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Handmade Hydrosols


Taught by Alice Duvernell

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some of these topics in an online format? Contact us and let us know.

The word hydrosol comes from the Latin root “hydro” and “sol” which means “water solution.” When a plant is distilled to obtain an essential oil, many chemical compounds of the plant first build up in the water. A hydrosol is the distillate water that remains under the thin layer of essential oil after the steaming process. Hydrosols contain many of the same beneficial components of essential oils, but in a much more subtle, gentle way.

On their own, hydrosols make wonderful, all-natural facial toners & soothing skin spritzers, but they can be used in a number of other cosmetic formulations such as lotions, creams, soaps, facial masks, scrubs, etc. They are suitable for a wide range of skin types, particularly sensitive skin. For this reason, they are safe for use in baby and pet products (even okay to use on cats, which normally cannot metabolize any essential oils at all).

In this class, you will learn how you can make your very own hydrosol at home (without special distillation equipment) from scratch using readily available cooking tools. You will experience the marvelous aromas, as well as the soothing, moisturizing and cooling effects of hydrosols. The class will focus on 6 very beneficial hydrosols (Chamomile, Lavender, Peppermint, Rosemary, Geranium & Rose), their properties, and their many uses in skin care. All of the plants used in the class are available locally, and you will develop an awareness of what can be easily grown in your own garden or purchased at convenient neighborhood resources.

Alice will cover the following as she demonstrates how to make a 20 oz. batch of hydrosol using her unique method:

  • Brief history and basic knowledge of hydrosols
  • Necessary materials, supplies and equipment to make your own from scratch at home
  • Six very beneficial hydrosols and their many uses in skin care
  • Recipes for facial toners, aromatherapy mists, masks, creams, baby care & more
  • In class creation (hands-on) of clay facial masks using hydrosols
  • Bottling freshly made hydrosols: hygienic awareness, giving products a longer shelf life

You will go home with handouts and the knowledge of how to make great hydrosols and hydrosol-based cosmetics from scratch as well as a 4-oz. spritzer bottle of freshly made hydrosol and a delightful clay mask (something hands-on for you to experience how hydrosols can be easily incorporated into your skin care routine). Due to the nature of making hydrosols from scratch (in batches), this class is mainly demonstration style with some hands-on elements. Note: This is NOT a class on how to make essential oils.

Please Note: A materials fee of $12 will be collected at the beginning of class.

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Alice headshotAlice Duvernell is an artist & gilder who moved to the Bay Area after living in the south of France for 8 years. There she started researching problematic & sensitive skin types & developed an interest in the amazing virtues of essential oils & hydrosols. Her interest in culture & her studies in anthropology led her to travel in South America where she expanded her passion & awareness in native medicinal plants. During her last journey to Brazil, she set up a laboratory where she shared with the locals her homemade techniques for making hydrosols & other cosmetics, using only native plants. Learn from Alice at the Studio.


If you are coming from out of town, contact us before making any non-refundable travel arrangements so we can verify the class has met the minimum and is definitely a go.

All payments are non-refundable, but we do offer partial class credit depending on how much advance notice you give us. If you cannot attend a class, you can always send someone in your place. Alternatively, you can receive partial credit as described below. Note: We do not offer refunds, only future class credits.

At Least 7 Days’ Notice: If you cannot attend (for any reason) and you call us at 510-234-5700 with 7 or more days’ notice, you will be able to transfer your class fee, minus a $15 change fee, to any future class.

At Least 48 Hours’ Notice: If you cannot attend (for any reason) and you call us with at least 48 hours’ notice (but less than 7 days before the class) you will be able to transfer 50% of your class fee to any future class.

Less than 48 Hours’ Notice: If you give us less than 48 hours’ notice that you cannot attend a class, you forfeit your class fee. We are happy to send the class handouts to you. Simply email us a request.

If We Have to Cancel: In the rare case where enrollment is below the studio minimum of 5 students, the teacher has the right to cancel no later than the Monday prior to the class. If a class is cancelled, you will be contacted using the phone number and/or e-mail address that you gave when signing up. You will have a choice of a full refund or a credit for any future class.

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