Chamomile hydrosol can be beneficial to help a child get to sleep. For an adult, add 1-2 tbsp to a glass of water or tea.

Be creative. Think of the potential of hydrosol uses for sunburns, wet wipes, inflamed skin, diaper rash, and so on.

How to Store Hydrosols

Fresh hydrosol that has been distilled should be pure and free of bacteria. Still, it’s best to store your hydrosols in a sterile container in the refrigerator and use within the year it is distilled.

My Take on Hydrosols

🌿This summer I experimented with making hydrosols and was successful in making German chamomile

Calendula in the distiller

hydrosol, calendula hydrosol, and lemon balm hydrosol (also called melissa hydrosol). I use the chamomile almost every day as a facial toner and alternate between using it and calendula in clay masks for facials or for bee stings. I have not yet tried it in tea or water, but have plans to mix lemon balm hydrosol in a cup of tea.

🌿I love the gentle, therapeutic qualities of hydrosols and their light fragrances. The three that I made all retain a lighter aroma of the plant than the essential oil does. If you have children, hydrosols are the perfect soothing herbal treat to use with them, and you don’t have the concerns that you do as when using essential oils.

🌿Hydrosols are definitely hard to find in retail stores, but you can order them online. Eden Botanicals,  Stillpoint Aromatics, and Mountain Rose Herbs are just three companies that carry them.

🌿Actually, as an aromatherapist, I can’t recommend hydrosols highly enough. I hope this post has given you some ideas on how to try them, and I bet that soon they’’ll be part of your go-to remedies to care for and pamper yourself and your family!

Let me know if you have any questions in the comment section, or share what your favorite hydrosol is and how you use it.

Botanically me,


I used the resources listed below as I was writing this post. (I am an affiliate for both the New York Institute and Amazon).

The New York Institute of Aromatic Studies is where I received my Level 1 aromatherapy training and certification from. I continue to study with them. You can see all the classes they offer at the hyperlink. They offer both online and in-person classes.

The following two books both have a  section on hydrosols.

French Green Clay for All Skin Types

I love going to get a facial, but it’s usually a rare treat for me. For about three days after, my skin glows and fine lines and wrinkles are diminished. Wouldn’t it be nice to get similar results more often?

Well, my daughter Amber and I recently discovered we can when we use a French green clay mask. I’ve used bentonite clay powder before, mixing up a wonderfully effective bee-sting remedy for the occasional stings my husband and I get as beekeepers. But I hadn’t tried any other type of clay until last week.

After reading about the benefits of green clay, I picked some up at my favorite place for such sundries, at the herb room at Good Earth health food store in Indianapolis. Amber and I happened to be together

Amber and I loved our French green clay masks!

during a vacation, and we were both excited to try it. Even though we have different skin types, this green clay powder worked for us both.

Why are Clays Good for Your Skin?

First of all, all clays have absorbed goodness from the earth and help to rejuvenate the skin and protect it from aging. According to Valerie Worwood in The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy, green clay is the finest of clays and can be used for all types of skin including acne, oily, dry, and aging skin. I know it seems too good to be true, but it worked for my aging skin and Amber’s oily skin. French clay is rich in the following minerals: calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium, and it energizes the connective tissue. It is also antiseptic, healing, and emollient, with the result being silky skin. Besides those more obvious results, it performs the important task of increasing the lymph flow and circulation, which helps to eliminate waste products from your body.

What Did I Notice After Using my Green Clay Mask?

Here’s what I noticed after washing off my face mask:

  1. my skin felt silky
  2. fine lines were diminished
  3. my skin tone evened out

As a nice side benefit, just the very act of giving myself a home facial was very relaxing and pampering. Amber and I had so much fun doing this together too.

French Green Clay Recipe

This clay is very versatile. To make one application for a facial, here’s a basic recipe:

  • 3/4 tsp French green clay
  • 1/2 -3/4 tsp liquid, depending on how thick you like the mask

I know this sounds like a tiny amount of clay, but trust me, it’s enough for one application. Here’s a picture of how much it made in my bowl and how much was left after I applied it.

Before applying (This is 3/4 tsp of clay and 3/4 tsp of liquid).


As far as the liquid goes, you can use water, but my favorite ingredient to use is rose hydrosol or rose water or another type of hydrosol. Or you could brew a cup of chamomile tea and add that to the clay. I like to use a tiny whisk, stirring until the mixture is smooth.

Once you have your liquid of choice mixed in, consider adding 1 drop of an essential oil. This ups the healing properties of the mask as it can be tailored to your skin type and makes it an aromatherapy experience as well.

Here are a few suggestions of essential oils to add based on skin type to get you started:

  1. For acne, try adding 1 drop of tea tree or geranium essential oil.

    After applying the French green clay to my skin.

  2. For aging skin, add one drop of rose essential oil.
  3. For sensitive, inflamed skin, add 1 drop of German or Roman chamomile.
  4. To help you relax, try adding 1 drop of lavender.

The recipe is very adaptable to experimentation. If you don’t have a local source for French green clay, you can purchase it from my Etsy shop.

Let me know if you have used a green clay face mask and what your favorite facial recipe is.

eScentually yours,