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Is Rosewater the Secret to Healthy Skin?

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Often found in facial mists and toners, rosewater is a multitasking ingredient that hydrates, cleanses, soothes, refreshes, and reduces redness. And now, nutrition gurus are turning to the tonic as a health beverage too. But can its topical effects actually have similar ones when ingested? Let's take a look at the benefits of rosewater. (Psst...Have you tried these 10 Water-Infused Beauty Products for Flawless, Clear Skin?)

Wait, what's rosewater?

According to Michelle Pellizzon, a certified health and wellness coach at Thrive Market, rose essential oils make up anywhere between ten to 50 percent of rosewater, depending on the formula you get, and is made by steeping rose petals in H2O. The other ingredients depend on which bottle you buy. For instance, Glossier Soothing Face Mist ($18, glossier.com) has other skin-soothing ingredients like glycerin and aloe leaf extract. S.W. Basics Rosewater Spray ($16, swbasicsofbk.com) is made from 100 percent "family-farmed rosewater."

The beauty benefits of rosewater

In short, rosewater is basically your skin's BFF. "Because it's anti-inflammatory and antibacterial—meaning it simultaneously treats redness and irritation that can crop up after a hard sweat session and kill any lingering bacteria that might cause breakouts, it's great for stashing in your gym bag," says Pellizzon." Spritz some all over your complexion right after you wash your face for best results." Try Sabbatical Beauty Eden Facial Mist ($65, sabbaticalbeauty.com), an organic formula that's made from hydrating coconut water and peony. (BTW, here are the Top 30 Hydrating Foods.)

The health bonus

Nutritionists are now taking a fresh look at rosewater's properties and seeing how ingesting it can make you healthier. "It's rich in vitamins A, B3, C, D, and E, all important for your health and skin," says Amanda Goldfarb, R.D. Historically, Pellizzon notes, rose essential oils were used to deepen hypnotic states and to treat insomnia. "Turns out that rose oil does relax us," says Pellizzon, "so sipping rose water could definitely help you fall asleep more easily or feel better during a stressful workday." Plus, the antioxidants Goldfarb pointed out aren't just good at fighting free-radical skin damage. "The antioxidants help fight causes of chronic illness, early-onset symptoms of aging, and mental degeneration," says Pellizzon. Scientific evidence backs Pellizzon's claims: A 2011 meta-analysis of 91 (yes, 91!) studies on roses, rose oil, and rosewater confirms the abovementioned benefits and more.

The bottom line

Rosewater spray works wonders on post-workout redness and dry skin in general, so it's worth the investment if you're a workout regular. People swear drinking bottles of Sakara Life Beauty Water ($24/box of 4, sakara.com) makes their skin glow and helps them sleep better. Guess it looks like everything is coming up roses.

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