All About Hydrolates: A Hidden Gem in Holistic Wellness

If you are just beginning to explore the wonderful world of aromatherapy and learning about essential oils, you might have come across words like hydrosol, hydrolates, aromatic waters and flower waters.

Has this left you feeling confused and wondering what the difference between a hydrosol and a hydrolate is, whether aromatic flower waters have the same therapeutic properties and benefits as essential oils, how to differentiate between hydrolates vs essential oils, or what are the best ways and applications to use flower waters in skincare? If so, this article is for you!

Together, we will demystify the nature of hydrolates, understand how they are produced and explore their unique benefits and properties. Read on to find out why Adeline Lim, Founder of Nila Singapore & Certified Clincial Aromatherapist, loves hydrolates so much, why they are among one of the best ingredients to use in skincare and how you can incorporate them into your natural holistic wellness journey.

What are hydrolates?

Hydrolates are also known as Hydrosols or Floral Waters. To understand where they come from, we must first learn about the process by which essential oils are produced.

Essential oils are mostly distilled using the technique of steam distillation, where the plant material (which can be flowers, aromatic leaves, woody branches or even plant roots, depending on the essential oil) is subjected to heat and steam. In this essential oil distillation process, as steam circulates through the plant material, it carries away not only the volatile aromatic components that make up essential oils but also water-soluble volatile compounds from the plant. This steam is then condensed back into liquid form, resulting in two distinct products: the concentrated essential oil floating on top and the aromatic water beneath—the hydrolate.

In this way, hydrolates are condensated water co-produced during the steam distillation of essential oils. They are aromatic waters containing the plants' water-soluble volatile compounds and enriched with the plant's subtle, therapeutic compounds. Hydrolates capture a similar essence of the plants' botanical journey and provides a gentle and holistic complement to the intensity of essential oils.

Unlike essential oils, hydrolates contain a lower concentration of aromatic compounds, making them gentle, versatile and suitable for various applications in aromatherapy and skincare.

(Back to Top)

What are the best ways to use hydrolates?

Now that you understand how hydrolates come about, it's time to explore their therapeutic benefits and learn about the different ways to use hydrolates to enrich your aromatherapy experience!

A gentle and safe alternative to essential oils

Hydrolates are a safe and gentle option to essential oils but still containing similar therapeutic properties. This makes hydrolates suitable for those who may be more sensitive to essential oils, such as babies, young children or the elderly. They offer a mild yet effective way to introduce aromatherapy to various age groups without overwhelming the senses.

The perfect addition to your daily skincare routine

Hydrolates are the perfect addition to your daily skincare routine. As a natural toner, hydrolates help to balance and soothe the skin. Hydrolates can also be used as a refreshing facial mist for a convenient and natural freshening up. They not only hydrate the skin and give a subtle scent, but you also get to benefit from their therapeutic properties!

Diffuse hydrolates to gently scent the air

Instead of essential oils, try diffusing hydrolates for a subtle and natural aroma in your living spaces or bedroom. As a bonus, we love experimenting with different combinations of hydrolates and essential oils to create a personalised and layered aromatic haven.

Make your own skincare products

Are you interested in formulating your own all natural, eco-friendly and chemical free skincare products? Try using these aromatic waters as a versatile base for creating your very own personalised skincare formulations. Whether it is facial toners, refreshing face mists, hydrating face masks or body lotion, incorporating hydrolates into your DIY skincare recipes will enhance the aromatic dimension of your skincare routine while also allowing you to harness the therapeutic properties of plants.

Perfect for our furry friends

Not all essential oils are safe for our pets and it is important to exercise caution as some essential oils can be toxic to cats and dogs. The gentle nature of hydrolates can make them more suitable for pets, offering a natural approach to pet care. Always remember to dilute hydrolates with water and do a patch test on your pet first. For dogs that are nervous and anxious during grooming, you can try misting diluted Lavender Hydrolate over your pet's fur to create a soothing pet spray. Lavender Hydrolate is also excellent for those looking for a natural way to combat fleas in dogs without resorting to strong poisons. (Note: Do not use Lavender essential oil or Lavender Hydrolate on cats).

Why we love hydrolates

At Nila Singapore, we recognise the profound impact that pure and natural hydrolates can have on your journey towards holistic wellbeing. Our commitment to delivering quality extends to our collection of hydrolates, carefully curated by our Founder Adeline.

Each hydrolate in our range is a testament to our dedication to authenticity and excellence in aromatherapy. Our hydrolates are distilled from the finest botanicals and capture the pure essence of each plant, ensuring a product that not only complements but enhances your holistic lifestyle.

It's time to learn more about the benefits and therapeutic properties of our hydrolates, as well as some top tips from Adeline on how to use hydrolates in your aromatherapy routine and her favourite DIY skincare recipes!

(Back to Top)

  • Soothing and anti-inflammatory
  • Hydrates and rejuvenates the skin
  • Calms emotions, promotes relaxation and reduces stress
  • Recommended for using as a facial mist and in natural skincare recipes

Derived from the steam distillation of fresh rose petals, Rose Hydrolate retains the essence of the exquisite Rosa damascena flower. Known for its enchanting floral aroma, Rose Hydrolate inherits the properties of Rose essential oil, which protects our skin structure and stimulates collagen production for a firmer and more radiant complexion.

Rose Hydrolate is beloved for its ability to hydrate and rejuvenate the skin, leaving you with a radiant glow all day when used as a facial mist or toner. Its gentle aroma also offers emotional benefits, promoting relaxation and reducing stress.

Rose Hydrolate is also excellent when used to combat allergic reactions, wounds, burns, hives and itching.

Adeline's Top Tip: If you love making your own DIY skincare products, Rose Hydrolate is a must-have for you! It can be used in many ways in your recipes, from toners and facial mists to lotions and masks. Infuse your homemade products with Rose Hydrolate to benefit from the nourishing essence of pure roses and enjoy a truly pampering experience.

(Back to Top)

  • Versatile and gentle in nature
  • Spray as room mist to purify the air and create a calm and relaxing ambience
  • Safe for babies and children to calm nappy rash or aid sleep
  • Calming spray for your dogs to smell naturally good and prevent fleas (Always dilute before using and do a patch test first. Do not use on cats.)

Produced through the distillation of lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) flowers, Lavender Hydrolate embodies the calming and balancing properties of its essential oil counterpart, the much beloved Lavender essential oil. This versatile hydrolate is renowned for its gentle nature, making it suitable for those with sensitive skin, including babies and children.

Lavender Hydrolate is prized for its soothing effects on irritated skin, providing relief from sunburns or minor skin irritations, including redness.

Adeline's Top Tip: Do you or your teenager struggle with oily skin or a frequently troubled complexion? Try using Lavender Hydrolate as a facial toner, it can help due to its astringent and regenerative properties.

(Back to Top)

  • Gentle and calming
  • Anti-inflammatory and skin-soothing
  • Naturally ease allergy or hayfever symptoms
  • Recommended for comforting sensitive or irritated skin

Extracted through the steam distillation of German chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) flowers, German Chamomile Hydrolate is known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-histamic, analgesic and skin-soothing effects.

It is perfect for those suffering from allergies due to its anti-histamic and analgesic properties as it can ease allergy symptoms and relieve pain.

Recommended to use during your bedtime routine to facilitate sleep after a stressful day.

Adeline's Top Tip: Use German Chamomile Hydrolate to make an overnight DIY sleep mask. The easiest way is to simply add some to any face cream, although I recommend our Natural Facial Cream as it contains essential oils and plant extracts for optimal skin health. The mild floral aroma of German Chamomile Hydrolate adds a touch of relaxation to your nighttime skincare routine while also giving your skin a fresh and healthy glow when you wake up.

(Back to Top)

  • Refreshing, invigorating and uplifting
  • Has natural antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties
  • Use as a refreshing mist for your face for an instant perk-me-up or diffuse to ease respiratory discomfort

Produced through the steam distillation of eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) leaves, Eucalyptus Hydrolate inherits the fresh and invigorating qualities of the essential oil. With its antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, this hydrolate is one of the best for skincare.

Incorporate it into your skincare routine by using it as a facial toner, or a refreshing mist to set your make-up before you leave for work. Its crisp scent promotes a sense of clarity, just what you need to perk you up in the mornings!

Adeline's Top Tip: If your child is struggling with a cold or virus, try diffusing Eucalyptus Hydrolate in their room to support their respiratory system and ease any discomfort naturally. I recommend diffusing Eucalyptus Hydrolate with Nila's Baby Purifier, which utilises a proprietary air purifying system to remove bacteria and other nasties in the air and protect your child’s environment.

(Back to Top)

  • Promotes calm and relaxation with floral and citrus notes
  • Balances and rejuvenates the complexion for those with oily and acne-prone skin
  • Can strengthen the nervous system and provide calm for those suffering from emotional shock
  • Recommended for use just before bed to enhance your sleep routine

Derived from the steam distillation of bitter orange blossoms (Citrus aurantium), Neroli Hydrolate is anything but bitter. It has a gentle floral and citrusy notes characteristic of Neroli essential oil. Neroli Hydrolate is one of the best natural remedies for stress and anxiety as it promotes calm and strengthens the nervous system, which can help in anxiety, emotional shock, insomnia and depression.

Neroli Hydrolate is wonderful when used in skincare due its ability to rejuvenate the complexion, especially for those with oily or acne-prone skin as it can help control oil secretion.

Adeline's Top Tip: This is my favourite hydrolate to use as a pillow mist as it helps promote relaxation and a good nights' sleep. Simply spritz on your pillows and bedsheets before you turn down your bed each night. It is also important to practice good sleep hygiene and create a calming atmosphere in your bedroom to enhance the quality of your sleep. Consider incorporating relaxing activities, such as reading a book or practicing deep-breathing exercises, and put your phone away before bedtime!

(Back to Top)

  • Crisp and woody aroma
  • Astringent and toning for the skin
  • Supports skin health
  • Recommended for use as facial and body mist due to its firming effect on the skin

Derived from the steam distillation of cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) leaves and twigs, Cypress Hydrolate inherits the refreshing and invigorating properties of Cypress essential oil.

With its astringent, toning and diuretic qualities, Cypress Hydrolate is beneficial for supporting skin health and can help tone and firm your skin. You can use it as a facial toner to balance oily or troubled skin. Also supports venous health by improving circulation and aiding detoxification.

Adeline's Top Tip: To reduce dark eye circles, instead of cucumbers, try using cotton pads soaked in Cypress Hydrolate on your eyes instead. Its gentle circulatory properties will help reduce the appearance of dark eye circles naturally. I also highly recommend using Cypress Hydrolate when blending for emotional wellbeing. I love incorporating Cypress Hydrolate in custom skincare products as it provides confidence and emotional support due to its grounding and balancing aroma.

(Back to Top)

  • Warm and spicy aroma
  • Supports digestion and reduces stress
  • Recommended for dehydrated or dry skin
  • Use as a room spray or in your personal aromatherapy blends

Obtained through the steam distillation of cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) seeds, Cardamom Hydrolate carries the warm and spicy notes characteristic of Cardamom essential oil. Known for its digestive and uplifting properties, this hydrolate is suitable for a variety of uses.

Cardamom Hydrolate can be used to support digestion, provide respiratory comfort, promote oral health, soothe the skin, reduce stress and hydrate dehydrated or dry skin. Its pleasant aroma makes it an excellent addition to room sprays or personal aromatherapy blends.

Adeline's Top Tip: If you have dehydrated or dry skin, Cardamom Hydrolate is perfect for you. Apply this topically as a facial toner or face mist for a comforting and soothing sensation. It will leave your skin radiant and glowing all day!

(Back to Top)


We hope you found this helpful as an introduction into the wonderful world of hydrosols, hydrolates and aromatic flower waters! Remember that these botanical elixirs are not just aromatic waters that smell wonderful but also gateways to unlock a new dimension in your journey towards holistic wellness.

We warmly invite you to embrace the transformative power of hydrolates—your partners in achieving balance, vitality and natural radiance. Explore our entire range of hydrolates today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *