The Top 5 Benefits of Rose Water for Skin

The Top 5 Benefits of Rose Water for Skin

Anytime you consider a new product for your skincare routine, you want to make sure it is well-researched, effective, and not just a passing trend. I spend a lot of time researching product ingredients, reviewing studies, and learning which ingredients are the best for my clients. 

“Rose water is one of many skin care ingredients that can work to soothe sensitive skin.”

  • Shani Darden, esthetician

Rose water is an ingredient you can find in skincare products, as well as in some food products and holistic medicines. It’s been used for centuries, but the West is just catching on to the benefits, especially as they pertain to the skin. 

I’ll tell you what you should know about it so you can decide if it’s worth adding to your skincare lineup. I’ll also cover some other skincare ingredients that offer similar benefits. 

What Is Rose Water?

Rose water is a byproduct of the essential oil industry. When essential rose oil is created, fresh rose petals are distilled in steam, and the water is separated from the oil. After the distillation process, the water that remains is often bottled and used in rose water products. 

High-quality rose water should always be clear, never cloudy or gel-like. There are many different strains of roses used to create rose water, but the most common are edible roses.


Just because we’re hearing a lot about it now doesn’t mean it’s new. Rose water has been used for thousands of years by many different cultures for many different purposes. Rose water is also a common ingredient in K-beauty products.

Aside from having an alluring scent, it has some research-backed benefits that can help your skin look fresh and radiant.

5 Benefits of Rose Water for Skin

The benefits of rose water are appealing if you’re looking for a gentle skincare ingredient that works for incredibly sensitive skin. Some of the most appealing uses of rose water center around its ability to soothe and calm the skin. 

1. Skin Soother

Rose water contains natural antioxidants that can help calm the skin and reduce the appearance of irritation. The most sensitive skin types can often use rose water products to get relief from areas of rashy, angry skin. 

Irritated skin may appear red and may feel itchy or uncomfortable. Oftentimes, red or irritated skin is also linked to dry skin — but I’ll share more about that in a minute.

2. Helps Reduce the Appearance of Redness

In addition to calming the skin, rose water can also help correct uneven skin tone, especially if your skin tone is uneven due to redness. Whether you forgot to wear your sunscreen or you’re dealing with a fresh breakout of pimples, the soothing properties of rose water can help minimize the appearance of redness and help support the skin’s pH balance.

3. It Has Cleansing Properties 

One of the natural rose water benefits that make it a natural ingredient for fighting blemishes is its cleansing properties. Because it can help neutralize harmful bacteria, it can help support the skin’s pH and minimize the appearance of breakouts.

These properties are also why you’ll often find pure rose water included in holistic treatments and herbal medicines. 

4. It Supports Hydrated Skin

Rose water helps keep the skin hydrated by supporting the skin barrier, or the outermost layer of your skin. It supports the skin barrier by helping encourage healthy levels of good bacteria on the skin and also by defending the skin with antioxidants. 

When the skin barrier is healthy, it can reduce transdermal moisture loss, which often leads to dry skin. This is how rose water can work behind the scenes to encourage hydrated skin.

5. It Contains Antioxidants

Possibly the most researched and promising benefit of rose water is its antioxidant load. In fact, the majority of the benefits you’ll get from rose water stem from the fact that it contains these antioxidants. 

Antioxidants are important for the skin because they can defend against oxidative stress brought on by free radicals. Free radicals are produced in the skin when it is exposed to external aggressors like pollution, UV rays, and even some household cleaning chemicals. 

Free radicals damage healthy skin cells, which can cause the appearance of premature aging. Because of this, rose water can also help minimize signs of aging, such as wrinkles, fine lines, and sagging skin.

Side Effects of Using Rose Water

Generally, rose water is well-tolerated and works for many different skin types. Before you start any new skincare product, you should do a patch test to make sure you don’t have an allergic reaction. Signs of an allergic reaction can include burning, itching, or stinging when you use the product. 

If you notice an allergic reaction or irritation after using a rose water toner or other product, it’s important to see a board-certified dermatologist to identify a product that will work for you. If you have a skin condition, you may also want to consult with a professional before adding a new spritz, lotion, perfume, face wash, or makeup remover to your routine.

3 Alternatives to Rose Water

Although rose water has benefits, I don’t include it in my personal beauty routine. This is because there are ingredients I believe offer better results. 


Sake is fermented rice water that contains amino acids, exfoliating enzymes, and kojic acid. These ingredients can have many benefits, including:

  • Hydration. The amino acids we find in sake help lock in moisture by supporting the skin barrier. 
  • Exfoliating. Sake can literally transform dull, tired skin in a single application. This is because it contains important enzymes that work as gentle but powerful exfoliants to remove dead skin and reveal radiance. 
  • Brightening. One of the side effects of fermenting rice water is the production of kojic acid. This acid works on dark spots to gradually fade their appearance and correct an uneven skin tone. 

You can find sake in my Sake Toning Essence. This nourishing, alcohol-free toner isn’t drying and is great for normal to oily skin types. Using this toner can help brighten the skin naturally, refine large pores, and soak up excess oil (or sebum) to mattify the skin. 

I also added sebocytine, a natural, plant-based ingredient that helps encourage balance in your skin’s natural oil production. You can also get tighter-looking pores and the skin-smoothing benefits of niacinamide, a type of vitamin B3. 

This formula is vegan, oil-free, cruelty-free, and contains no parabens, phthalates, or synthetic fragrances. I usually recommend using a gauze pad, cotton pad, or your hands to distribute two to three pumps onto your skin after your cleanser as part of your nighttime skincare routine. You can gradually build up to twice daily use. 


Everyone wants to fight the signs of aging, and there’s simply no anti-aging ingredient that does the job quite like retinol. It can help with fine lines and wrinkles, increase the appearance of the skin’s fullness and plumpness, and visually minimize blemishes and skin imperfections. 

Most of the retinol products available can be ultra-drying, especially if you have sensitive skin. That’s why I created Retinol Reform®. Retinol Reform contains encapsulated retinol that is time-released as you sleep. You get all the great benefits of retinol without any of the irritation or redness you might have experienced from other products. 

Lactic Acid

For skin brightening, one of the best ingredients out there is lactic acid. My Lactic Acid Serum can give you an amazing glow overnight. Lactic acid works as a chemical exfoliant, dissolving the bonds between dead skin cells and healthy cells so dead skin is sloughed away. 

My serum also includes gluconolactone, which exfoliates, evens skin tone, and helps support skin clarity and hydration. To ensure skin stays soothed, I loaded this serum with hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, and green and white tea extract to help you wake up to the appearance of glowing, healthy skin every time you use this product. 

Keep Your Roses in Their Vase

With so many skin care product ingredients to choose from, I wanted to be extremely selective with what I use in the products I formulate.

Rose water does have skin benefits, but I personally believe there are better ingredients for the job with more research and more quantifiable benefits. Adding rose water to your routine can be helpful if you have particularly sensitive skin, but you can also use other ingredients as long as they are correctly formulated. 

I consider all skin types when I create my products, and I’m crystal clear about who can benefit from them. So keep your roses in their vase, and visit my website to grab products that use skincare ingredients that are both proven and effective.


Rose Water - an overview | ScienceDirect Topics

Rose Water—An Age-Old Flavoring for Dinner and Dessert | Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Chemical Characterization of Taif Rose (Rosa damascena) Methanolic Extract and Its Physiological Effect on Liver Functions, Blood Indices, Antioxidant Capacity, and Heart Vitality against Cadmium Chloride Toxicity | MDPI

Pharmacological Effects of Rosa Damascena | PMC


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