It is possibly the most ubiquitous fragrance and the most recognized flower in the world, but the rose should never be underestimated. Rose oil and Rose water are two of the most beneficial and powerful ingredients in natural skin care, and the process of how they are harvested is nothing short of amazing.
Harvesting roses for distillation is a labor-intensive process that must be done before the sun rises. The flowers must then be processed the same day.
Mahalo Skin Care founder Maryna Kracht detailed the process on Instagram:
Rose can be found in many of Mahalo’s products, but probably most notably in the Petal Hydrating Mask, a luxurious, glow-inducing treatment that can be used daily to add moisture to and reduce inflammation in even the most sensitive skin.
It takes an enormous volume of petals to produce a small amount of rose oil and given how difficult it is to gather the flowers and produce the oil, it's no wonder many manufacturers have taken to using synthetic versions of rose oil for scent and function.
But if you have ever smelled both, you know the difference between the real thing and the lab-produced imitation, and the disparity in effectiveness for skin-healing benefits is noticeable, too.
Weleda, a brand founded in 1921 in Europe on the foundation of being natural and sustainable, has long used roses in their personal care products. In fact, they are the world's largest single purveyor of the two types of roses used for personal care and fragrance, rosa damascena and centifolia roses.
Weleda has partnered with local farmers in Turkey, where they harvest the more than 400,000,000 roses they use per year, in a commitment to fair trade practices.
They work with the Sebat cooperative to ensure fair wages for the farmers, sustainable practices to meet the demand of so many roses, and financial support for education in Turkey.
Profits from another fair-trade brand, Kahina Giving Beauty's Moroccan Rose Water are being put back into the community. The company is donating $1 from each Rose Water sold on the Kahina website to the High Atlas Foundation, an organic agricultural project that aims to transform the Moroccan entrepreneurial ecosystem and lift family farmers out of poverty through building a green economy.
Kahina’s Rose Water is pharmaceutical-grade—the strictest guidelines of the FDA, ensuring potency and purity— and can be used to clean, treat, soothe, and nourish hair and skin. It can also be taken internally. They list 10 uses on their blog, and it's seriously mind-blowing how useful this product is. File under: Things You Didn’t Know You Needed But Now Must Have Always.
Munemi Imai, Founder of MŪN Skincare and freelance makeup artist, writes regularly about the many benefits of using Rose Water in skincare.
About her line's Aknari Brightening Youth Serum, Munemi writes, "Bulgarian Rose Essential Oil: Giving Aknari its signature soothing scent, Bulgarian rose essential oil (the highest-quality rose oil in the world) has great antibacterial properties, ridding skin of harmful bacteria and pollutants that can cause acne and irritation.
"Rich in antioxidants, rose oil also helps diminish signs of aging, treats acne, and decreases redness. Once absorbed, rose essential oil allows other beneficial nutrients to better absorb into the skin, making it a great complement to the antioxidant-rich argan oil and prickly pear seed oil in our serum. Easing stress and relaxing the mind, the oil’s aromatherapeutic qualities make Aknari an ideal addition to your bedtime ritual."