From boosting skin radiance to calming inflammation, the benefits of orange blossom water for your skin are numerous.
With the change in season, my skin was itching for a little pick-me-up, as I had recently started to experience a few acne breakouts and a dull skin, resulting from my recent overindulgence in almond nut butter spread and a drop in my nighttime self-care routine.
Having put a temporary hold on almond nut butter, stepped up my cucumber detox juice and my dark green vegetables intake, I opted to bring back another of my all-time favourite back to basics skin saviour orange blossom water. And, what a joy! My skin as usual loves it and is currently experiencing a Renaissance.
You may wonder, what makes orange blossom water so special that it has made it to my clean beauty “hall of fame” skincare ingredient list for an Instagram-ready healthy looking and glowing skin look. The health benefits of orange blossom water for your skin are quite impressive for such a simple yet highly potent ingredient. Would you like to know more? Keep reading to find out!
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What is Orange Blossom Water?
Orange blossom water or orange flower water is obtained by steam distillation of the organic bitter orange tree that is used to obtain the neroli essential oil from the tree seeds, peel, leaves, bark, and pulp.
Orange blossom water is characterised by a rich floral scent with citrusy overtones. Like other flower waters (also called hydrosols), it is widely used in perfumery and cosmetics, aromatherapy, and in cooking. In the Middle East and Afro mediterranean countries, orange blossom water is used as a natural treatment for upset stomachs and a hair conditioner to hydrate and strengthen hair.
The floral water owes its numerous health benefits and skin rejuvenating properties as a result of being derived by exploiting some fractions of neroli oil hydrophilic (means water-loving) qualities. Essentially, orange blossom water (like most hydrosols) contains the same components of neroli essential oil but in far less of a concentration, as both ingredients come from the same plant.
Several studies suggest that neroli oil has antimicrobial, antifungal, and antioxidant properties.
Orange blossom water tends to be well tolerated by oily, acne-prone, dry, dull, mature and sensitive skin types for a number of health related reasons.
Tones up skin
As a stand-alone hydrosol or in a well-formulated toner, orange blossom water works incredibly well for people with acne-prone and oily skin by gently helping to draw out all the dirt and impurities from your skin, refining your pores and firming up your skin. Daily use of orange blossom water helps improve your skin texture, leaving you with a radiant and healthy glow. Include it ideally in your nighttime routine to safely reap its skin health benefits.
Brightens the skin
As a citrusy floral water rich in vitamin C and B complex which contain skin brightening properties, orange blossom water helps fight mild skin discolorations and even skin tone over the course of time. This is particularly beneficial to people with dry, dull or tired skin who are looking for a simple yet effective way to boost skin moisture and radiance, improve their complexion, and unify their skin tone.
Melvita Organic Orange Blossom Floral Water 200 ml; EUR 14.90 at Melvita.com
Typology Hydrolate Orange Blossom Water 100 ml; £9.80 at Typology.com
Helps reduce inflammation and irritation
As a by-product of neroli oil, orange blossom water’s antimicrobial, antifungal, and antioxidant properties help better regulate the excess oil production in your skin and increase your skin protection from free radicals caused by environmental pollutants.
These may be particularly useful in reducing skin inflammation and irritation for people with oily and/or acne-prone skin, or in calming down sensitive skin that are experiencing a skin rash by reducing the redness that comes with irritated skin
In addition to adding moisture and strength to your hair, orange blossom water also helps in treating any fungal infections on your scalp to reduce scalp irritation and itchiness.
Smoothes and softens skin
One of the greatest benefits of using orange blossom water as part of your skin self-care routine is to enjoy its highly moisturising properties that help smoothen and soften your skin and improve your overall complexion. Adding orange blossom water to your rinse off facial skincare routine or to a relaxing bath water consistently will enable you to gradually experience much smoother and healthier looking skin.
Soothes and relaxes body
Orange blossom water also has antispasmodic properties, which are great in helping you alleviate the stress and tension in your muscles naturally for you to feel much calmer. It may be particularly beneficial to add it to your bathwater after a hectic day to help release any stress-related pain or negative energy accumulated throughout a time period to help enhance the quality of your down time and your sleep time routine.
Pai Skincare Century Flower Lotus and Orange Blossom Soothing Tonic 50ml; £29 at Lookfantastic.com
PIXI Vitamin Wakeup Mist 80 ml; £12.80 at Lookfantastic.com
Orange blossom water side effects and precautions
Whilst the benefits of orange blossom water are considerable and the floral liquid is considered safe when used in line with the specified directions of the manufactured product containing this hydrosol, it is not suitable at all for people with allergy to citrus. People with allergic reactions to any other essential oil are also better off not using orange blossom water.
Prior to using any skincare product containing orange blossom water or any new beauty product for that matter, you should always do a patch test on a small part of your skin as recommended by the product manufacturer to assess your skin tolerance and compatibility to the product.
As a product derived from the neroli citrus essential oil, you must avoid direct sun exposure after using orange blossom water to avoid sunburn. Additionally, you should always wear adequate sunscreen everyday and reapply it every 2 hours to ensure your skin remains protected throughout the day.
To get the best out of orange blossom water, always check the ingredients list of your manufactured product. When it comes down to the potency of this hydrosol, I have found out that the best formulated products contain fewer ingredients and a higher percentage of orange blossom water to maximise its effectiveness on skin. Orange blossom water could safely be used as a stand-alone product, however it tends to have a short shelf life ( up to 3 months). Preservatives such as poly-epsilon-lysine are typically added to formulas containing orange blossom water to enhance the overall product antimicrobial properties and help prolong its shelf life.
Anmar AH, et al. (2012). Chemical composition and in vitro antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of Citrus aurantium l. flowers essential oil (neroli oil).
Anis Ben Hsouna 1, et al. (2013). Characterization of essential oil from Citrus aurantium L. flowers: antimicrobial and antioxidant activities
Pariya Khodabakhsh 1, Hamed Shafaroodi, Jinous Asgarpanah – 2015 Jul
Analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities of Citrus aurantium L. blossoms essential oil (neroli): involvement of the nitric oxide/cyclic-guanosine monophosphate pathway
C Labadie 1 2, et al. (2016). Fate and control of pathogenic and spoilage micro-organisms in orange blossom (Citrus aurantium) and rose flower (Rosa centifolia) hydrosols