Hydrosols: the natural toner alternative you need to know

Posted by Emily van Oosterom on

If you're looking for a natural way to tone your skin, look no further than hydrosols. These gentle, plant-based products are packed with nutrients and can help soothe, hydrate, and protect your skin without the harsh, astringent effects of traditional toners.

Here are just a few of the benefits of using hydrosols in your skincare routine:

  1. Balance pH: Hydrosols are naturally acidic, which makes them the perfect way to balance your skin's pH levels. Using a hydrosol as a toner can help soothe and hydrate your skin while maintaining its delicate balance, and can help restore pH quickly after using an alkaline cleanser.
  2. Soothe and tone: Hydrosols are gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin types, and can help soothe and tone your skin without the harsh, drying effects of traditional toners. Try using a lavender or chamomile hydrosol to calm and refresh your skin.
  3. Reduce inflammation: Hydrosols are packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that can help reduce redness and inflammation in your skin. Try using a tea tree or calendula hydrosol to soothe and heal irritated skin.
  4. Hydrate and nourish: Hydrosols are a natural way to boost your skin's hydration levels without the heavy, greasy feel of traditional moisturizers. Try using a cucumber or aloe vera hydrosol to hydrate and nourish your skin.
  5. Protect against environmental stressors: Hydrosols are rich in antioxidants and can help defend your skin against the damaging effects of pollution, UV rays, and other environmental stressors. Try using a rosemary or green tea hydrosol to protect and rejuvenate your skin.


Hydrosols have been used for centuries for their therapeutic properties. In fact, they are believed to be the first recorded form of distillation, dating back to ancient Egypt. During the Middle Ages, hydrosols were used in the production of perfumes and other aromatic products. Today, hydrosols are valued for their natural, plant-based properties and are used in a wide range of skincare products.

Hydrosols are made through the process of distillation. The plant material is placed in a still and steam is passed through it, causing the essential oils and other plant compounds to be released. The steam is then condensed, resulting in a mixture of essential oil and water known as a hydrosol. The exact constituents carried over from the plant into the hydrosol will vary depending on the plant material used and the distillation process. Some common constituents found in hydrosols include plant acids, flavonoids, and other phytonutrients.

There are several types of equipment that can be used to make hydrosols, including copper stills, stainless steel stills, and glass distillation units. Each type of still has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the choice will depend on the specific needs of the distiller. Regardless of the type of still used, the quality of the hydrosol will depend on the quality of the plant material and the skill of the distiller.

Hydrosols are a versatile and effective way to care for your skin naturally. Whether you're looking to soothe and hydrate your skin, reduce inflammation and redness, or protect against environmental stressors, there's a hydrosol out there for you. And with so many natural options to choose from, you can feel confident that you're giving your skin the best possible care.


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