Rose Petal Oil Is an Under-the-Radar Ingredient With Benefits You Need to Know

Four roses in the sunlight, against a neutral pink background

Tawni Bannister | Byrdie

You may be a rosehip oil devotee, but there's a lesser-known sibling in the rose family that you may want to consider adding to your skincare regimen: rose petal oil. An essential oil derived from the petals of rose plants, this skincare product may benefit your skin in several ways thanks to its hydrating and antibacterial properties.

Here's what you need to know about using rose petal oil on your skin, with advice from dermatologists Kunal Malik, MD, and Wendy Long Mitchell, MD.

Meet the Expert

  • Kunal Malik, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist at Spring Street Dermatology and an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
  • Wendy Long Mitchell, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist at Manhattan Dermatology and a clinical assistant professor at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine.

What Is Rose Petal Oil?

Rose petal oil is made from the petals of various types of roses. Two of the most popular varieties of roses used to make rose petal oil are Rosa centifolia and Rosa damascene.

As a skincare product, rose petal oil may particularly benefit people with oily skin (among other uses), according to our experts. "Rose petal oil can have numerous benefits for skin health when implemented in your daily skincare routine," Mitchell tells us. "It contains a high concentration of antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and vitamins, which provide a range of benefits for the skin."

One important point to keep in mind: Rose petal oil is not the same product as rosehip oil. Rosehip oil, a well-known skincare favorite, is made from the fruit of the rose plant, while rose petal oil is extracted from the flower's petals.

Benefits of Rose Petal Oil

  • Hydrates the skin: Rose petal oil's hydrating and moisturizing properties make it a great skincare product for people with dry or sensitive skin, Mitchell says. "The oil helps to lock in moisture and improve the skin's barrier function, which helps to prevent water loss and keep the skin hydrated and supple," she tells us.
  • Helps regulate oil production: Rose petal oil has natural astringent properties, Malik says. This is helpful for people with oily skin because it helps regulate sebum production.
  • Potential anti-inflammatory properties: "Rose petal oil is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, which make it effective in reducing redness and inflammation in the skin," Mitchell says. "This makes it an excellent choice for people with acne-prone skin or rosacea."
  • Contains vitamin C: Rose petal oil contains high levels of vitamin C, which helps stimulate collagen production. "Collagen is a protein that gives the skin its elasticity and firmness," Mitchell explains. "Using rose petal oil regularly can help to improve the skin's texture and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles."
  • Calming: Some find the scent of rose petal oil calming. This can help reduce stress and promote relaxation, Mitchell says.

Additionally, rose petal oil may have antibacterial properties.

Side Effects of Rose Petal Oil

As is the case with almost any skincare product, a few possible side effects could arise when using rose petal oil. Here are some potential concerns to keep in mind:

  • Allergies: If you're allergic to roses or other properties of rose petal oil, using rose petal oil could potentially cause an allergic reaction, such as contact dermatitis. Even if you don't have any known allergies to roses or rose petal oil, it's a good idea to do a patch test on a small area of skin and then monitor for adverse reactions—like itching, burning, stinging, irritation, and inflammation—before using rose petal oil on your face.
  • Clogged pores: "Using too much rose petal oil can lead to clogged pores and breakouts, so it is best to use it in moderation," says Mitchell.
  • Unknown pregnancy risks: Rose petal oil shouldn't be used during pregnancy unless previously discussed with your doctor, Malik says. This is because there isn't enough information about how rose petal oil may affect a person during pregnancy.

Who Should Use Rose Petal Oil

People with all skin types can use rose petal oil, but it might be most beneficial for those with dry, sensitive, or mature skin, Mitchell says. "It is also an excellent choice for teens who [have] acne or stress-related skin issues," she adds. "There are no specific age restrictions for using rose petal oil, but it is never too early to start taking care of your skin."

How to Use and Apply Rose Petal Oil

  1. Cleanse your face and pat dry.
  2. Apply a few drops of rose petal oil and massage it into your skin using a circular motion.
  3. Allow the oil to absorb into your skin for a few minutes before applying any other products, like moisturizer, makeup, and SPF.

When using rose petal oil, Mitchell advises avoiding harsh or abrasive exfoliants; They can strip the skin of its natural oils.

The Final Takeaway

Rose petal oil has astringent properties and may be helpful if you're looking to manage oily skin. But it can also benefit people with dry skin, providing a boost of hydration. If you're using rose petal oil for the first time, do a patch test on a small area of your skin before full-on application. And as with any new skincare product, check in with your dermatologist if you have any questions or concerns.

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
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  2. Gref R, Deloménie C, Maksimenko A, et al. Vitamin C–squalene bioconjugate promotes epidermal thickening and collagen production in human skinSci Rep. 2020;10(1):16883.

  3. Zu Y, Yu H, Liang L, et al. Activities of ten essential oils towards propionibacterium acnes and pc-3, a-549 and mcf-7 cancer cellsMolecules. 2010;15(5):3200-3210.

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