Orange Blossom Water: A Soothing Tonic for Sensitive Skin

  • September 25, 2023
  • 3 Minutes

Last updated on 10/12/2023 by Souhela Ferrah

We’ve all heard about rose water and its wonderful properties. Surprisingly, outside of the food industry, fewer people know about orange blossom water and how it can help people with sensitive skin. As its name suggests, orange blossom water is made from distilled orange blossoms (those beautiful white flowers on orange trees). This tangy concoction is gaining popularity in the healthcare and food industry due to its intense aroma, taste, and natural nutrients. You can use it for cakes and ice creams, orange blossom cookies, and to help even out your skin tone while soothing the skin. In this article, we’ll explore the origins, understand the science, and discover the usefulness of orange blossom water for skin sensitivity.

What is Orange Blossom Water

Orange blossom water is a type of water that takes full advantage of the hydrophilic qualities of neroli essential oil. Neroli essential oil was named in the 17th century after the princess of Nerola, Italy. Princess Anne Nerola was known to perfume her bath with this oil, using it to soothe her skin and smell amazing. Orange Blossom Essential Oil (AKA neroli oil) is the aromatic component of, you guessed it, orange blossom water. It is made by steam distillation of orange blossoms and can be used daily by any person with sensitive skin (unless you have a citrus allergy!)

picture of an orange with orang blossoms on a tree
picture of healthy orange blossoms during spring
picture showing an orange tree full of oranges and orange blossoms

Understanding Sensitive Skin

Having sensitive skin is no walk in the park. It adds a lot of stress, knowing that almost anything that encounters your skin can irritate it. From external pollutants and free radicals to the hand cream at your friend’s house, we must stay vigilant. Sensitive skin, characterized by increased reactivity, redness, and discomfort, requires a specialized approach to skincare. This skin type’s vulnerability to external triggers like environmental factors, allergens, and certain harsh skincare ingredients can force you into a perpetual battle for balance. In the search for this balance, natural ingredients based skincare is the best approach to skincare routines, and orange blossom water can become your most trusted partner, with its components rooted in the heart of nature.

Orange Blossom Water: A Timeless Soothing Marvel

Centuries ago, in the fragrant heart of the Mediterranean, orange blossom water took an important role in the skincare routine of royalty. This tonic was celebrated for its calming properties and incredible scent. The delicate process of extracting the fragrant essence from orange blossoms was almost designed for the royals. On the island of Cyprus, it became a well-known toner and cleansing product for the skin. Recently, this traditional knowledge about homemade blossom water was transmitted orally as a part of folk heritage and gained great interest due to the increasing popularity of phytotherapeutics. I’m sure that one day, many years ago in Western Italy, someone saw the orange blossom and linked its beauty with that of Princess Anne. Surely, as a gift, they created neroli oil to celebrate her life and gave us an incredible flower extract. Did you know that chamomile is another great flower to soothe your skin?

The Science behind Orange Blossom Water soothing properties

If you want to understand how orange blossom water can be the best tonic for sensitive skin, all you need to do is see its chemical composition. Remarkably, orange blossom water contains a group of natural components including:

  1. Nerol and Geraniol: These monoterpenoid alcohols contribute to the delicate floral scent of orange blossom water. They also possess antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, which can benefit skin health.
  2. Linalool: Linalool is another terpene alcohol responsible for orange blossom water’s sweet and floral aroma. It is known for its anti-inflammatory and calming effects on the skin, making it suitable for sensitive and irritated skin.
  3. Alpha-Terpineol: This terpene alcohol has both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It can help soothe redness and irritation while protecting against oxidative stress.
  4. Limonene: Limonene is a well-known terpene that exhibits antioxidant properties. It can help neutralize free radicals and contribute to overall skin health.
  5. Flavonoids: Flavonoids are plant compounds with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and potential anti-aging properties. They can help protect the skin from environmental damage and promote a healthy complexion.
  6. Citronellol: This aromatic compound adds to the fragrance of orange blossom water and has potential antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Imagine an oasis in the middle of the desert. An oasis that not only quenches your thirst but protects you against future dehydration by fortifying your internal defenses. Orange blossom water is this oasis. Its anti-inflammatory effects resemble a gentle breeze on heated skin, reducing redness and discomfort. Also, this natural toner can balance your skin’s pH level, contributing to the strength of the skin’s protective barrier.


Did you know? Another flower that, besides being beautiful, is a secret agent in the fight against aging skin is hibiscus. Learn the science behind its antioxidant properties!

Embracing Orange Blossom Water into Your Routine

Incorporating orange blossom water into your daily routine is simple. Its versatility allows for multiple approaches – as a skincare product and for cooking. It can be a toner, facial mist, or even a mask for your face. For example, Fields of Yarrow’s Award Winner Wild Rose & Geranium Face Oil is a vitamin-rich body cleanser formulated with skin-loving nourishing oils. It’s a must-add to your shower routine that will surround you with uplifting natural fragrances. This Orange Blossom-infused face oil is the right way to start your mornings.

Read Reviews

Wild Rose & Geranium

Award Winning Face Oil

Wild Rose & Geranium Illuminating Face Oil is a luxurious moisturizer that packs a powerful punch of natural ingredients to hydrate and rejuvenate the skin.


Orange blossom water can also give a lovely orangy taste to cakes and pastries and even be used as a natural treatment for indigestion. Whether layering it with other products or savoring it pure, orange blossom water works synergically into your daily routine.

The perfect helper to Sensitive Skin

In conclusion, orange blossom water has emerged in my research as a remarkable and versatile asset, especially as a natural skincare ingredient. This aromatic tonic, born from the beauty of orange blossoms, has long been cherished for its soothing properties, finding a special place amongst royalty and now within our products in natural skincare. The science behind its composition reveals a bounty of benefits, including antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties that can comfortably coexist with sensitive skin.

Sensitive skin, a constant battleground against irritants and allergens, finds an ally in orange blossom water and natural ingredients when mixed properly.


Can orange blossom water be used as a natural remedy for specific skin conditions?

Orange blossom water may help alleviate symptoms of skin conditions like rosacea and eczema due to its anti-inflammatory properties, but it's essential to consult with a dermatologist for specific guidance.

How can orange blossom water be integrated into aromatherapy or relaxation practices?

Orange blossom water's calming scent makes it suitable for use in aromatherapy, where it can be diffused or added to bathwater to promote relaxation and reduce stress.

Is there a difference between orange blossom water and neroli oil?

Yes, there is a difference. Orange blossom water is a distillation of orange blossoms, while neroli oil is extracted from the same blossoms but through a different process. Neroli oil is more concentrated and often used in perfumery.

How does orange blossom water compare to other floral waters like rose water?

Orange blossom water and rose water both offer unique scents and benefits. Orange blossom water has a tangy aroma, while rose water has a more floral scent. The choice between them depends on personal preference and skin needs.

Are there any cultural or regional traditions associated with the use of orange blossom water?

Yes, orange blossom water holds significance in various cultural and regional traditions, including its use in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines, as well as in bridal and festive ceremonies. Understanding these traditions can deepen your appreciation for its versatility.

What are the historical origins of orange blossom water?

Orange blossom water has a rich history, with roots dating back to Mediterranean royalty and folk heritage. It was often used for its soothing properties and delightful scent.

About the Author

Souhela Ferrah
Souhela Ferrah

Researcher, mom and founder of Fields of Yarrow

Growing up in the south of France, Souhela Ferrah was surrounded by flower fields. As the daughter of a pharmacist, and with her educational background as chemist, she grew up with a strong affinity with nature and understood its power very well. Thanks to her family, her hometown and her travels around the world, she found inspiration in natural healers, herbalists and nature itself. And this was enough to motivate her to start the awarded honest skincare brand, Fields of Yarrow.
Tags: botanical ingredients / ingredients / natural ingredients / orange / orange blossom / orange blossom water / organic ingredients / skin water

Related stories

If you enjoyed this article, here are more top stories from our research journal that might be important for you.

Enzymatic Exfoliation for Brighter, Smoother Skin
Enzymatic Exfoliation for Brighter, Smoother Skin

Weekly mechanical exfoliation is great, but rarely we think of enzymatic exfoliation, done trough agents that work at a cellular level. Today, I’ll tell you all you need to know on enzymatic exfoliants. We’ll talk about the different types of exfoliations available so that you can choose the one (or ones) that best adapt to your unique situation.

read more
Create your own personal Natural Skincare Digest. It's free, and it will be free forever. By selecting your own skin type and which topics you are most interested in, you can customize the monthly digest that you will receive straight to your inbox.