Balm Balm | Floral Water Hydrosol*
Balm Balm offers four different scented hydrosols: Rose, Neroli, Chamomile, and Frankincense.
They come in a 100ml and a travel size friendly 30ml spray bottle – a perfect size to have in your purse! Note that the Neroli and Frankincense hydrosol is slightly more expensive than the other two when you buy the full-size bottle.
All of them are made from flower distillate, making them a pure product. Some floral waters sold on the market are actually just water and aroma or water and essential oils; This isn’t what you really want when you buy floral waters, you want the actual steam distillation.
While I try to avoid essential oils and fragrance in skincare as much as possible, I’ve found that floral waters may be the exception to the rule when it comes to my skin. Perhaps it’s their more diluted version of a plant extract that makes them less sensitizing? While Paula Begon recommends all avoidance of even rose water (though not Chamomile), however, I’ve found rose water in my experience to be an excellent toner for my skin.
I’ve tried a few Balm Balm products in the past and have only positive experience, they have really good quality products. I still got their Frankincense and Roman Chamomile stashed somewhere in my cupboard for aromatherapy. And because I didn’t get that fine mist I desired with the Madara Toning Mist, I went and stocked up on hydrosols instead. They are closer to water and won’t clog the spray. I had to get my favorites, Rose and Neroli, but also Chamomile and Frankincense that I’ve never tried before!
What are hydrosols?
Often referred as hydrolats, distillate waters or floral waters. A hydrosol is the aromatic water that remains after steam-distilling or hydro-distilling botanical material such as flower petals or leafs. It contains the water-soluble aromatic and therapeutic properties of the plant.
Unlike essential oils that should be diluted prior to application to the skin, hydrosols are much gentler than their essential oil counterparts and can generally be used directly on the skin. Hydrosols can be used in place of water in skincare and make wonderful face toners. They can also be added to baths, and used on their own as a light cologne or body spray. Try adding them to foods, giving a new dimension to a dish or dessert. For example, you’ll see rose and orange blossom water used in Moroccan cooking.
Qualities: Soothing and Calming. Relieves sore, inflamed or itchy skin. May be used for spritzing over bed linen to induce calm and sleepiness. Suitable for sensitive skin and babies.
Made from distilled floral petals of Roman Chamomile. Some people get surprised by Chamomile hydrosol thinking it will smell quite lovely. However, it does have a distinctive scent that won’t be liked by all noses. So if you’re looking for a good smelling mist, go for the floral staples like Rose and Neroli. But if you are more interested in the calming and soothing qualities it has on the skin, the scent of Chamomile won’t be too bothersome.
The essential oil of Roman chamomile is a bit more pleasant smelling and does include a more fruity note. But I do find this hydrosol to be quite calming on my skin that has a tendency to get inflamed around my jawline. Often times I blend it with a spritz of Rose or Neroli to neutralize the woody smell.
Blends well with: Rose & Neroli
Qualities: Soothing, cooling & meditative. Suits all skin types.
Though Frankincense is one of the most expensive oils (right after Sandalwood), I’d say that Frankincense goes in the same category. Some like the scent, others not so much.
Frankincense comes in a handful of different varieties, from hidden citrus notes to soft and woody. So just because you don’t like this particular one, doesn’t mean all are bad smelling. The Frankincense Balm Balm uses in their products is made from the most common Carterii-variety.
I’m not a huge fan of the scent (even the essential oil of the primary variety), but I don’t hate it either. Just like chamomile, it’s great for soothing skin but also has a clarifying and uplifting effect. It’s also thought to be anti-aging and prevent skin from sagginess.
Blends well with: Neroli & Rose
Qualities: Soothing and Balancing. Suits all skin types.
The Queen of floral waters that’s loved by many. Made on distilled Damascus rose petals, it has a fresh and invigorating floral scent. I usually lean more towards neroli being my favorite fragrance, as I love citrus, but this one has surprisingly won my sensory cells over.
Of all the floral waters, I find this one to have the best balancing and even calming effect on my skin. I didn’t believe in it so much after reading about rose having sensitizing properties. And if you have sensitive skin, you might want to use it with caution or at least avoid rose essential oil.
But I couldn’t deny that my skin would suddenly behave better when I added rose water to my routine. My skin gets easily aggravated by heat, and rose has this cooling property that it likes. Well, at least according to Ayurveda.
Blends well with: Neroli, Chamomile & Frankincense
Qualities: Uplifting, soothing and calming. Suited for normal to combination skin types.
Named after countess of Nerola, an Italian Princess from the 17th century, who used it to perfume her gloves and bathwater. Goes also under the name “Orange Blossom Water”. Neroli has this fresh, tea-like, fruity smell and is an instant mood-lifter.
Neroli is a great alternative to those who don’t like rose that much and can be used as a stand-alone product or blended with any of the three above. It’s my second favorite in this bunch and has some astringent properties, but not as harsh as witch hazel. Besides being a clarifying toner, I like to use it as a hair and body mist too.
Blends Well With: Frankincense, Rose and Chamomile
They all come in an amber glass bottle with spray nozzle. I was pleasantly surprised over the very fine mist they give, it’s one of the best I’ve experienced so far! I will make sure to keep and reuse these bottle when I’ve finished the product!
A hydrosol is a delicate product and should be kept in the fridge or somewhere cool and dark. Not will they last longer, they’ll give you a fresh cooling effect too!
For travel sized bottles, it’s okay to have them in your purse, because you’ll probably use them up before they go bad.
How I use them
I mostly use them as a wash and toner together with jojoba oil. For example, in the mornings I’ll spritz my face with either Rose or Neroli and on a cotton pad, put a little dollop of jojoba oil, and clean my skin with it. For night time I opt for the Chamomile and Frankincense, I do the same method but after my regular washing, mostly as a toning step. I also use Rose and Neroli as a hair mist and to fragrance linen and pillows.