Homemade Rose Water Toner

Aug 14, 2013 | Beauty & Skin



The Rose.

Perhaps one of the nations favourite flowers. A sign of love, life, friendship and wistfulness.
I love a good rose. They always make me want to be a poet, especially when you see their wild beauty erupting on a chaotic landscape. Simple but beautiful.

So it is not surprising that this beautiful flower is also home of a host of natural skin care benefits. Rose water is perhaps one of the oldest skin care products, used in baths and to treat various skin conditions. It is said the ancient Greeks and Romans used to say rose gardens were as important as any other crop lands – how I wish that were still true today!

I made this  Homemade Rose Water Toner a few weeks ago as my mother’s garden had an abundance of roses  (no people – I am not green fingered) so I thought I would lob them all off and make myself a free, deluxe, skin care product – plus more roses grew back after my scissor rampage so this recipe is good for vanity and the garden!


The Benefits

There are an abundant of rose water benefits, but here are some of the top ones I like:

  • Contain antioxidants and vitamin C and E – helping your skin look fresh and youthful!
  • It has anti inflammatory properties meaning it calms the skin down and help reduce any puffiness from water retention, a spot breakout and even sunburn.
  • It helps to close up your pores. As you get older your skin loses it elasticity and your pores can tend to get larger and more noticeable – not ideal. Rose water, especially if applied after steaming your skin, help tighten your capillaries and keep your pores tight!
  • You can use it to ‘set’ you make up. I have to say I haven’t used this as I never tend to wear enough make up to warrant ‘setting’ but for a special occasion or wedding I am sure spraying this over your make up would be useful and perhaps prevent panda eyes!
  • Gets rid of dirt and oils. Over the last few weeks I have been amazed at all the grime this takes off! I never realise my skin was so dirty! Check out the evidence below.
  • It helps keep the PH balance of the skin so is great for all skin types.
  • Great for sensitive skin. I have super sensitive skin, especially round the eyes, but this works wonderfully and I have had no problems or irritations.
  • It is an old remedy/treatment for acne as it a mild natural antiseptic.

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I first saw this recipe on Roost Blog and was totally inspired. I used roses from the garden but if you are given roses I am sure they would work fine to – just make sure if they are shop bought that they are not dyed or contain chemicals. Make sure you look around as rose do grow wild too or just persuade a lovely neighbour  to let your attack there rose bush with scissor, they will yield more roses if you dead head a few!

This is a very crude distillation method, it is very simple and basically means using a upside down pan lid as the cooling agent and slope for the rose water to distill into the glass bowl. 


Please note this does not need to be an exact science, in fact it hard to make it so due to the different types of roses you may use and the type of water you have etc. Rest  assured though you will create something beneficial every time you make it – even it doesn’t always come out the same!

  • A litre jug filled with rose petals/ or about 3 large handfuls
  • 1 Litre Filtered Water
  • Some lavender flowers – optional (I just had some in the garden)



  • A large pan and lid
  • Glass bowl
  • Bag of ice (or something frozen you are happy to defrost – pea soup anyone?)
  • Glass bottle and lid
  • A clean sterile bottle to store it in.



  • Collect the roses. This was the most fun part, try to aim for morning time when they are still dewy and pick ones that look fresh and healthy.


Collect your roses by whatever means you like - I snipped them from my mothers garden!

Collect your roses by whatever means you like – I snipped them from my mothers garden!

  • Remove all the stems , leaves, and stigma – the tall pollen thing in the middle.

Remove all this stuff!

  • Wash thoroughly, removing all dirt, twigs, insects etc.
  • Place your glass bowl inside you pan , ideally propped up (so not touching the bottom of the pan) with a smaller glass bowl or little ramekin. Carefully place the rose petals and lavender in the pan surrounding the bowl but NOT in it. 
Surround the bowl with the petals and water.

Surround the bowl with the petals and water.

  • Then add the litre of water – this doesn’t need to be precise its just however you water you need to cover rose petals. You may need to submerge the petals into the water as they tend to float!
  • Then get the pan lid and turn it UPSIDE DOWN so that it is placed concave on top of the pan- creating a dip on the outside of the pan for the ice to rest on and a slope on the inside for the rose water to distill off of and into the glass bowl.
  • Place the ice on the lid. I covered mine with foil in an attempt to keep it cooler for longer.
  • Bring the water to the boil then leave on a gentle simmer  for about 2-3 hours , I imagine leaving it for longer would do no harm but I have not tried this.
  • Check occasionally to see if it needs more ice – as the ice help all the rose water goodness to distill into the glass bowl.
  • After the allocated time, remove the lid and allow it all to cool. Then you can using a  sterile funnel or  jug pour the water into your sterile bottle.



I keep mine in the fridge as its best to be kept away from light and it means it so refreshing to use in the morning. It will last you several months if kept in the fridge otherwise only 1 month outwith the fridge.


  • The above recipe yielded about 400ml of rose water and I left it distilling for 2 hours while I watched a film. 

rosewater sotten

The evidence.

  • The colour and smell of you rose water will depend on the petals you use. This batch was made from predominantly very pale roses so is only slightly pink.
  • If you want a stronger pink colour, just for fun, then add a drop of beetroot juice to your batch.
  • If you want a more powerful toner feel free to add a teaspoon of distilled witch hazel  as this will help tone and sooth irritated skin.
  • To sterilise your bottle simply pour boiling water into it before using and then empty it out. 



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