Flower water makes excellent skin toner, and this recipe calls for one of my favorite flowers - Calendula officinalis. Calendula has a rich and varied history, and has been used to make medicines, in cooking (cheese-makers have used the bright orange petals to dye cheese), in skincare, and crafts - it makes a great natural dye for silk and wool. But what calendula is most known for is it's affinity for the skin. Calendula is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti fungal, astringent and detoxifying. It contains iodine, manganese and carotene, which all are promote regeneration of skin cells. At home, we use calendula to treat all kinds of skin complaints, from eczema to acne, scrapes to bug bites, and I include it in almost all of my lotions and salves.
This calendula flower water spray can be used daily, after washing your face, to help the moisturizer or serum you're using absorb even better. It can also be used throughout the day to make your skin feel fresh and cool you off. I like to use mine after going in the ocean, so my skin doesn't dry out, and in a pinch you can use this toner as a wound wash! To make calendula spray toner you will need...
- 1 big pot
- 1 heatproof bowl
- 1 glass measuring pitcher
- 3 cups (or so) of fresh calendula blossoms (you can also substitute chamomile blossoms, viola blossoms, or rose petals)
- 1 Ziploc bag or a rag
- Glass bottles (like these) with spray tops
1. Now to make your flower water: Invert your heatproof bowl inside your big pot, and arrange flower blossoms around it.
2. Set your glass measuring pitcher on top of your bowl. The flowers around the bowl should come up to the bottom of the measuring pitcher, but not above it. (I added a few viola blossoms in mine to make my spray extra moisturizing and cooling).
3. Pour filtered water over the blossoms until the water almost reaches the bottom of the glass measuring pitcher.
4. Now you will set the lid upside-down on the pot. This will make the water that condenses on the lid drop down into your measuring pitcher.
5. On top of the inverted lid place a few handfuls of ice.
6. Turn the burner on low. Once the water begins to simmer, the ice on top will begin to melt. (You'll need to either use a dish towel to soak up the water and then place fresh ice on the lid as the ice melts or, for convenience, you can place the ice in a Ziploc before you begin to heat it. Then you can empty the melted ice and put fresh ice in the Ziploc.) After changing the ice a few times, check inside your pot. There should be a beautiful, slightly orange liquid in your measuring glass. This is your flower water!
7. Pour this water into spray bottles, and it's ready to use! You can keep it in the fridge if you'd like, to be especially refreshing this summer.
Photos by Lauren Ross