What Are Hydrosols and How Can I Use Them?

Posted by Eliza Talvola on

Essential oils are always the start of the show… and rightfully so. When we use steam distillation to make our lavender essential oil, not only do we get the purest, highest quality oil possible, we also get a delicate and versatile little byproduct — hydrosol.

If you don’t know which one to choose, don’t worry, we’ll go through the ins and outs of hydrosols and help you find creative ways to use them!


Essential Oil vs Hydrosols

The main difference between the two is in their names – oil and hydro – one is oil soluble, and one is water soluble. Our essential oils and hydrosols are made through a process called distillation. This is when whole flowers (or any sort of botanical) are placed in a distillery chamber and hot steam is passed through the plant to open them up. Water molecules in the steam lift the constituents (or essence) of the plant. Once it cools, the oil rises to the top, and the water remains on the bottom. Et voila! You have your essential oil and hydrosol.

Essential oils are quite potent. To avoid irritation, they should never be applied directly to the skin. Instead, they need to be mixed with a gentler “carrier” oil or added to an essential oil diffuser. Essential oils are very versatile, but require a bit of creativity to use them in safe and gentle ways.

Hydrosols on the other hand are much more delicate; they are often called “flower water”. Hydrosols tend to have a more delicate and sweeter scent when it comes to lavender. But waste not, want not, lavender hydrosols are a wonderful addition to your lavender lineup. It’s also a zero-waste value-added alternative to dumping the water and keeping the oil. If you’ve used witch hazel in your skincare routine, then you’ve used a hydrosol! They are very gentle and can be used on the skin or on linens, no mixing necessary. They’re also very easy to grab and go because they don’t need any extra steps to deliver a soothing lavender scent.

So which should you choose? It depends on what you want to use them for! If you’re new to essential oils, lavender hydrosols can be used for many of the same purposes, but in a gentler easier-to-apply way. Here are some of our favorites!


How To Use Lavender Hydrosols


  • Lavender Skin Toner: Just like witch hazel, you can use lavender hydrosol mist as a lovely, soothing facial toner. It’s all natural, gentle, hydrating, and soothing for irritated or dry skin. It’s also great to cool you off on a hot day!
  • Add a Lavender Essence to Food: Unlike lavender essential oils which are too potent to consume, lavender hydrosol is delicate and gentle and packs just enough lavender flavor in every spritz. Try adding some to sparkling water, over fresh citrus and fruits, or on the rim of your cocktail or mocktail. For more lavender sweetness, try adding lavender-infused honey!
  • Anti-insect spray: You can spritz lavender on your counters, linens, car seats, clothes, or just about anywhere to fight off fruit flies, house flies, and ants. They’ll leave you alone, and you won’t get a headache from the overpowering and unnatural smells of store bought insect repellant! Plus, it’s food safe!
  • Perfume: Looking for a natural and delicate perfume to spray and go? Lavender hydrosol does just the thing. It doesn’t overwhelm or overpower, and it’s a nice way to carry the scent of lavender with you whenever you go. I like to keep a bottle in my glove compartment for on the go moments!
  • Plant Spray: Just as it repels bugs on your clothing and counters, it will keep them away from your plants too! Aphids in particular hate the stuff! It’s completely organic, natural, and smells great!
  • Pillow Mist: Need help nodding off? Spritz it on your pillow! It’s an aromatherapy “hack” that requires little effort to help you relax and catch some sleep.

Our lavender hydrosol mist has only one ingredient — lavender hydrosol! This might seem obvious, but some brands tend to “cut” theirs with a blend of other botanical hydrosols or alcohol, so make sure you read the labels before you apply. Our new Lavender Travel Kit contains a 2 oz. bottle of Lavender Hydrosol Mist alongside Essential Oil, a Lavender Sachet, and a Lavender Cream. This kit covers all your bases – it’s TSA friendly, compact, and luxurious. It’s everything you need, and nothing you don’t.

If you want to know more about how to use hydrosols, let us know! We’d love to hear from you and share your ideas on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. You can also sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know when we share new blogs, release new products, or grow our lavender ecosystem!




MEET THE AUTHOR /  ELIZA TALVOLA is a writer from Pittsburgh, PA who considers herself to be a conscious consumer and traveler, slow fashion advocate, and devoted foodie. She is a firm believer in creative reuse and putting people over profits, and is a long time lavender enthusiast. Her favorite product: Lavender Hand Sanitizer Spray

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  • Hi, Kenyce! Good question, but there is not a simple answer. It really depends on all of the ingredients that you’re using in your cream. We will email you.

    Appalachian Botanical Co. on
  • When replacing water for hydrosol for a body cream do I need two preservatives or just one? W/o a preservatives what’s the shelf life for creams?

    Kenyce L McBride on

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