Rose Oil - The Beauty of Nature
The Beauty of a Rose
The rose is considered by many to be the most lovely flower in the world, and although the number of varieties is disagreed upon, our love for this flower is without doubt immeasurable and universal. Enchanting bouquets, petals strewn across the linens in a bridal chamber, luxurious perfumes and delectable oils invoke desire, memories and romance. They are aesthetic and sensual, and yet they are so much more.
For most of us, the winsomeness of an established rose garden is virtually impossible to duplicate. My own horticultural skills are admittedly lacking, but I do occasionally indulge myself with an exquisite half-dozen or so, charmingly arranged and prominently displayed in my home. Unfortunately, blooms soon die and aromas fade. Fortunately, the process of distilling rose oil, and its availability in countless products from essential oils and candles to a variety of beauty products allow us to enjoy this pleasurable scent at will.
Rose Otto versus Rose Absolute
Creating natural beauty products with essential oils has become more than a hobby, it has become a passion. As I've gotten older, the additives in the products that make their way onto my body have become just as important as what I put into my body. Historically, the blooms, petals and oil of roses have been used to soothe the mind and soften the skin. As a bonus, it is also noteworthy that rose oil is safe and beneficial for all skin types. Thus, rose oil is a boon for one and all.
Although may people make their own rose oil, I have not been quite that adventurous. Purchasing organic rose oil, free from any pesticides or other chemicals is my number one concern. There are two types of rose oil on the market; Rose Otto, which is steam distilled, and Rose Absolute that is solvent extracted. Rose Otto requires a two-part distillation process, which involves the treatment of approximately 60,000 petals per every one ounce of oil. This essential oil is light in color, has a weightless, airy aroma and is utterly stable when properly stored. It is also far more expensive than its counterpart.
Rose Absolute is not considered an essential oil and is not recommended for skin care. Like the Otto, the Absolute is also produced in multiple steps, but that is where their similarities end. Absolute oil is extracted and washed, and, unfortunately, its heavier, more aromatic scent is derived from the use of ethanol in the washing. There are mixed reviews on the exact amount of chemical residue, if any, present in the Absolute oil. None-the-less, we are talking about skin care...... not candles.
It is also important to note that the additives in Absolute make it unstable. Thus, when purchasing your rose oil take shelf-life and waste into consideration. The Absolute may be half the price, but because it has been diluted it needs to be used within six to eight months and then discarded. In comparison, Rose Otto is completely stable and will last forever if stored in a cool, dark place.
Rose Oil Benefits
As already mentioned, Rose Oil is beneficial to every skin type and can be used alone or by mixing it into your favorite skin creams. Its moisturizing properties can hydrate even the driest, most sensitive skin. As we get older, our sebum production drops, leaving our skin undernourished and dehydrated. Rose oil is easily absorbed and provides immediate relief for tired, thirsty skin.
Rose Oil's versatility also helps to reduce redness and inflammation in sensitive skin, has antibacterial properties to help heal acne and prevent scarring, and antiseptic properties that help to heal wounds and ward off infections. It is a multi-purpose oil and an essential part of creating natural beauty products in the home.
Making Your Own Lotions and Creams with Rose Oil
Nothing is easier than mixing a light moisturizing lotion for everyday use. Start with a small glass bottle (four ounce); fill the bottle two-thirds full with you favorite carrier oil (jojoba oil is my own preferred carrier oil); and then add seven to nine drops of essential rose oil. This blend is simple and benefits all skin types, particularly those of us with aging, dryer skin. This combination of oils is also perfect for warmer weather when we tend to perspire .... it absorbs quickly and leaves the skin silky smooth without annoying residue.
For a creamier moisturizer, we need to blend in a few ingredients; this will require a double-boiler (a must for creating natural beauty moisturizers at home). The base will comprise two-thirds of your mixture, so choose carrier oils that work best with your skin type. These oils can be used alone or combined to make a serum. I recommend Jojoba, Argan, and Apricot oils for dry skin; Safflower and Grapeseed for oily skin prone to break-outs; Almond, Hemp, and Olive are best suited for normal skin and may be exchanged per preference.
Once you have chosen your carrier oils, you will need one-half cup of your serum. It is important to once again note that you can combine any of the oils above in any amount you choose, as long as the result equals one-half cup for your recipe. After mixing your oils, place them in a double boiler and add two tablespoons of beeswax (organic), stirring constantly until the mixture is completely blended (you may want to adjust the amount of beeswax in order to achieve a thinner or thicker consistency). Remove from heat immediately after the beeswax is melted and continue stirring until completely cool; Essential Rose Oil should never be added to your base ingredients until they are at room temperature. Adding essential oils at the wrong time (temperature too warm) will cause them to evaporate.
Rose Otto oil is admittedly an expensive investment, but it is worth every penny. Essential oils are 'essential' to making beauty products at home. Our skin is our body's largest organ, and it is responsible for protecting all of the others.....thus, it is our job to safeguard it the best we can.