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Rose water is, indeed, a natural toner.

It comes from the Rosa damascena flower, commonly known as the Damask rose, and is created by distilling rose petals with steam.

While it’s become more popular in recent years, rose water has actually been used for centuries.

This article will explore the skin care benefits of rose water, products to consider, as well as information on other natural toners you can try.

Toner is a skin care product that’s applied to the face and neck after cleansing.

It’s used to remove any trace of dirt and dead skin cells left behind after cleansing. It also helps smooth and prep the skin for additional skin care products, such as moisturizers and serums.

According to board certified dermatologist, Dr. Tsippora Shainhouse, FAAD, the toners available today are very different from what they used to be.

In the past, they were used to help reestablish the natural acidic skin pH and degrease oily, shiny skin. But this often backfired.

“Alcohols can dehydrate the skin surface and actually trigger the skin to create more oil in its attempt to ‘moisturize it,'” she says.

She adds that toners today are often used to deliver specific ingredients, such as salicylic acid for acne-prone skin and green tea or chamomile for soothing sensitive skin.

Toners are also used to hydrate the skin, reduce blackheads, and restore the pH balance to the skin. The skin’s ideal pH is 5.5.

There are some side effects of toner. This is usually the case when there’s a high concentration of alcohol in the formula. It can be very drying and irritating to those with dry, sensitive skin, says Dr. Rina Allawh, FAAD, a board certified dermatologist.

Rose water packs a lot of hydration in the skin.

Its antioxidant and antibacterial properties improve the skin’s barrier and reduce transdermal water loss.

Shainhouse says that because of this, it shouldn’t trigger the sebaceous glands to pump out extra oil to accommodate over-dried skin.

Rose water is especially hydrating when combined with other moisturizing ingredients, such as ceramides or glycerin.

“These help to moisturize the skin, protect the skin barrier and prevent further water loss from the skin,” says Allawh.

However, it shouldn’t replace your current moisturizer.

There are many benefits of using rose water on the skin. These include:

1. It treats certain skin conditions

Rose water has powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

A 2011 study found that rose water helped ease redness and irritation caused by rosacea. This is a skin condition that causes facial redness, red bumps, and visible blood vessels.

Allawh says that rose water may help treat mild acne, eczema, psoriasis, and dry, flaking skin on the face.

It’s also safe for sensitive skin and can be used to soothe sunburns.

2. It has anti-aging properties

Rose water is high in vitamin A and vitamin C, often considered anti-aging vitamins.

According to Shainhouse, they help undo and prevent oxidative damage and help the skin rebuild collagen.

Additional benefits include helping fade skin hyperpigmentation and potentially minimizing the appearance of fine lines and even stretch marks.

To minimize potential skin peeling, which can be brought on by an increase in cell turnover, she recommends mixing rose water into your regular moisturizer until your skin gets used to it.

3. It’s high in antioxidants

One of rose water’s greatest benefits is that it’s high in antioxidants. This helps protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals.

A 2011 study found that rose petal extract helped protect fibroblast cells against hydrogen peroxide, or H2O2, induced damage.

Another study found that rose petal extract suppressed MAPK signaling, which is when cells are activated in response to cellular stressors.

4. It helps treat medical conditions

Rose water has been known to heal scars, wounds, and cuts.

According to research, it was used in traditional Iranian medicine as a diuretic to treat various health issues.

This included relieving fevers, as well as breast pain and problems related to menstruation.

Rose water isn’t the only natural toner you can try at home. There are many options out there, including witch hazel and apple cider vinegar.

Witch hazel

Witch hazel has been used for centuries to ease skin ailments related to inflammation and irritation.

It also treats acne by acting as an astringent to dry out any blemishes. If you’re looking to turn back the clock on your skin, it may even slow down the aging process, thanks to its high levels of polyphenols.

Apple cider vinegar toner

It’s the high tannin content in apple cider vinegar (ACV) that makes it astringent. This is said to have a cleansing effect on the skin, as it removes dirt, dead skin cells, and other impurities.

There are also antibacterial properties, which may reduce acne-causing bacteria on the skin.

Unlike rose water, there hasn’t been enough research done on the benefits of ACV as a toner. Although, many users have reported being satisfied with the results.

Curious about other natural toners? They often include these ingredients:

Toners aren’t good for all skin types.

If you have sensitive skin, you want to choose a toner that’s alcohol- and fragrance-free. A highly astringent toner will dry out your skin, leaving it feeling tight and irritated.

You may even feel a sting when you apply it. Instead, aim for soothing and hydrating ingredients, such as rose water or aloe.

Astringent toners can help acne-prone and oily skin. This means that witch hazel toner is a good choice for these skin types, as it helps purify the skin of bacteria that could trigger acne.

If you have combination skin, you likely experience oiliness in certain areas of your face.

Because of this, you want to choose a toner that contains salicylic acid. This ingredient will remove excess oil in these areas without drying out the areas that need less attention.

You can usually find rose water at a beauty department store or natural food store. They’re also available through online retailers.

Popular options you can purchase include:

There’s a reason rose water has been used for centuries.

As a natural toner, it has many skin benefits connected to its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties.

But it’s not the only natural toner you can try. Be sure to research the right toner for your skin type. When healthy, radiant skin awaits, it’s worth the extra effort.