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Pure hydrosols can be more fragile than their essential oil counterparts. Hydrosols do not have the same concentrated antibacterial properties that essential oils possess and are subject to much more rapid degradation, especially when improperly handled.

Store Hydrosols Away from Direct Sunlight and Ideally in a Dark Location
Direct sunlight and UV rays are especially damaging to hydrosols. Repeated exposure to any light source may be damaging to hydrosols as well. Ideally. Keep your hydrosol bottles in their eOil original packaging and in a cool cupboard, to protect them from all light sources.

Keep your bottle tightly closed and use the spray to apply.
Oxygen and bacterial contacts are an enemy to hydrosols. That is why all eOil’s hydrosols come in a spray bottle, with a cap. A convenient and safe way to keep the integrity of your product. To use your hydrosol, simply remove the cap and directly spray on to the area of concern, a cotton ball, or a spoon. That way you don’t have to constantly open and close your bottle and unsterilized items like your fingers, cotton balls or other items won’t come in direct contact with the hydrosols.

Hydrosols can be refrigerated (not frozen) to prolong their shelf life and to provide you with a fresher feeling on application.

Preserving Your Hydrosols

Except for our Witch Hazel and Aloe vera Hydrosol, that have been preserved directly after distillation on site, preservatives have not been added to our hydrosols. We have seen people extend the shelf life of their hydrosols by adding 2% high-proof alcohol (2 ml in a 100ml hydrosol bottle).

Shelf Life of Hydrosols

Hydrosol can last up to 2 years from the date of their manufacture provided they are handled and stored in a proper and hygienic way. Once de-caped and you start using them at home, Use them within 6 months.

Important Note About Hydrosols vs. Floral Waters:

A marketing confusion has been ingrained into the general public’s minds to the point that people now assimilate the term Floral water to that of Hydrosol.

In technical terms Floral Waters are not at all the same products as natural hydrosols. 

Floral waters are manufactured products, sometimes made with water-soluble synthetic fragrances, that are used to make linen sprays, face & hair mists, body splashes and other water-based products. 

Hydrosols, just as their essential oil counterpart, are the other beautiful natural product obtained when steam distilling aromatic plants. Essential oils are the concentrated extracts, while Hydrosols are the molecule infused water or distillate water and contain all the powerful water-soluble molecules of the distilled plant. 

So, check your labels. A pure, natural Hydrosol should contain just the name of the plant (Common and Latin name), the plant part it is extracted from along with the method of obtention that is steam distillation.

About Hydrosols unpreserved.

Unpreserved vs Preserved Hydrosol.

Point of view of direct end user aromatherapy

A properly made hydrosol- obtained by the steam distillation processing of the plant - is bottled under clean or sterile conditions and microbiologically tested by all responsible, respected, and reputable producers/distillers. Under those conditions, a hydrosol can last from 12 to 24 months depending on the nature of the plant and does not need other preservation. After opening a hydrosol at home, because of contacts with air, a hydrosol must be used in 6 months’ time. This is easily achievable since hydrosols are usually applied regularly and used daily (as face toner, refresher, diffusion, inhalation…) If one’s aim is to use pure plant extracts, one must look for high quality products and buy unpreserved hydrosol preferably. 

Used for Aromatherapy and by direct users for health, wellbeing and natural beauty care benefits, Hydrosol, if preserved, is denatured, becomes a senseless and worthless material. 

Hydrosols used by formulators in their cosmetics, is a totally different context and a complex topic, that requires industrial manufacturing knowledge, experience, and proper laboratory surrounding and handling. 

Point of view of cosmetic formulators:

There is a trend in the natural cosmetic industry in wanting to use unpreserved hydrosols in their manufactured products. This trend may sound appealing for any artisan formulator who wants to make natural skincare, for re-selling purposes, from home: It means one can incorporate pure botanical extracts without having to add preservatives (natural or synthetic) with the bonus of offering a pure natural product.  

But what works in a manufacturing environment, with proper sterile rooms, equipment, and personnel, under controlled atmosphere, etc…to respect all GMP, doesn’t often apply to the artisan cosmetic formulator.

From a home or small-scale business context of making cosmetics to resell them, buying pure, unpreserved hydrosols is simply not viable. Once opened, pure hydrosols shelf life is short (in industrial manufacturing time). This would require constant testing and re-test to control signs of contamination in the final product. It would be costly in terms of resources and time. 

For home-business formulators, (who do not work in a sterile environment, like a lab) therefore, it is important to find a product that has a stable extended shelf-life, hence, from their point of view an emphasis on using preserved hydrosols. Such products must be manufactured and conditioned in labs, and do not usually come directly from the plant distiller.

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