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'm not quite sure where my insatiable curiosity
for making my own skin care comes from.
My mother, my grandmother and my great-
grandmother were all real city girls with no interest
in gardening, and even less interest in making their
own skin care from the flowers, petals, leaves and
herbs that might have been growing close to their
back doors. Me? I simply can't get enough of it!
My mother would have described making
her own skin care as an unnecessary `Faff' but that
has never been how I felt about it at all. I can't
think of anything more satisfying than nipping
into your garden and picking whatever you think
would make a sumptuous elixir for your skin ~ a
bit of this, a pinch of that, a snip here and a pluck
there. Natural, organic, fragrant, fresh. No synthetic
colours or chemicals, no synthetic fragrances,
alcohols or preservatives.
As the first fragrant Rose blooms appear
in my garden it's time to rustle up my first batch
of home made floral water. Making a floral water
has to be one of my all time favourite DIY skin care
recipes. Floral waters are a blessing for the skin
because they provide natural nourishment, leaving
you with a fresh, dewy hydrating glow.
Originally floral waters (also known as
Hydrosols) were created as a by-product of
extracting essential oils from plants by distillation.
The distillation process was mainly designed to
extract the valuable essential oils from the plant,
yet the process creates the lighter floral water at
the same time.
To make a basic floral water you need to
choose the right flowers, petals, leaves or herbs.
Rose petals, or Lavender flowers (with leaves and
stems too), are perhaps the best floral waters to
start off with. These plants are readily available and
the floral waters will suit most skin types
I have a deliciously fragrant floribunda
rose bush variety called `Arthur Bell'. I bought this
Rose plant from a local garden centre. I chose this
particular variety specifically for making my floral
waters because it produces huge multi petalled
golden blooms from early summer right through to
autumn and it smells heavenly, like lemony apricot
mixed with sweet honey. Yes please!
Rose Water
(makes about 100-150ml)
Use 3 large fragrant rose flower heads per 300ml
spring water (or distilled water if you can get it.)
A heatproof stainless steel bowl or a pyrex jug
A tall sided saucepan with a tight fitting lid
A large bag of ice cubes/frozen reusable ice
Sterilised jam jar with tight fitting lid or 150ml
spray bottle to store your floral water
A fine mesh sieve
Label so you can name and date the floral water
you make
Have you got the right saucepan?
Place the heatproof bowl or jug in the centre of the
saucepan. Turn the pan lid upside down and fit it
onto the top of the pan. Does the pan lid still close
tightly without it touching the top of the bowl or
jug? If it does you have the right pan, if not, you'll
need a taller sided pan!
Place the heatproof bowl or jug in the centre of
the saucepan.
Gently pour the cold spring water into the
bottom of the saucepan (avoid getting any in
the bowl or jug)
Scatter the rose petals on top of the cold water
around the outside of the bowl or jug. No need
to stir.
Place the saucepan lid UPSIDE DOWN on to the
top of the saucepan creating a tight seal. UPSIDE
DOWN remember, this is important.
Bring the water to a light boil and as soon as
steam starts to rise reduce the heat to a more
gentle simmer, make sure it is continuing to
produce a steady steam though.
Pile enough ice onto the top of the saucepan lid
to cover it. I use reusable ice cubes.
Let the water simmer gently for 10-15 minutes
then carefully lift the lid. Wear oven gloves
when you do this and be careful because the
steam, lid and pan will be very hot. Check the
water level in the bottom of the saucepan to
make sure that there is no chance the pan will
boil dry. By now there should be some water