While we wish our skin could be free of blemishes and irritation 100 percent of the time (sigh), the reality is we all have our off days.
So what to do on those days when the redness and inflammation gets the best of our complexion? One skin superstar that’s gaining more and more fans is rosehip oil.
Why? Well, for starters, it’s natural, safe, low cost — and chock full of antioxidants and vitamins, along with fatty acids that help to plump, moisturize, and glow up your skin.
Devotees claim rosehip oil is the real deal — a gentle, all-purpose base oil (aka carrier oil) that can help calm inflammation, heal scars, and give your skin a much-needed dose of vitamin C.
How does rosehip oil work its magic?
- oleic acid
- palmitic acid
- linoleic acid
- gamma linolenic acid
While there aren’t an abundance of scientific studies backing up its effectiveness, there are lots of anecdotal testimonials.
We’re breaking it all down, so you can judge for yourself.
What is rosehip oil?
While they both come from the rose bush, rosehip oil and rose oil aren’t one and the same. Rose oil is an essential oil (not really an oil texture-wise) that smells like a bouquet of roses and is taken from the flowers.
Rosehip oil is harvested from the fruit. Now we know what you’re thinking: “Roses aren’t fruits.” But, in fact, once the roses die on a rose bush, they leave behind the rosehip fruit. They’re edible but, no, they don’t taste like perfume.
This fruit is especially high in vitamin C as well as pro-vitamin A (which is different from your common retinol vitamin A), vitamin D, vitamin E, flavonoids, carotenoids, beta sitosterol and plenty of other difficult-to-pronounce but extremely beneficial vitamins and minerals.
What does rosehip oil do for skin?
Rosehip oil has been used medicinally for centuries. Some cite the oil as a cure for everything from the common cold to infectious and inflammatory diseases. While the science on these cures isn’t quite as readily available, there’s plenty of research supporting rosehip’s effects on skin.
As a beauty product, the oil is best known for its ability to tame inflammation — it helps skin destress and find its Zen by soothing redness and irritation. But it can also help promote healing and improve scars. Here’s more:
One study found that rosehip’s high concentrations of antioxidants made it suitable as a topical treatment for oxidative stress or inflammation.
Hypes up hydration
Rosehip’s fatty acids (linoleic and linolenic) make it an excellent treatment for dry skin.
Because rosehip oil is high in vitamin A which promotes cell turnover, it may offer natural exfoliation. Buh-bye, dead skin cells.
Vitamins A and C are essential for the production of collagen and rosehip oil is loaded with both.
Staves off sun damage
While rosehip oil shouldn’t be used in place of sunscreen, its abundance of vitamins A, C, and E may help combat visible sun damage and prevent photoaging.
Helps with scarring and fine lines
Rosehip’s fatty acids and antioxidants encourage tissue and cell regeneration.
How to use rosehip oil
Apply it twice daily as a moisturizer and/or apply directly to dry areas.
Things to consider
Because of its high concentrations of vitamin C, you might want to be careful when applying rosehip oil in the morning. Although vitamin C is great at brightening skin, it’s not so great with the sun.
It can decrease melanin levels and make your skin more susceptible to rays. And no one wants a sunburn, right?
While rosehip oil is generally safe for all skin types (even sensitive skin), allergic reactions happen. Always perform a patch test before applying something new all over your face. Rub a few drops onto your inner arm or inner elbow. No reaction in 48 hours? You should be good to go.
Stop use immediately if you notice a rash, difficulty breathing, change in heart rate, dizziness, itchy eyes, wheezing or chest discomfort.
Also, even though it can be great for topical use on inflammation, experts don’t recommend taking rosehip oil internally. So just stick with integrating it into your skin care routine.
How to start using rosehip oil
What to expect
Rosehip oil is easy to add into your routine. Because of the thick nature of the oil, you’ll want to apply it after your moisturizer in the p.m. or, if photosensitivity isn’t a concern, before your SPF in the morning.
You’ll want to find an oil in a dark-colored bottle or opaque packaging to preserve the formula from light damage. Alternatively, you can keep the oil in your fridge to protect it and give your skin routine an added cooling sensation.
We get it, there are a lot of oils out there and it can be overwhelming. So we made your shopping experience a little easier. We searched high and low for the top-rated rosehip oils at all price points. Here’s what we found.
For the spend-savvy: under $25
The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold Pressed Rosehip Seed Oil
Suitable for all skin types (including mature skin), this oil is rosehip in its purest form — not to mention, it costs around the same price as a Chipotle burrito.
Botanics 100% Organic Nourishing Face Oil
Ideal for dehydrated skin, this oil locks in hydration with its super lightweight formula. Combined with sweet almond oil and argan oil, it’s okay to use both day and night.
Acure The Essentials Rosehip Oil
With over 2k ratings on Amazon, it’s no wonder this organic cold-pressed oil is a fan favorite. It’s pure rosehip so you get all the balancing, calming effects and nothing else.
For the skin care “regular”: under $50
Pai Skincare Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil
Suitable for all skin types including Eczema-prone skin, this bright orange oil (natural color from the rosehips) contains added vitamin E to help moisturize.
Trilogy Rosehip Oil Antioxidant+
Suitable for all skin types, this hybrid product contains a trio of oils: certified organic rosehip oil, tomato seed oil, and acai seed oil. Together they soothe and smooth skin tone.
For the skin care connoisseur: under $90
KORA Organics Noni Glow Face Oil
Suitable for all skin types, this powerful face oil combines the calming effects of rosehip oil with clarifying sea buckthorn oil and moisturizing pomegranate oil for an all-in-one treatment.
Herbivore Botanicals Phoenix Facial Oil
Best for dry and sensitive skin, this fan-favorite oil is worth the investment with its high potency of CoQ10, chia seed oil, and sea buckthorn oil.
Clearer days are on the way. Inflammation is no match for rosehip oil. The topical treatment can help calm skin and promote a brighter complexion (thanks to its high concentration of vitamin C).
Although it’s not a necessity, it’s a great addition to your everyday routine. You can use it at night to reap the benefits while preventing photosensitivity.
Not sure if this oil is right for you? It’s always best to consult the pros. Talk with your doctor or dermatologist before investing so you know what to expect.