If you’ve had to deal with acne for some time now, you know one very important thing – this is a stubborn problem. Identifying the right remedy that will deliver consistent results time and time again is far from an easy task.

While acne is an incredibly common problem (unbelievable, but statistics suggest that 85 percent of people will experience acne in their lifetime), there isn’t one universal cause. Identifying the right solution will necessitate a personalized approach.

Many people have started turning away from pharmaceuticals and looking for a natural solution for their acne problem. Rose water is one of the viable options. Does rose water help with acne and can it be used by everyone? The following guide will help you find out.

What is Rose Water?

Rose water is a natural liquid extracted from the petals of the rose flower. This extraction takes place through distillation (using steam). The water extracted this way can be utilized for food preparations and it also has an array of applications in the cosmetic industry. Not only does it have a beautiful scent, rose water is filled with beneficial compounds that can affect human health in a positive way.

A few of the most important advantages of rose water include the following:

  • Antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties
  • It maintains the optimal pH of the skin
  • It has astringent properties, thus it cleanses the pores
  • A powerful source of antioxidants that can slow down the skin ageing process
  • Soothing (particularly suitable for individuals suffering from skin conditions like eczema and rosacea)
  • An excellent treatment for wounds because of the anti-inflammatory properties
  • The scent could potentially be used to relieve migraines and headaches
  • The fragrance can also improve sleep quality when a bit of rose water is sprinkled on one’s pillow

It’s easy to see how some of these positive effects could turn rose water in a good solution for individuals suffering from acne. The rose water benefits stem mainly from the fact that it can control bacterial populations and soothe irritation – two of the primary factors that contribute to frequent acne breakouts.

Can Everyone Use Rose Water for Acne?

The many phytochemicals found in rose water turn it in a safe and effective acne treatment for just about everyone. It can be equally beneficial for adolescents who are going through massive skin changes and for ladies in their 30s, for example, who experience hormonal acne.

rose-water-for-acne-treatmentSeveral clinical studies establish the effectiveness of rose water (rosa damascena extract) for the treatment of acne. One of the clinical trials shows that rose water inhibits the growth of Propionibacterium acnes – a Gram-positive bacterium that is one of the most well-known causes of acne.

Dermatologist Dr. Tabasum Mir says that many people fail to realize the fact that the main cause of acne is bacteria. Thus, any topical remedy that can control bacterial colonies on the surface of the skin could potentially help alleviate the problem. Mir recognizes the anti-acne benefits of rose water and suggests it as a viable option for the treatment of pimple-prone skin.

The antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties  of rose water have also been demonstrated through an extensive body of academic work.

On top of that, the rose extract has astringent properties that are incredibly important for acne sufferers. Witch hazel is another very prominent astringent that is recognized as a powerful option for the treatment of acne and for controlling sebum production.

Everyone can use rose water to overcome acne problems. The water nourishes the skin without causing oiliness. Thus, it can be applied on combined and oily skin, as well as on sensitive skin. The only condition is finding high quality, natural rose water. Products that contain artificial scents and colorants have inferior quality and could potentially contribute to skin irritation.

A Step-by-Step Guide: How to Use Rose Water for Acne

Using rose water for acne is fairly simple. The process starts with finding high quality rose water. In the very beginning, you may want to take a picture of a rose water before and after. You will notice a serious difference in several weeks of relying on the routine.

Find the Right Rose Water

Always look for natural rose water made via distillation.

The list of ingredients should appear on the back of the bottle. There are products out there that feature additives. High quality rose water should feature the following ingredients on its label – rosa damascena flower aqua and rosa damascena oil (an optional ingredient, some waters feature the oil in their composition for an added antiseptic effect). If you see synthetic oils, fragrances, preservatives and colorants in the composition of the water, look for an alternative.

The origin of rose water will also impact quality. Certain countries and parts of the world are known for their rose water production. Some of the best organic rose water varieties come from Bulgaria and Turkey.

Get Additional Supplies

To treat your skin with rose water, you will need a couple of additional basic supplies. The most important ones include:

  • A facial cleanser you’d use before applying rose water
  • A spray bottle (if you want to spray the water directly on your skin)
  • Cotton pads

Make sure you have enough of all the mentioned supplies because the rose water anti-acne ritual can be repeated up to three, four times per day.

Follow the Face Cleansing Routine

Strip your face from makeup using a facial cleanser of preference, pat the skin dry.

You can apply the rose water by either spraying it directly on your face or soaking a cotton pad in it and applying to the most affected areas. The soothing effect will be experienced almost immediately.

The best thing to know is that you don’t need to remove the rose water from your face in a certain period of time. Let it soak in the skin and you’re done. When your face is completely dry, you can apply a favorite moisturizer (a non-comedogenic product is optimal).

Food-Grade Rose Water is Also a Good Idea

If you’ve ever been to Turkey or the Arab world, you probably know that rose water is used to flavour various types of desserts. Food-grade rose water has an array of amazing culinary applications and it also delivers health benefits to the table.

People who are using rose water for acne may want to consider the purchase of the food-grade variety. The antiseptic properties will be even more powerful this way, plus rose water can help for more effective detoxification.

Pros and Cons of This Treatment

While a natural treatment is certainly a good idea, rose water isn’t going to deliver excellent results for everyone. Let’s count down the biggest advantages and the shortcomings of this acne remedy.


The most important advantages of using rose water for the treatment of acne include the following:

  • Clinical trials establish the effectiveness of rose water for the treatment of acne
  • It has hydrating and antioxidant properties that strengthen the skin
  • Using rose water is simple and the treatment isn’t expensive (a single bottle of rose water is going to last you a very long period of time)
  • Rose water is an excellent natural toner that evens out the complexion
  • It regulates sebum production and has astringent properties
  • Suitable for all skin types


While a natural remedy may be a great choice, you will have to be consistent in order to get results. Unlike antibiotics and other pharmaceutical topical remedies, natural products necessitate a longer period of time to start delivering results.

  • You will have to test your tolerance first – some people who have rather oily skin could eventually see it getting even oilier through the use of rose water
  • If you suffer from a hormonal problem, the application of rose water will have to be accompanied by an endocrine intervention to deliver the best results
  • The market features many inferior products, you have to find 100 percent pure rose water to get good results

These are the biggest rose water disadvantage you have to keep in mind before opting for the treatment. To sum it up, rose water is a good prophylactic option. People who have a very severe acne outbreak may want to target it with pharmaceuticals first. After the situation is under control, rose water can be used from that point forward to treat occasional acne and reduce the likelihood of a second big breakout.

Can You Use Rose Water for Acne Scars?

If you have been combatting acne for some time already, you know that scars are a pesky and difficult to treat consequence of pimples and blackheads. In fact, they are much more stubborn and almost impossible to get rid of.

Can you use rose water for acne marks? As already mentioned, rose water encourages the hydration and elasticity of the skin. Because of this effect, the regular use of rose water as a tonic can potentially reduce the prominence of acne marks.

If you want to increase the effectiveness of this remedy, consider creating a tonic that features equal parts rose water and freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Lemon juice is an excellent source of vitamin C – one of the most potent natural skin whitening substances. it can lighten the appearance of scars and marks. Just apply this tonic to the skin for 15 minutes, wash and pat dry.

Warning: Lemon juice increases the photo sensitivity of the skin and it can increase the negative effects of UV rays. Thus, it’s very important to apply sunscreen to the face after you’ve been using a skin lightening treatment that’s based on vitamin C.


What do People have to Say about Rose Water?

Rose water facial toners have predominantly positive customer reviews. The following illustration will give you a better idea of what people have to say:


The general consensus is that skin toning with rose water has cleansing, astringent and anti-bacterial properties. At the same time, you will not experience the drying effect that’s common with pharmaceutical products – something you may want to consider for sensitive or dry skin that’s still acne-prone.

Final Verdict

Rose water is very refreshing and kills bacteria while providing the skin with much-needed moisture. Because of this effect, it is gentle when it comes to addressing problems like pimples and blackheads.

People who suffer from severe, stubborn acne will not see a massive improvement right from the start. Rather, they may want to opt for a pharmaceutical product that’s suggested by a dermatologist. In such instances, rose water will be a great addition to the treatment, especially if it’s used as a natural toner and astringent.

Rose water is gentle enough to be used multiple times per day without causing problems. It will even out the skin tone and reduce the prominence of large pores. The water can also diminish the redness and the irritation that are common with acne.

This, however, isn’t a universal or a miraculous solution. You will need to find high quality rose water, you’ll need to build a good skincare routine and stick to it over the course of several months to see the best possible results.

While trying a natural skincare product may be a good idea, you need to talk to a doctor before getting started. Acne could be indicative of another medical problem. A few basic tests will have to be run to exclude other possibilities. If you’re not suffering from a medical issue, you can go ahead to making your skin stronger and healthier through the use of rose water.

Have you tried a rose water acne treatment in the past? Were you happy with the results? Don’t hesitate to share your experience with us. Alternatively, you may want to check out our other natural acne treatment guides to explore alternative possibilities.