With their soothing qualities and sweet fragrances, beautiful roses are a favorite in skincare and aromatherapy—and have been for thousands of years. Roses grow with circumboreal distribution, meaning they thrive throughout the Northern Hemisphere, and there are many native species in Western Washington.
All flowers in the Rosa genus are astringent, sweet, cooling, and exceptional allies for dry, irritated skin. Roses are full of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants that can help combat inflammation and acne as well as soften fine lines and tone, cool, and calm the skin. Rose hips (the fruit) are also full of antioxidants and vitamin C, which help promote the integrity of the skin.
Roses Teach Us the Intimacy of Strong Boundaries
Roses teach us how to soften and remember our radiant hearts through self-intimacy and strong boundaries. Boundaries are the ability to experience softness and vulnerability through upholding our own values, wants, and needs. Roses offer healing, remembering, and softening from behind a wall of thorns.
Because of their strong boundaries, roses are plants that draw you in. When you see a rose across the garden, notice the pull and desire to go and admire. Yet, if you get too close too fast or start getting grabby, you will get a sharp reminder of a rose’s thorns. When you have a soft radiant heart, you will also draw others in, so make sure your thorns are in place and well fortified just like the rose.
Boundaries as Self-Love and Protection
Having boundaries is not being selfish or uptight; your boundaries are the ways that you tend to, protect, and love yourself. And as we care for ourselves, we have an increased capacity to be abundantly loving toward others and present for those we care about.
While holding a boundary can look like saying no to activities that do not align with your values, they can also be broader than that. A boundary could be the ways you interrupt systems of power in a conversation, at your work, or or at a party and how you choose to engage in those dynamics.
Soften Your Grief with Roses
Loss, pain, and the grief that accompanies those sensations can cause us to withdraw, to protect, and to harden. During these times of contraction, we can often start to tell stories like, “I will never love again,” or, “I will always be alone.” And while this may feel true in the moment, it does not always have to be true later on.
Roses can be wonderful friends as you wade through the grieving process. They can help to soften your fall, and they will be there as you get up again, remember how to re-open your heart, reach back out, and reconnect in a safe, boundaried way.
Roses as Allies for Self-Care
Roses can be strong, enduring allies for self-care rituals. What is a ritual? It is:
- A dramatic, changeable script that helps give life meaning
- A human mechanism for managing emotion and stress
- Something you do repeatedly
One way to create ritual for yourself is to start with what you are already doing. For example, you could use roses in your daily skincare routine. Here are some locally grown, botanical skincare products you can use to create your own rose skincare ritual.
Your Self-Healing Ritual with Rose
After a long day, or even midday if you’re feeling overwhelmed, arrive to yourself. Reach for your plant friends and favorite skin tending products. Notice the steady sound of the water as you turn on the faucet.
As you cleanse your skin, notice the soothing sensation of the cleanser. Imagine you are gently massaging and rinsing off your experiences of the day, allowing that which doesn’t serve you to return to where it may serve via the drain.
Gently pat your face dry, and notice how your skin is resilient—a physical reminder of your own boundaries and edges. With your face still slightly damp, spritz with a hydrosol and put one pump of Radiance Facial Oil into your hands.
As you gently press the oil into your face and neck, say out loud (or in your head) “I am sinking into softness, my edges allow me to shine forth.” Notice the subtle fragrance of roses, the sensation of the oil on your skin. Connect to the essence of rose, the beauty, the thorns, to drawing softness.
After you’ve cleansed your skin and welcomed rose as an ally, give thanks and gratitude for water, for roses, for all the parts of yourself, and to all the helping spirits. While the world and its overwhelming challenges will still be present when you return from this ritual, know that your connection to yourself, and to roses, will fortify you as you move into your evening and time of rest—even if this is only for a short time.
Building and deepening relationships will, over time, offer more support and fortification as you move through the world.
Mae Botanicals Rose Products: