Say the words “aromatherapy” and what comes to mind? Chances are it is an oil diffuser, which inflates discreetly with a light stream of steam. Or maybe it’s the mental image of a small glass bottle with words like “eucalyptus” and “lavender oil”. But a skin tonic? This is a stretch.
Plot reversal: it is not. Bathing Culture herbal toner proves that aromatherapy does not need to be shaped like a modern oil diffuser or roll-on tincture. In the case of the brand’s Golden Hour Holy Basil Hydrosol ($ 20), aromatherapy doubles as skin care, transporting your skin and senses to a summer garden with every spray.
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If you are unfamiliar with hydrolysates, they are essentially aromatic waters produced by the distillation of flowers, herbs and other herbs. The steam from the distillation process is collected and bottled, so the essence of the botanicals is still there, only more diluted and liquefied than traditional viscous oils.
Depending on the plants you use, these scents can be used for many things, including skin care. In this case, the Bathing Culture mix is made using sacred basil, or tulsi, a green leafy plant similar to what you may have grown from your herb garden. From its antioxidant properties and immune-boosting powers, to its effects on mood and stress, the benefits of tulsi are still under investigation, but are well known in both wellness and holistic medicine.
As someone who has tried many toners and essential oils, I love this refreshing spray for multitasking talent. First, it makes an excellent tonic, adding a hydrating burst before I apply my day cream. It is also a hydrating boost at noon, especially on the go. I like to carry it with me for a quick fog when I’m out of the house and need something to wake me up. On particularly dry days or in areas where I feel my face needs rejuvenation, a pump of this material on my forehead, cheeks and chin quickly brings it back to life.
But the showtopper is the green, garden scent that has stuck with me perfectly. I’m a sucker for anything that reminds me of summer and this fog is practically a vegetable garden in a bottle. There are some scents that calm me down immediately, and traditionally, these are the standard beach scents, such as salt water and coconut. But a few sprays of my royal hydrolyzer also unlock my love of earthy scents, calming me immediately with its soothing earthy scent the moment I spray.
I will say, the herbal scent is a bit intense, so if you do not like the wonderful earthy scents, you may prefer another scent. Bathing Culture also makes a hot Neroli & Rose ($ 20) that “smells like canoeing,” according to the site, and a Cistus & Sage ($ 20) that combines woody notes.
Whatever you choose, you can spend a lot of money on diffusers and skin care. But Bathing Culture hydrolysates cost just $ 20, making them an affordable alternative to both. A bottle brings you the best of both worlds: a moisturizing facial tonic that leaves skin nourished and refreshed, and an aromatherapy tool that soothes your senses as well as your skin. Who said you can’t have it all ?!
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