Rose Infused Witch Hazel

Soothing roses and anti-inflammatory witch hazel combine in this beautiful rose infused witch hazel – perfect to use as a facial toner, for bug bites, acne, sunburn, varicose veins & more!

fresh rose petals infusing in a jar of witch hazel

My roses are in full bloom this week and I’ve been busily preserving them in all sorts of ways!

I first made this lovely rose infused witch hazel several years ago and decided to include it in a gift basket for my mom.

Here’s what her gift looked like in the photo below.

I included:

I stuffed fresh roses & petals all into it instead of extra tissue paper to hold things in place. She loved it!

basket with rose infused witch hazel, rose face and body cream, rosa rugosa handmade soap and fresh roses

How to Make Rose Infused Witch Hazel

To make rose infused witch hazel you only need:

I buy organic witch hazel from Mountain Rose Herbs, but you should be able to find a similar, high quality witch hazel at your local drug store.

Step 1:

Gather the rose petals, make sure they’re bug free and then stuff them into a jar. (Jar size will vary depending on how many petals you can gather.) You want to fill the jar rather full, but not packed too tightly. (If you don’t have fresh petals, you can use dried. You won’t get as stunning of a color, but it will still have beneficial properties.)

Step 2:

Pour the witch hazel over the petals until the jar is completely filled. Cap with a non-metallic cap and let sit in a cool, dark place for several days, or up to one week.

Step 3:

Strain and pour the resulting colored liquid into a glass jar for storage. If you’d like a more intense color, pour the strained witch hazel over a fresh batch of rose petals to create a double infusion. Store the infused witch hazel in the refrigerator.

 

jar of ruby red rose infused witch hazel with fresh rose leaves and rose buds

Recipe Notes

Rose infused witch hazel has always stayed fresh for me for several months, though the color will fade over time. However, I’ve heard from a few people who reported theirs went bad sooner. If this is a concern for you, you could choose to either use the witch hazel up within 2 weeks, storing in the refrigerator between uses, or add a preservative. (More information about some preservatives to explore are in my Natural Preservatives for Homemade Lotions article.)

Depending on the color of your roses, you may end up with colors ranging from peach to pink to brown. I use a large portion of red and dark pink roses to get beautiful ruby or dark pink-red tones, so make a small test batch first and see if you like the resulting color that your flowers make.

Don’t let your petals sit too long in the witch hazel – if you’ve reached a color you like, you can remove the petals before the week is up.

Because witch hazel is not recommended for internal use, be sure to clearly mark it so that no one confuses it for what it is. If there’s any concern that a small child could get into it, just use vinegar instead. Rose Petal Vinegar also has a stunning color and beneficial effects.

 

How to Use

Okay, so this stuff is pretty, but what can you do with it? Here are a few ideas:

  • Rub on bruises several times a day to help speed up healing time.
  • Witch hazel is an astringent and antiseptic, so is helpful for spot controlling acne or used as an overall facial toner.
  • Put some in a small spray bottle and store in the fridge for cooling relief of sunburn.
  • May be helpful for diaper rash. (Patch test on a small area first.)
  • Carefully dab under your eyes to help firm up the skin and reduce the appearance of under-eye bags. (Don’t let any get in your eyes!)
  • Witch hazel so can be used for treating varicose veins and hemorrhoids as well.
  • Apply to itchy skin and rashes caused by poison oak and poison ivy.

 

If you enjoyed reading about making rose infused witch hazel, let’s keep in touch!
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You may also like:

10 Things to Make with Roses

Basil Rose Kombucha

 

 

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71 Responses to Rose Infused Witch Hazel

  1. Tricia Woods says:

    Do you know anything about chocolate flowers? I have a yard full of them & was wondering about the possibilities.

    • Jan says:

      Hi Tricia! I’d not heard of chocolate flowers before now, but they sound amazing! When I did a quick google search, I saw several different types of plants listed under “chocolate flowers.” If you find out which exact type you have and then look it up to see if it’s edible – then there are all kinds of possibilities!

      Whenever I come across an edible flower, I immediately try it out in things such as soaps, lotions & creams, infusions and so forth. My thought is that if it’s okay to eat, it should be okay to put on your skin.

      If however, they’re poisonous to eat, then it’s better to steer clear of putting it on your skin, to be safe.

  2. Anonymous says:

    what I learned if its edible its ok to use topically ….

  3. Kristin McNamara Freeman says:

    Perfect timing for the recipe! My roses are waking up and setting many buds this week…and my daughter’s birthday is mid June, so just maybe I can get a recipe made to put with some homemade soap and crocheted organic cotton washcloths (her favorites). I am linking now to the vinegar recipe and will see about making that as well. I love to read your blog and find these fine recipes for making great things with what comes from wild-crafting or my garden or friends at the farmer’s market. Kristin

    • Jan says:

      Hi Kristin! That sounds like a lovely gift! Thanks for the kind words about the blog – I’m so glad to hear you find useful ideas here! :)

  4. I love this idea! I’m definitely going to have to try it out. =)

    • Jan says:

      Hi Anne-Marie! So glad you liked the idea – the color is so beautiful, it’s hard to capture in a photo. I think you’ll love the end result! :)

  5. Lea says:

    Love this idea. I have quite a few buds on my rose bushes but no flowers yet. Thanks for the info on witch hazel also, I was just wondering about this with a friend today.

  6. Pingback: How To Make Rose Infused Witch Hazel

  7. Joi says:

    Does this work on eczema? Also do the roses have to be red or do other color roses work the same~thanks

    • Jan says:

      As someone who suffered from severe eczema as a child and still got flareups as recent as a few years ago, I found that moisturizing creams or salves usually help best, for me, but it’s certainly worth a shot at trying the witch hazel! I’d start with a small test patch and see from there. Good luck! :)

  8. Lee Tea says:

    Lovely recipe – will be trying this. I’ve been seeking out and comparing witch hazel for about 3 years now as I use it in some of my essential sprays, and even though I’ve HEARD there’s a big difference between cheap store-bought witch hazel and that carried by herb shops like MRH, what I’ve FOUND is that BOTH of these options are comprised of 86% witch hazel and 14% alcohol…to which I’m disappointed in MRH’s misleading marketing (I know they tell you commercial witch hazel is watered down with alcohol in their description, but I have yet to find that to be true.) Now, MRH’s is certified organic, but contains the same percentage of witch hazel and alcohol as commercial witch hazel. So don’t be afraid to try this with a regular bottle of witch hazel from the store!

    • Jan says:

      Thanks Lee Tea! You know, I’m usually careful at trying to research things first, but in this case, blindly took MRH’s word for it. You are correct – I’m going to remove that part of the post until I research it further. There very well may be acceptable store brands and I don’t want to make this seem out of reach for people who can’t afford to special order. Thanks – I really appreciate you letting me know this! :)

      • Lee Tea says:

        I would’ve taken their word for it too – I’m a big fan of MHR’s organic herbs and essential oils. There’s been exactly 3 times I wasn’t absolutely thrilled with them, and their witch hazel description just happened to already be one of them – lol! Happy to have found your site here – found it today through a post from the “Herbs and Oils World” FB page. Be well – Lee @ Lee’s Teas

        • Jan says:

          I’m a big fan of MRH too! The only issue I have is their painnnnnfully slow processing and shipping time, but it’s a small price to pay for such high quality goodies. :)

  9. Lyfe says:

    can this be done with honeysuckle?

    • Jan says:

      Hi Lyfe, You can certainly try it with honeysuckle & see how you like it!

      Mountain Rose Herbs mentions it in relation to skin:
      “Traditionally combined with mint for rashes or outbreaks on the skin following nervous tension, and with scutellaria to treat boils.

      http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/learn/honeysuckle.php

      I’ve used honeysuckle in conjunction with forsythia, in the past, quite successfully as a viral treatment and just started a tincture of it yesterday. We have a good supply right now and there’s a lot more experimenting I want to do with the it. (On my list!)

  10. Kerligirl says:

    You can order Thayer’s witch hazel with organic aloe from Vitacost.com. Its alcohol free and they have some with aloe leaf added. Costs $8 for 12 oz. If you order from there, tell them I referred you and get a $10 coupon, and I will too!
    Shelley Roberts
    sdroberts63 @ yahoo.com

    • Jan says:

      Thanks for the info Shelley! I had to edit your email to be unclickable, it’s a flag for my SiteLock protection because spammers could harvest it.

  11. Tracy says:

    Just put my first batch up on the shelf to “brew”. Can’t wait to see how this turns out!!! I’m using my knock-out roses, so it won’t have that strong rose scent, but I’ hoping most of the benefits will be the same.

  12. Sarah says:

    I just bought my first rose bush today! I didn’t know you could do so many wonderful things with roses. My rose bush is white. Will that be ok?

    • Jan says:

      Yes! White and yellow will be perfect too. :) I use a lot of red and pink for my projects for the blog & ebook because of the bright colors you get from them, but I have a massive antique white rose that has the most wonderful scent. I use it a lot!

  13. Do you know if this is good for eczema or allergic reactions to dust mites? We don’t know which my son has, but has had it forever (I’m still thinking eczema) and I’m all for the natural products rather than steroid creme and stuff like that.

    • Jan says:

      Hi Stevie! I have heard of some people treating eczema with witch hazel. I had it quite badly as a child and still got flare-ups as an adult, and I found that salves and deeply moisturizing products worked better for me. But, everyone is different & the possible causes for eczema & rashes vary, so you could definitely patch test a small amount and see how it does! :)

  14. Thank you! My mom bought a natural salve, but I figure if I can make something great like this, it might be even cheaper than that…and if it works, even better!

  15. kayla says:

    I don’t have access to fresh petals, will dried rose buds work? Maybe infuse it longer?

  16. bambi says:

    Hi, I tried to make the Rose Witch Hazel but it turned brown and its doesn’t have the witch hazel smell anymore. Should I throw it away ?

    • Jan says:

      Oh dear, that doesn’t sound good! Witch hazel doesn’t spoil easily, so I’m not sure what went wrong for you. A few thoughts: did you use a yellow, peach or orange rose? I’ve only tried red or pink, so not sure the final color outcome for other colors. Does it smell rosy at all? If it smells plant like or flower like, it is probably good. If it smells off or sour or old, then you should toss it. When you infused it, did you make sure that the petals were all thoroughly submerged under the witch hazel at all times? Also, did you add leaves or green stem pieces that could’ve mixed with the rose color to make brown? Just a few ideas to help us pinpoint what went wrong a little better!

  17. Eileen says:

    I have sweet mint leaves and pineapple sage…Can either of these be used? I need creative ways to use these herbs up

    • Jan says:

      Hi Eileen! I’m currently working on an eBook on things to do with mint & have some infusing in witch hazel right now! I think it will do nicely for things that need cooling. (I hope to share more ideas for mint in a few weeks, here on the blog.) As far as pineapple sage – I am growing some this year, for the first time. It smells soooo good! I’ve seen a few recipes for jelly made with pineapple sage that I want to experiment with for sure. I thought about trying it in an infused vinegar, but I haven’t really brainstormed other ideas for it yet (though I plan to!)

  18. Nancy says:

    Hi,
    I love your site. What I wanted to know is if you have come across a Berry Toner..I use to use Philosophy’s “Berry Toner” But it was discontinued a while back..It had real berries in it. Do you happen to know a recipe like it..I don’t have a bottle to know exactly what ingredients were in it. It was fairly mild with no alcohol..

    • Jan says:

      Hi Nancy! That sounds like a lovely toner! I’m sorry to say though, that I haven’t ran across a recipe that sounds like that. You may be able to find a recipe for a gentle toner that uses herbs and infuse a portion of it with either fresh or dried berries instead or along with the herbs, but I’m not positive that will work. It might be worth a small experiment though! I wish I could help more!

  19. WILLIS M WRIGHT JR says:

    LOVE TO HEAR MORE

  20. Jessica says:

    SO, I live in an apartment and do not have access to a garden space but my husband does occasionally order me roses. Would a dozen from a typical bouquet be sufficient?

    • Jan says:

      Hi Jessica! What a great guy you have! :) You only need a handful of petals to make this. Even one rose would do nicely. Just be sure any roses you use are organic or unsprayed. The chemicals traditionally used on roses haven’t been tested for use on human skin or internal use.

      • Susan says:

        You can use many wild flowers and plants. Dandelion is one. I like to use plantain,broad or narrow leaf both are great for skin irritations. Like bug bites. Wild roses are great as well. We have so many here. So gathering some tomorrow !

  21. Jessica says:

    Another question, what about rosehips? We have a huge local Amish and Menonite community and I get dried rosehips from them frequently for tea.

  22. Paula Akin says:

    I have heirloom roses, and I will make this next year, when I have Apothecary’s Rose petals to use (this rose is provenanced to the 1200s in Europe). I used most of my petals (MOSTLY after they started to fall) this year to make rose liqueurs. Thank you for your helpful recipes.

  23. Karen says:

    I am allergic to Witch Hazel. Is there anything else to infuse the rose petals with?

  24. Jess says:

    I did this, then added 20 drops vegetable glycerin to 1/2 cup of the witch hazel to make toner that wasn’t too drying based on another blogger’s toner recipe. It works incredibly well. I used it to remove my makeup every night.

  25. Sandy Adrian says:

    Love the recipe and all the wonderful comments, feed back, etc. Where were u 35 yrs ago young lady! Of course, we didn’t have the magic of instant info like these days, but I used to do so many things with herbs and roses. About 30 yrs ago I made my own recipe for a facial toner, which includes rosewater/glycerin, and witch hazel. I have used it daily for the past 35 yrs and it’s marvelous. I will be trying your recipe, however, love the bright red color!! Also will be ordering your wonderful new ebook, about Roses! Thanks!!!!

  26. crystal says:

    Can you use the small wildflower roses that grow at the beach?
    I have two bushes in my yard, but they are not high in aromatic.

  27. Courtney says:

    hi I was wondering why you should not cap it with a metal cap?

    • Jan says:

      Hi Courtney! I like to use non-metallic caps with infusions that have witch hazel, alcohol, or vinegar in them to lessen the chance that contact with the liquid will corrode it. It’s more of a concern with vinegar though, so if all you have is metal, you could put a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap between the lid and jar and it should be fine too.

  28. MaryStar says:

    I grow pineapple sage and it is wonderful in sun tea, I’m just now starting to use my herbs in different ways, I love the information you lovely people put on this blog. I will definately be infusing my witch hazel with all kinds of things from my garden, I think witch hazel is the perfect go to for all kinds of skin issues. I’m a nurse (now doing hospice but for many years postpartum, L&D and NICU) witch hazel is the best for a sore bottom after birth!

    • Jan says:

      Hi MaryStar, I’m glad you like the recipes and information! Pineapple sage is one of my favorites too – it makes a gorgeous vinegar and the smell is divine! Witch hazel infusions are wonderful – some will hold the color (like this rose) while others, such as violet flowers, sadly turn brown. I hope you have lots of fun experimenting and making fun things from your garden!

  29. Susan Angelo says:

    I have been thinking about starting a rose area on my 5 acres. Since I am a blank slate, do you have recommendations for the best roses with fragrance in mind. Love you site. thx.

    • Jan says:

      Hi Susan, A rose area would be so lovely! I think old-fashioned roses would be the place to start (versus more modern hybrids).
      Kiva Rose says: “In general, any strongly scented, old-fashioned or wild Rose can be used medicinally, and the rest are still strong medicine through their gentle presence and lovely appearance.
      “http://bearmedicineherbals.com/sweet-medicine-healing-with-the-wild-heart-of-rose.html
      I have rosa rugosas that spread and grow every year and give beautiful rose hips too.
      I also have an antique rose that was handed down through my husband’s grandpa and was found on a long-abandoned homestead. Unfortunately, I don’t know the name, but it smells so wonderful. (Downside, it has almost lethal thorns!)
      I wish I had some actual names for you, but I’m just not sure of specific ones. I’ve spent many an hour dreaming over web sites where you can buy antique roses though and hope one year to be able to do the same as you! :)

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  31. Denise says:

    Hi there…love your site! I was wondering, as it relates to the Rose/Witch Hazel recipie…does it have to be witch hazel extract, or can I use the regular store bought witch hazel? Thank you so much!!

  32. Phoenix says:

    Hi Jan! I was wondering about making a herbal spray with calendula and yarrow in witch hazel. Do I need to dilute the solution in water before putting it in a spray bottle or can the infused witch hazel be sprayed directly on bug bites, small wounds and poison ivy?

  33. Christine says:

    Hi,
    Thanks for this gorgeous looking recipe! Do you have an idea how long this toner will be usable for? (I don’t really care about aesthetic changes but I’m curious if its life span is in the ballpark with “plain” witch hazel …I’ve had bottles of the latter remain fresh for years!)
    Big thanks,
    Christine

    • Hi Christine! I haven’t kept it for long periods to know for sure. The color does fade eventually, but as you said – that’s only a cosmetic change. A while back I had a liniment made from fresh herbs, vinegar and witch hazel (no extra water) eventually develop a bit of mold – probably about 9 months after I made it. However, I hadn’t gotten around to straining out those herbs and the mold developed along the surface of them. So, as long as you strain out your roses after infusing, I would think it should last a long time for you!

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  35. Ann says:

    I was wondering if the alcohol free organic witch hazel will work?I have a new bottle that I keep in the fridge and would like to make a toner out calendula,yarrow,nettles and chamomile. Also,where should I keep it while infusing?
    Thank you.

    • Hi Ann! I think that should work just as well. A toner made of calendula, yarrow, nettles and chamomile sounds so lovely! :) Since you already store the witch hazel in the fridge, I would keep it in there for infusing and after straining as well.

  36. Wallis says:

    Hi Jan,
    I purchase your two books and I like them very much. I like your style of writing. It suits my taste.
    I live in Belgium and I would like to find Witch Hazel products over here. They’ve got just one product at aroma-zone, there is no alcohol in it.
    Could you please try to explain the differences between Witch Hazel with alcohol or without.
    Many Thanks.

    • Hi Wallis! My understanding is that alcohol is added to witch hazel extract as a preservative; while alcohol-free versions use a different preservative system. Those with extra sensitive or dry skin may find regular witch hazel with alcohol more drying, while those with oily or acne-prone skin may find it beneficial. Conversely, alcohol-free toners are nice for super sensitive or extra dry skin types. :)