Rosehip oil is the first oil I tried when I dived into the world of face oils. That was so many years ago, but it got me started down the rabbit hole learning about the nuances of all the different carrier oils and why some are better (or worse) for your skin.
Rosehip oil is one of the best carrier oils to start with if you're new to using face oils. Rosehip oil skin benefits are numerous, and you can use it on your face, body, and even hair. It's suitable for all skin types and it's one of my favourite oils for so many reasons.
Rosehip face oil is among the best and if you're just getting started, check out our beginner's face oil guide for more general information.
Expert Tip: Rosehip oil features prominently in our Bakuchiol Age Support Serum. Discover how this nourishing oil can make a difference in your skincare routine.
Rosehips Through History
Rich in essential fatty acids and antioxidants, rosehip seed oil stands out for its collagen-boosting properties and scar-fading capabilities. From moisturizing dry skin to reducing acne scars, this is a must-have in your skincare arsenal.
The Historic Significance of the Rose Plant
The legacy of the rose plant dates back approximately 50 million years, according to fossil evidence from the Eocene epoch. Not merely a decorative element, the rose has been globally revered for its multifaceted attributes. With more than 300 species and countless ornamental varieties, roses have deeply influenced various cultures through art, symbolism, mysticism, and folklore.
Beyond Beauty: The Commercial and Medicinal Uses of Roses
Roses aren't just about pleasant fragrances and stunning visuals; they're also a staple in the cosmetic and food industries. You may have come across products like rosehip tea, rose water, and rose syrup, which have been commercialized for their unique flavors and health benefits. These berry-like fruits range in color from red to dark purple and are packed with seeds covered in fine, stiff hairs. But what sets rosehip apart is its high vitamin C content, making it a nutritional and medicinal powerhouse.
What is Rosehip Oil and How is it Made?
Rosehip face oil is best extracted using the cold pressing process. The absence of chemicals and heat during the extraction process ensures that the delicate phytochemicals are preserved.
Rosehip Seed Oil vs Rosehip Oil vs Rose Oil vs Rose Essential Oil
The terms "rosehip oil" and "rosehip seed oil" are often used interchangeably, but they can refer to different products depending on how they are made. Both oils are derived from the rosehip, which is the fruit of the rose plant, typically the Rosa Canina or Rosa Rubiginosa species. However, the difference lies in the part of the rosehip used to extract the oil:
- Rosehip Oil: This can be made from the entire rosehip fruit, including the flesh and the seeds. This means it may contain additional phytochemical compounds found in the flesh of the rosehip, but only what is oil soluble.
- Rosehip Seed Oil: As the name implies, this oil is extracted specifically from the seeds of the rosehip. It is generally considered to be richer in certain nutrients like essential fatty acids, but it might lack some of the compounds found in the flesh of the fruit.
- Rose Oil and Rose Essential Oil: Rose oil is usually very fragrant and is often the result of steam or CO2 extraction. This is usually best clarified so that you know whether you have a true essential oil or just an infusion (where the flowers are soaked in a carrier oil). The difference would be whether it's safe to use the full-strength oil on your skin or not.
In contrast to oils, rose water is created using the petals/flowers. This may be done using water but there are other water-soluble solvents that can be used. Dried rosehip fruit can also be used directly in teas and ground up as an extract powder.
So many ways to use the rose flower and rosehips! And all of them can find their way into your skincare products - which is great!
What Does Rosehip Oil Contain?
Rosehip seed oil is a powerhouse of phytochemicals and phytonutrients. What does this mean? It means that many substances have been isolated in measurable quantities and subsequently linked to potential benefits of rosehip oil. The benefits of these chemicals are sometimes widely understood, but many are anti-inflammatory and antioxidant chemicals.
The fatty acid composition is mostly polyunsaturated. Rosehip seeds are very high in linoleic acid (54%) and linolenic acid (19%). In addition, there was a very high measured level of beta-sitosterol and other sterols, which are most valuable from a nutritional standpoint.
In one analysis, rosehip seeds had more polyphenols than pomegranate seeds and more ascorbic acid than citrus fruits. The antioxidant capacity of rosehip seed oil was higher than grapeseed oil and vegetable oils corn, olive, and sunflower.
Levels of oil soluble antioxidants like carotenoids (Pro-Vitamin A) and tocopherols (Vitamin E) are also very high. These properties are what makes rosehip oil for the face one of the best for anti aging skin care.
What are the Benefits of Rosehip Oil for the Face?
If you're going to use rosehip oil on your face, the combination of fatty acids, phospholipids, sterols, polyphenols, and Vitamins E, and A should result in:
- Skin barrier repair and strengthening
- Moisturization and hydration
- Improved texture, smoothness, and skin elasticity
- Reduced fine lines and wrinkles
- Reduced inflammation, redness, and potentially acne
- Antioxidant effects fight free radical damage
- Brightening and improved tone, reduced visibility of sun damage
- Reduced hyperpigmentation and appearance of scars
So how long until you see results from rosehip oil? Generally, consistent use over a number of months is needed to see results from any skincare product. Even retinoids can take up to a year of use before full effects are reached. When it comes to nourishing, natural oils like rosehip, you will notice rapid improvements in softness, moisturization and texture. Barrier repair often takes a few weeks.
This all means that Rosa canina for skin care is a must try!
Does Rosehip Oil Clog Pores?
Rosehip seed oil is very unlikely to clog pores or make acne worse. It is considered a dry oil and scores a one on the comedogenicity scale. This means rosehip oil is non-comedogenic and won't clog pores.
The main reason is due to the high levels of linoleic acid. In addition to the vitamin A and anti-inflammatory effects, those who use rosehip oil on their face may actually see improvements in their acne breakouts as their sebum levels become more regulated. Users are also likely to see improvements in the appearance of superficial acne scarring and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Can You Use Rosehip Oil on Your Hair?
All the same phytonutrients that make rosehip oil an excellent facial oil also make it good for your hair and scalp. Even your hair follicles will love it!
There are 2 approaches you can take. Either use a small amount and massage it into your scalp and comb through. This will ease itch and improve moisturization and shine. It shouldn't leave a greasy look. The second method is to use a larger amount, massage, comb through, and put a shower cap on for 30-60 minutes. After that, wash it off with a gentle shampoo.
Is Rosehip Face Oil Safe?
Using rosehip seed oil on your skin is safe for most users. However, allergies and sensitization can occur. Patch testing over several days is recommended if you have sensitive skin.
It is unscented and unlikely to be a skin irritant as a carrier oil. Use caution with the essential oil. It carries a much higher percentage of aromatic volatiles, which are more likely to irritate if used at high concentrations.
What about using rosehip oil on face while breastfeeding?
There is no reason to believe topical rosehip oil use would have any risk in pregnancy or breastfeeding. Ask your doctor if you're worried, but know that these types of fears have been perpetuated by fear-based marketing targeting child-bearing women.
What Is The Environmental Impact of Rosehip Oil Production?
Little is published about the environmental and humanitarian considerations for the rosehip agroindustry. It is not linked to problematic deforestation or reduction in biodiversity. The predominant source for commercial rosehip oil production is in Chile. There is a risk of exploitation of local farmworkers. The rosehip carrier oil we use in our products is certified organic by the NOP.
DIY Rosehip Face Oil Recipe
I started in the DIY world and want everyone to know it's easy. Buying organic, cold-pressed, 100% Rosehip Seed Oil is all you need to get started.
Please do not spend a fortune.
Some ultra-luxury brands farm, harvest and extract their own oils. This 'farm to face' approach is admirable. Their product is likely exceptional. However, carrier oils are not highly active substances. So, although beneficial for your skin, you probably won't see noticeably different results if you try different versions of the same oil.
For DIY products, I recommend a four-oil approach. This allows you to fine-tune it easily, so it's tailored to your skin and your preferences. Then, if you make 100ml at a time, the math is easy.
Here is a great face oil recipe to get you started if you want to try DIY rosehip face oil at home:
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- Valerón-Almazán P, Gómez-Duaso AJ, Santana-Molina N, García-Bello MA, Carretero G. Evolution of post-surgical scars treated with pure rosehip seed oil. Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences and Applications. 2015;05(02):161-167.
- Huri Ilyasoğlu (2014) Characterization of Rosehip (Rosa canina L.) Seed and Seed Oil, International Journal of Food Properties, 17:7, 1591-1598,
- Lin TK, Zhong L, Santiago JL. Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils. Int J Mol Sci. 2017;19(1):70. Published 2017 Dec 27.
- Chrubasik C, Roufogalis BD, Müller-Ladner U, Chrubasik S. A systematic review on the Rosa canina effect and efficacy profiles. Phytother Res. 2008 Jun;22(6):725-33. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2400.
- Ottaviani M, Camera E, Picardo M. Lipid mediators in acne. Mediators Inflamm. 2010;2010:858176. doi:10.1155/2010/858176
- Mármol I, Sánchez-de-Diego C, Jiménez-Moreno N, Ancín-Azpilicueta C, Rodríguez-Yoldi MJ. Therapeutic applications of rose hips from different rosa species. Int J Mol Sci. 2017;18(6):1137.
Dr. Heather Smith developed her love for skinimalism and clean beauty years ago when she began making home remedies for her newborn's eczema. She is an expert in natural ingredients and active botanicals and has now launched bareLUXE Skincare - a full line of effective oil serums. She dedicates this blog to consumers who are researching ingredients and working to make their beauty ritual more natural and sustainable.
This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Smith nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content should consult their physicians about their skincare concerns and routines.