Complete Guide on How to Make a Hydrosol Spray

Knowing how to make a hydrosol spray can save your skin and some money. A hydrosol is the water leftover from the distillation of a plant. They are produced during the distillation process that extracts the essential oils. Hydrosols contain all of the plant in every drop, just like a hologram. If you make a hydrosol you will be reaping the plant’s anti-inflammatory, astringent, antiseptic, and toning benefits¹

The word hydrosol is a scientific term meaning “water solution.” It is derived from the Latin hydro, meaning “water,” and sol, for “solution.”. Hydrosols are also known as hydrolats, floral waters, and plant waters². But if you want to make a hydrosol, you will be relieved to know they do not come just from flowers any more than essential oils come only from flowers. Roots, bark, branches, wood, needles, and leaves, even fruit and seeds can produce both oils and hydrosols. Allowing you to harness the healing powers of nature. 

Many aromatherapy books describe ways to “make your own hydrosols” by mixing essential oils and water, but if you are not distilling plant material in a still, you are not making a hydrosol³. A pure hydrosol does contain both essential oil and water, but they are not mixed and you cannot extract all the other ingredients, or the aroma, combining water and oil. As the saying goes, water and oil don’t mix. 

Home distillation kits are becoming the rage. This is happening both for the fun and experience of the process and because people are moving towards a clean and simpler lifestyle. 

There are several methods to make hydrosol, we have provided a slight guide for you below along with two videos. Check them out and you’ll be on your way to making your own hydrosol spray:

How to Make a Hydrosol: Text details and image guide

Equipment needed:

  • Large stockpot
  • Stainless steel bowl (that fits on top of enamel pot)
  • 1 heatproof glass/enamel bowl
  • Steamer basket with no centerpiece 
  • Filtered water
  • Ice 
  • Fresh or dried aromatic plants/herb

With this method, the hydrosol will collect in the ceramic bowl. Once finished, let it cool and filter. Afterward, pour your hydrosol in an aerosol bottle. 

  1. Place filtered water into the bottom of the large stockpot. 
  2. Place in a steamer basket into the basket ensuring there is space above the water
  3. Place the small ceramic bowl in the center of the steamer. 
  4. Place herbs around the ceramic bowl in the steamer basket. 
  5. Place the stainless steel mixing bowl on top of the pot as a lid
  6. And fill the bowl with ice  
  7. Turn on the heat to medium and let steam for 15 – 20 minutes
Image example of how to make a hydrosol
Image example of how to make a hydrosol

If you are more of a visual learner, we also have a video of this method that illustrates how to make a hydrosol.

How to Make Hydrosol

Next, we have a video example of how to make a hydrosol. In this example, the plants are placed directly in water but the method and idea here is still the same. Collecting the hydrosol through the steam.

How to Make a Hydrosol at Home | No Special Equipment Needed

What are Hydrosols Good For

Hydrosols are a great alternative to essential oils. They’re more diluted than essential oils since a hydrosol is – very simply put – the light and refreshing aromatic water that is distilled with essential oils. Hydrosols are generally considered safer to use than their significantly more concentrated essential oil counterparts⁴. Hydrosols are also amazingly gentle, safe, and easy-to-use products that can be used in tons of ways.

How to Use Hydrosols

  • Facial Spray – Even when you apply a moisturizer in the morning, your skin loses water throughout the day, sometimes at a rapid rate depending on the climate. Using a hydrosol as a facial mist will cool you off, wake you up, and hydrate your skin.
  • Facial Toner – Before moisturizing and following your facial cleanser, using a hydrosol as face toner functions as an absorbing liquid that helps to remove excess dirt, traces of oil and makeup, correct and balance the pH of your skin, and helps control acne.
  • Body Spray – Using a hydrosol as a body mist helps hydrate your skin and their light aroma will leave you smelling great and feeling fresh for the day ahead.
  • Aftershave – A hydrosol aftershave can arrest bleeding caused by shaving & help your facial skin heal faster. It has a soothing effect on the skin. Hygienic benefits include keeping the skin pores clean & bacteria-free. This helps prevent acne.
  • Post-Sun Hydrator – Hydrosols can work as a post-sun hydrating mist is designed to reduce the effects of sun damage and aging with its antioxidant-packed ingredients, healing natural properties and refreshing cooling mint.
  • Pre Skin Moisturizer – A hydrosol spray’s benefits can include added hydration, improved absorption of your moisturizer, smoother application of makeup, leading to more radiant skin.
  • Post Workout Spray – a hydrosol post-workout spray is essential for reducing inflammation, protecting exposed pores from harmful pollutants and restoring a healthy microbiome. When your skin is most vulnerable post-workout, our proprietary formula protects your skin from blemishes, toxins, impurities, and bacteria.
  • Gentle Perfume – Using hydrosols rather than synthetics to create a fragrance brings emotional and physical healing properties such as calming, energy-enhancing, relaxing or mood-lifting.
  • Deodorant Spray – Hydrosol’s antibacterial and antifungal ingredients prevent odor-causing bacteria from growing — hence, no odor.
  • Foot Spray – A revitalizing, deodorizing and antibacterial treat for your feet! Hydrosols can cool, soothe and stimulate circulation. It’s the natural way to pamper your feet.
  • Anti-Itch Spray – Hydrosols are known to naturally soothe itchy skin from bug bites, skin allergies, and other mild irritations.
  • Air Freshening Spray – A hydrofoil can be used as a natural air freshener spray with simple, non-toxic ingredients
  • Linen Spray – Used to freshen linens and soft furnishings between washes, or it is sprayed onto fabrics while ironing to provide a pleasing and/or therapeutic scent.
  • Aphrodisiac Room Mist – Certain herbs and aromas when used in a hydrosol can be sprayed in your bedroom to boost your sex drive.
  • Sleep Spray – Numerous studies have been conducted confirming lavender’s use as an all-natural sedative, while chamomile has been shown to curb anxiety and depression. When used in a hydrofoil you can reap these benefits instantly before bed.
  • Car Freshening Spray – Make your car smell great, using natural hydrosols.
  • Garment Freshening Spray – A hydrosol fabric-refreshing spray that will come in handy if you would like to try a homemade alternative, or if you are traveling and your clothes could use some freshening up.
  • Wound Healing Sprays – Hydrosols share the healing properties of their oils and can be used on minor scrapes and bruises. 

Here’s a list of popular essential oils used in hydrosols:

  • Peppermint: provides an analgesic effect on the skin. It cools down hot rashes, too.
  • Lavender: used to reduce redness and a natural hydrator that can repair dry skin without making it too greasy and reduce stress.
  • Sandalwood: used for reducing inflammation while promoting moisture in the skin.
  • Bergamot: used to reduce stress and improve skin conditions like eczema
  • Rose: used to promote skin cell turnover, which often slows down with age. In turn, this could create younger-looking skin with fewer lines.
  • Ylang-Ylang: used to create balance mentally and physically, ylang-ylang may also help inhibit skin pigmentation.
  • Tea Tree: used to fight infections and boost immunity
  • Jasmine: used to help with depression, childbirth, and libido
  • Lemon: used to aid digestion, mood, headaches, and more.
  • Chamomile: used for increasing moisture and reducing inflammation.
  • Clary sage: used to control acne and reduce the appearance of wrinkles in mature skin.
  • Rosemary: used to help with both greasy hair and dandruff, and may even stimulate hair growth.
  • Frankincense: used to alleviate oily and acne-prone skin while providing lipids for aging skin.
  • Neroli: used to balance out sebum without drying your skin.
  • Cinnamon: used to help inflammatory acne symptoms like cysts, nodules, and pustules.

Hydrosols are all the buzz and there is a good reason why! Hydrosols actually do contain a very small amount of volatile compounds, so using one is like giving your skin a microdose of essential oil goodness. Hydrosols make wonderful additions to any cleaning or beauty routine. They are cooling, soothing and restorative to the skin without being heavy or sticky.