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Clary Sage Hydrosol: What are the risks?

Clary Sage Hydrosol: What are the risks?

In cosmetics, the hydrosol of sage officinalis is recognised for its sebum-regulating, anti-perspirant and anti-oxidant properties. It is thus recommended for excessive perspiration, oily skin and dull complexions regularly exposed to various aggressions (pollution, cigarette smoke, UV rays...). In this article, we will explore its potential contraindications and dangers.

The sage officinalis and its hydrosol, in brief.

The sage officinalis is an aromatic plant with grey-green leaves that primarily grows in Provence. Etymologically, 'salvia' comes from the Latin 'salvare', which means 'to heal'. Indeed, it has been used since antiquity for its medicinal virtues. It was used to combat certain infections such as gangrene and to stimulate digestion.

Today, steam distillation from its dried leaves allows us to obtain two fractions: the hydrosol and the essential oil. Derived from the same plant, these two substances have similar properties, but the hydrosol is less concentrated in active species because the aromatic essences are present in smaller quantities. The hydrosol of sage officinalis is thus considered a gentler alternative to the essential oil, which is deemed neurotoxic due to its high thujone content. It should be noted that this essential oil is listed among the essential oils whose sale is reserved for pharmacists (Public Health Code).

The benefits of sage hydrosol.

In skin and hair care, this hydrosol is renowned due to various properties:

  • Purifying,it regulates sebum secretion and sanitises oily skin and greasy hair (whether or not dandruff is present).

  • Antioxidant, it helps to neutralise free radicals and thus prevents the appearance of signs of ageing on the skin's surface (wrinkles, spots...).

  • Anti-perspirant, it regulates the activity of the sweat glands and limits excessive perspiration. It thus acts as a natural deodorant.

  • Toning, it revitalises the radiance of dull hair and tired skin.

The dangers and adverse effects of sage hydrolat.

The risks associated with the cosmetic use of sage hydrosol are minimal. However, vigilance is still required.

Due to the presence of ketones, a hormone-like action, and the lack of extensive studies on the toxicity of this hydrosol, it is safer for children under the age of six and pregnant and/or breastfeeding women not to use it. It is also strictly contraindicated in cases of hormone-dependent pathologies and mastoses.


  • FAUCON M. Traité d'aromathérapie scientifique et médicale - les hydrolats (Tome 2). Paru le 13 novembre 2018. 


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