Rose water has long been known as a beauty product. In fact, it has been around since the days when Cleopatra reportedly used to add it to her bath (even if it didn’t make her quite as beautiful as history’s mythologizing has cracked her up to be). Rose water remained a popular cosmetic ingredient used in skincare and makeup 100 years ago and is still used in 21st-century beauty products as well.
It’s also frequently used as a flavoring in Middle Eastern cooking and, as naturopathic doctor Gabrielle Francis told Byrdie, people in Greece, Syria, Egypt, Morocco, and India often drink rose water for its health and beauty benefits. She also made mention of the fact that in her native Lebanon, there’s a popular drink made from hot rose water called “white tea.”
Lately, this fragrant pink beverage has been catching on in the United States, with one celebrity makeup artist revealing to the publication that she and her Los Angeles friends add rose water to their smoothies. They may be doing so in part for its numerous health benefits and partly because of its sweet, refreshing taste. We also suspect, however, that rose water’s newfound popularity — in La La Land and elsewhere — might just have something to do with its pretty color.
Dermatologist Natasha Sandy told Byrdie that rose water contains flavonoids, antioxidants, and vitamins A, B, C, and E. These give rose water anti-inflammatory properties that are capable of reducing acne, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, and skin redness — which is exactly why celebrity facialist Ildi Pekar recommends drinking rose water. Naturopathic doctor Gabrielle Francis also claimed that the water-based drink is extra-hydrating and, as such, can help plump up the skin and restore its fluids.
Dermatologist Jennifer Chwalek, when speaking with Elle, also endorsed rose water’s anti-inflammatory effects and ability to help with acne and rosacea, adding that it can also be used as a mouthwash to help reduce the pain from canker sores. As the Lauren Conrad blog highlighted, drinking rose water has even been credited with being able to reduce stress and overall moodiness. This last-named property may have something to do with its soothing scent; rose water is used externally for this very reason and applied to pillows as a sleep aid.
While there isn’t a ton of evidence to back up all of the claims for rose water’s beneficial properties, one thing is certain: It won’t hurt you. As Sandy put it, “Since the side effects of drinking rose water are negligible, there may be no harm drinking until the evidence evolves to support current rose water theories. ” If nothing else, you can do it for the ‘gram, right? Just think of all the gorgeous pink drink pics you can take, #healthgoals!
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