Acne isn't fun. Especially at 40. But, here I am and I am going to make the best of it and share my four favorite hydrosols that I use to keep my complexion looking the way it does.
Geranium/Lemon Balm codistill:
I can’t say enough great things about this codistill. But first it is really important to understand what this codistill of Geranium and Lemon Balm is. Both plants are placed in the same still to create one hydrosol. So this is very different from taking a few individual hydrosols and blending them together. However, for the sake of understand the importance behind using a codistilled hydrosol, I will break each one down starting with Geranium.
Geranium hydrosol is balancing for all skin types and as someone with fluctuations all the time, it is definitely helpful. I also have a little rosacea so it helps combat the redness from it. If you have ever met me in person you now understand why no one really notices or even thinks I have rosacea! It is due in part to the use of this codistill hydrosol1.
The lemon balm (frequently referred to as Melissa) acts as a wonderful skin clarifier. Suzanne Catty states that it is “A good antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, Melissa can be used on its own or in blend as a skin clarifier and to calm rash, irritations, and eczema.2” Did I mention I battle eczema, too?
Suzanne also mentions the antiviral properties of the Lemon Balm hydrosol which may potentially inhibit those dreaded breakouts.
So being someone that battles the occasional breakout, has rosacea, and eczema, you can see why I use this codistill. I personally use it as a toner daily as well as in my Moroccan mask 1-2 times a week for about a month and then switch to different hydrosol or blend of hydrosols.
Just as the essential oil is considered skin loving and nourishing, so is the hydrosol. The hydrosol has a wonderful soothing, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral component which makes it fantastic for irregular breakouts. It is also a fantastic toner for maturing skin which I definitely am feeling as I age!
Now if you have ever had one of those horrendous and painful pimples, you will want to use this hydrosol. It has an amazing ability to lessen the perception of pain7. Make sure you get one that is not cohabated though. Just try it in a simple compress and thank me later!
Wendy over at AromaWeb has this information about it as well: “Len and Shirley Price report that the Helichrysum Hydrosol that they analyzed consists of 38-41% ketones, 19-20% alcohols, 14-16% eucalyptol (these ranges do not include the water present in the hydrosol) and possesses the following properties: "analgesic, anticoagulant, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, calming, cicatrisant, digestive, expectorant, lipolytic, mucolytic, sedative, stimulant." [Len Price and Shirley Price, Understanding Hydrolats: The Specific Hydrosols for Aromatherapy: A Guide for Health Professionals (London: Churchill Livingstone, 2004), 114.]3”
Because of the Helichrysum hydrosol cost, I do tend to blend it with a few others which I will get to.
I personally use this when my skin is having one of those dreaded breakouts. Because this hydrosol tends to be earthier and herbaly than I would like on my face, I find that blending it with a few others can be quite helpful. Suzanne describes it as “A mild antibacterial and antiseptic, it helps with problem skin, acneic conditions, and dermal infections, and as an anti-inflammatory it helps heal damage from sun and wind.4”
It really is that great for acne breakouts. Even Jeanne Rose discusses using Yarrow hydrosol for acne5. Yarrow is also fantastic for eczema6 so I really enjoy using this hydrosol on my face to combat the mini breakouts and my eczema.
I have played a little with Lavender for my breakouts, but honestly, Lavandin wins hands down every single time. The Lavandin I use is from Stone Rise Farms and just happens to be one of the most amazing Lavandin hydrosols on the market. If you aren’t familiar with this small artisan distiller, I encourage you to follow him on Facebook.
Back to Lavandin and acne. It is very soothing to the skin during breakouts and has some antibacterial components that can be beneficial during breakouts8. I find this one to be more nourishing but still effective as a tonic for acne. It also tends to reduce the amount of redness around acne breakouts which can minimize their overall appearance.
An Effective Hydrosol Blend for Acne
I mentioned earlier using Helichrysum in a blend with other hydrosols to use for acne. The blend is comprised of Helichrysum, Lavandin, and of course Yarrow. You can play around with your own to come up with a blend you like but these are the three I use.
Until next time, enjoy those floral and herbal waters (hydrosols)! They really are amazing aren’t they?
1 Suzanne Catty, Hydrosols: The Next Aromatherapy. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2001, 119.
2 Suzanne Catty, Hydrosols: The Next Aromatherapy. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2001, 110-111.
3 Aromaweb. (n.d.). Helichrysum Hydrosol. Retrieved September 20, 2017, from http://www.aromaweb.com/hydrosols/helichrysum-hydrosol.asp
4 Suzanne Catty, Hydrosols: The Next Aromatherapy. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2001, 24.
5 Jeanne Rose, 375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols. Berkeley, CA: Frog, Ltd, 1999, 171.
6 Suzanne Catty, Hydrosols: The Next Aromatherapy. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2001, 187.
7 Suzanne Catty, Hydrosols: The Next Aromatherapy. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2001, 98-97.
8 Jeanne Rose, 375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols. Berkeley, CA: Frog, Ltd, 1999, 99-100.