1. Has Antioxidant Effects & Fights Free Radical Damage
As a rich source of antioxidants, rose water can help strengthen skin cells and regenerate skin tissue. It’s even a great choice for people with aged or sensitive skin. Additionally, studies show that rose’s antioxidants give it anti-diabetic, pain-reducing, antiviral, antibacterial and possibly even anti-cancer properties (although these are more apparent in rose oil than rose water).
You may be surprised to learn just how many therapeutic compounds are found in rose petals. These include:
Geraniol, which has been shown to have antioxidant and anti-cancer effects
Citronellyl acetate, which gives rose its pleasant flavor and aroma
Citronellol (also found in citronella)
Eugenol, a powerful antioxidant that fights oxidative stress
Methyl eugenol, a natural antiseptic and anesthetic
Nerol, a natural antibiotic compound
Citral, which has antimicrobial properties
Carvone, which acts as a digestive aid
How can rose water help to reduce signs of aging? Research shows that roses contains antioxidants that fight off free radicals which encourage skin damage and signs of skin aging, such as wrinkles, dark spots, dryness, etc. By combatting effects of free radicals, rose water may help skin to retain its moisture, even texture and tone.
2. Soothes Skin Dryness, Inflammation and Acne
Why is rose water good for your skin? Its ability to fight bacterial infections and soothe inflammation may help those who suffer from acne, dermatitis or rosacea. One 2010 study found that compounds present in rose petals exhibit strong bactericidal activities, even compared to other essential oils.
It can also refresh, soften, brighten and tone skin that has suffered in the past, possibly helping to reduce the appearance of dark spots and scars. Other uses include soothing dryness, red skin, razor burns and ingrown hairs.
Using rose water can help prevent your skin from getting too oily or too dry. Simply pour several drops onto a soft cotton pad, then sweep it over the irritated area of your skin to help with hydration and promote healing.
Finally, it’s been shown to have natural pain-fighting effects, since it works as an analgesic.
3. Fights Infections in the Mouth and Eyes
Because it has antimicrobial effects, rose water is added to some mouthwashes and eye drops. Certain studies have found it can reduce ulcers and sores in the mouth, plus help to treat eye infections such as pink eye or conjunctivitis. Its ability to help prevent and treat infections is due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory potential. It may also help ease pain due to infections because it’s a natural analgesic.
Does rose water do anything for bad breath? Because it can strengthen teeth and provide protection against gum infections and bacteria, it can likely help to make your breath smell fresher.
4. Helps Fight Dandruff and Nourish Hair
While there hasn’t been much research proving its effectiveness, some claim that rose water makes their hair stronger, shiner and less prone to dandruff. Its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties can also help defend against dermatitis on the scalp and ingrown hairs.
5. Provides Aroma and Taste
Rose water can be used as a fragrance base to make perfume or room spray. Rose oil and water have a very rich floral scent that is both sweet and slightly spicy. The aroma is even said to have calming and natural mood-boosting abilities, making it beneficial for those who deal with anxiety, depression or headaches, according to some research.
While its culinary uses may not be very popular in places such as the U.S., cooking with rose water is common in the Middle East, North Africa and India.
You’ll find rose water in recipes for lamb stew, rice dishes and salads. You may also be familiar with rose water drinks and cocktails, such as spritzers made with Campari, Aperol or sparkling rose. Other uses of rose water when cooking include making jams, salad dressings, sorbet, cupcakes and fruit-flavored beverages.