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While many of us consider coconut oil to be the queen of all-natural oils, there may be another contender vying for the throne. If you're unfamiliar with rosehip oil (and its many under-the-radar benefits for your skin), let me assure you that it is, in fact, as pleasant as it sounds.
For starters, this natural oil is beloved by an actual duchess. That's right—it's confirmed that Kate Middleton and her mother, Carole Middleton, use it as a part of their daily skincare routines. Kate's go-to is Trilogy's Rosehip Oil ($23). Gwyneth Paltrow and Miranda Kerr have also openly confessed their love for it, and they certainly have the glowing skin to prove it. Now that we've addressed the fact that rosehip oil is loved by royalty and A-listers alike, it's time to figure out why. To do so, we enlisted the help of dermatologists and a cosmetic chemist, for an expert take on the holy grail oil.
Read on for all the incredible benefits of rosehip oil for skin, according to dermatologist Hadley King, MD; Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York; and cosmetic research scientist Marisa Plescia, of Naked Poppy.
- Type of ingredient: Oil
- Main benefits: Brightens and evens out the skin, regenerates and heals, helps with anti-aging, elasticity, and collagen production.
- Who should use it: In general, rosehip oil is beneficial for all skin types.
- How often can you use it?: It's safe to use twice a day, morning and night.
- Works well with: In general, rosehip oil can be used with most products and ingredients.
- Don't use with: Rosehip oil is high in vitamin A, so be mindful when using products with retinoids.
What Is Rosehip Oil?
Rosehip oil—also known as rosehip seed oil—is a pressed seed oil that has been valued since ancient times for its many healing properties, which makes it especially helpful for those with sensitive skin. "Rosehip oil is derived from the small fruit that sits beneath the rose," says Zeichner. "It is a popular ingredient in skincare right now for its hydrating and anti-aging benefits."
Rosehip oil has a host of benefits (more on those, below) but it is first and foremost an ultra-effective emollient and moisturizer. "With high levels of essential fatty acids, especially omega-3 (linolenic acid) and omega-6 (linoleic acid), rosehip seed oil can effectively soften skin and improve skin barrier function," says Plescia. "Although seemingly counterintuitive as an oil and sometimes thought to be not suitable for oily/breakout prone skin, rosehip seed oil can be an ideal natural oil for blemished skin." Rosehip oil’s high concentration of omega-6 fatty acids (also known as linoleic acid) is particularly helpful for those suffering from acne. "Research shows breakout-prone individuals are deficient in this specific fatty acid and its topical application can reduce the size of blemishes," adds Plescia. "Linoleic acid has also been found to help treat hyperpigmentation."
Benefits of Rosehip Oil for Skin
- Regenerates and heals the skin: Because it contains high concentrations of vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, and K, rosehip oil is known for its exceptional regenerative and healing properties.
- Increases collagen production and skin elasticity: Research shows that after eight weeks, rosehip oil will lead to a significant improvement in crow's-feet wrinkles, the skin's moisture level, and in elasticity.
- Assists in brightening and evening out the skin: Because it's rich in vitamin C, rosehip oil helps brighten the skin. It also helps decrease the appearance of hyperpigmentation.
- Fights free radicals: "With high levels of vitamin C, rosehip seed oil can help with the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, brighten skin, and help fight free-radicals in the skin," says Plescia.
- Has dramatic skin restorative powers: A study proved that the use of rosehip oil on patients post-surgery improved the overall look of their scars.
- Intensely hydrates and moisturizes the skin: Including linoleic acid, as well as various other essential fatty acids, rosehip oil is the go-to for acute hydration. It also locks in moisture and is easily absorbed by the skin.
- Calms inflammation: Rich in vitamin E and anthocyanin—two ingredients that can calm and soothe irritation—rosehip oil can be hugely beneficial for those dealing with rosacea, eczema, and other inflammatory skin issues.
- Combats acne: "For acne-prone skin, rosehip oil can be helpful because it has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, and it has low comedogenicity," explains King.
Side Effects of Rosehip Oil
Rosehip oil has no known side effects and is generally safe for all skin types. However, a patch test should always be performed before adding any new product to your daily routine.
How to Use Rosehip Oil
Rosehip oil can be applied straight onto the skin or can be used as a carrier oil for other, more potent facial oils. Although it's formulated into many skincare products, rosehip oil can most often be found in its pure form, to be applied directly onto the skin. This oil should be packaged in a dark, amber-colored bottle to protect it from UV rays, which can diminish the potency of the product if exposed.
Rosehip oil can be used up to twice a day, morning and evening. The most popular way to use this oil by applying it directly to the skin or adding it to your favorite moisturizer. "Rosehip oil can be found in all types of skincare products, lotions to serums," says Plescia. "But a facial oil, either blended or pure, is the ideal way to experience the potency and the benefits of the oil." However, you can also use rosehip as a carrier when using another potent oil of choice. Make sure to store it in a cool, dark place to ensure that it doesn't go rancid.
The Best Products With Rosehip Oil
This highly concentrated serum helps reduce the appearance of skin damage and encourages the regeneration of collagen and elastin.
This potent serum is infused with 22 powerful botanicals, and aims to fight free-radicals, heals, renews, repairs, and tones the skin. Rosehip is one of the main components, and paired with the remaining ingredients, we can definitely see why this serum is as impressive as it is.
This well-known oil from Pai is rich in omegas, formulated with rosehip, and is highly beneficial for the skin. Perfect for all skin types, the Bioregenerate Oil utilizes rosehip to heal, regenerates, and assists with blemishes and dullness.
King recommends this product for those looking to firm and brighten their skin. A mix of squalane oil, vitamin C, and rosehip oil work to enhance the glow and combat redness and scarring.
"Rich in damask rose oil, rosehip oil and argan oil, this creamy formulation moisturizes but absorbs quickly, ideal for combination skin," says King. "These oils help balance the skin's oil production, with low risk for comedogenicity. Hyaluronic acid hydrates the skin, and extracts from ginkgo biloba, grapes, rooibos plant and milk thistle minimize oxidative stress."
Formulated specifically for dry skin, this product works to combat redness and dryness—as a bonus, it's ideal for those who battle acne. "[Rosehip oil] is rich in polyunsaturated fats, which means it can effectively be used even on acne-prone skin," says Zeichner.
Zeichner recommends Naked Poppy's organic facial oil, which includes high levels of linoleic acid, "which is known to be deficient in the natural oil of people with acne. Replacing it may help reduce inflammation and activity of the oil gland itself," he says.
Phetcharat L, Wongsuphasawat K, Winther K. The effectiveness of a standardized rose hip powder, containing seeds and shells of Rosa canina, on cell longevity, skin wrinkles, moisture, and elasticity. Clin Interv Aging. 2015;10:1849-56. doi:10.2147/CIA.S90092
Valerón-Almazán, Pedro, et al. “Evolution of Post-Surgical Scars Treated with Pure Rosehip Seed Oil.” Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences and Applications, vol. 05, no. 02, 2015, pp. 161–167. doi:10.4236/jcdsa.2015.52019