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What to do With Rose Petals (Medicinal Uses + DIY Rose Face Wash)

If you have a rose bush you may be wondering what to do with the rose petals. Can you eat them? How do you dry rose petals? Can you make a rose petal tea? All these questions plus a DIY moisturizing and toning rose face wash recipe for dry aging skin.

Vertical view of rose face wash in a mason jar next to fresh roses and a mortar and pestle.

How to Harvest, Dry & Preserve Rose Petals

In the video below, Carolyn demonstrates how to harvest rose petals, how to dry rose petals, and how to preserve rose petals for long-term storage.

Dried rose petals are a wonderful use for medicinal purposes or as a rose face wash (recipe below).

Best Roses to Use For Medicinal Purposes

We grow a lot of medicinal herbs in our cottage garden. If you’re interested, here’s more info on the medicinal herbs you can grow and how to use them.

If you’re wanting to make a rose petal tincture, a tea or the DIY rose face wash recipe below, you want to make sure you’re using roses that haven’t been sprayed or fed with chemical fertilizers.

You’ll also want a good old-fashioned rose that has a lot of fragrance. We suggest using the following:

  • Damask rose
  • Gallica rose (or French rose)
  • Wild dog rose

Whatever roses you use, just be sure they have a nice strong scent at the time of harvest.

A rose on a rose bush.

How to Harvest Rose Petals

When harvesting rose petals, make sure to collect them on a dry day.

The best time of day to harvest any medicinal plant is early in the morning as soon as the morning dew dries on the plant.

This is when the sugars on the plant are the highest, the aromatherapy effects are also the highest and you’ll end up with the most amount of fragrance from the plant.

To harvest roses:

  1. Pull off the entire flower bud.
  2. Immediately pull the petals off the flower bud and place them into a basket.
  3. Use rose petals fresh or dry them for long-term storage.

When you pull off the entire flower bud (instead of just harvesting a few petals at a time) you’re actually “dead-heading” the rose bush.

When you dead-head the entire flower bud, you’re telling the plant to continue producing flowers because it didn’t have a chance to go to seed to reproduce.

Fresh roses with a tray of dried rose petals in the background.

Medicinal Uses for Rose Petals

Rose petals are a wonderful flower to use as a tea. The tea can alleviate an upset stomach, diarrhea, a sore throat or a cough.

You can infuse white wine with rose petals to use for headaches and depression.

And the non-medicinal benefits of rose petals are their aromatherapy benefits when used in a face wash.

A basket of fresh rose petals and a pan of dried rose petals with a woman's hand holding a jar of ground dried rose petals.

How to Dry Rose Petals

Drying rose petals is very simple and actually very quick as well. Once you harvest your rose petals simply…

  1. Lay rose petals on a pan in a single layer.
  2. Leave at room temperature for 10-12 hours*.
  3. Every hour or so, give them a stir to make sure all sides have a chance to dry.
  4. Once completely dry you can keep them whole or powder them and store in a glass container with an airtight seal for up to a year.
  5. Store in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.

* If you live in a very humid climate, you can place the rose petals in the oven with just the oven light on (no heat).

Vertical view of rose face wash in a mason jar next to fresh roses and a mortar and pestle.

DIY Rose Face Wash (Moisturizing + Toning)

This moisturizing and toning face wash is simple to make and has the added aromatherapy benefits of dried rose petals. It's easy to make and will leave your skin toned, hydrated and smooth.
4.29 from 32 votes
Print Pin
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Author: Carolyn Thomas


  • 2 tbsp rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup dried rose petals
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 1 tsp rose hip seed oil or other facial oil


  • Combine the rolled oats and dried rose petals into your coffee or herb grinder and pulse until coarsely ground.
  • In a small bowl, add honey and rosehip seed oil, stir to combine.
  • Add ground oat and rose petal combination and stir well until combined.
  • Store in a sealed glass mason jar.



  • To get 1/4 cup dried rose petals, you’ll need to harvest about 1 1/2 cups fresh rose petals.
  • Use a coffee grinder for easy griding. You can use a mortar and pestle as well. 
  • To easily clean your coffee grinder between uses, grind some whole grain and grind for about 10 seconds.
  • It’s easiest to work with honey that’s slightly warmed up, you can do this by placing your bowl of honey in about an inch of water in a pan on the stove and simmer until honey is a soft liquid.
  • If you can’t find rosehip seed oil, you can use any other good quality facial oil.
  • The face wash can be stored for about two months as long as no water gets into the jar. I recommend making in small batches so it’s nice and fresh.
Tried this recipe?We want to see! Tag @homesteadingfamily on Instagram.
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