Saturday, August 16, 2008

Coming-up roses

If you're a fan of glorious, full-blown traditional English roses and a natural beauty advocate too, it's possible to combine your two loves.  Once your favoured blooms are past their best, don't mourn them or throw them out, instead take action to extend their blessing.   Why not make your own rosewater?  (You're best to use pink or dark-hued blooms that come from your own or a friend's garden, that you know have been grown without extensive use of pesticide). It's easier than you might think...

Peel-off the petals and place them in a clean bowl.  Leave them to dry-out in natural sunlight. Once dry, transfer them to a steel saucepan, add water to cover (plus one to two inches).  Bring to the boil, then reduce to a slow simmer for 15 minutes.  Allow to cool, then strain through a sieve, into a funnel that you have placed over a sterile bottle (dark glass, preferably).  To use as a refreshing spritz for your skin, choose a bottle with a spray top.

For a lighter version, simply half-fill the bottle and top-up with distilled, or fresh, bottled water.  Unless you plan on using your floral water within a week or ten days, it's advisable to extend its life by adding one or two (no more) drops of essential oil, such as lavender (or even rose) which will help to preserve it.  Keep it in the fridge (and always out of direct sunlight); enjoy using it to refresh your complexion in the mornings,  as a soothing toner at night, after cleansing.  Brilliant for dry, mature or slightly sensitive skin types.

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