Rosehip oil is beloved all over the world as a powerful skincare ingredient. Utilised for skin health and its healing properties for hundreds of years, rosehip oil is rumoured to have a host of benefits: some of which are true!
So, what does rosehip oil do exactly? Let's explore this multitasking skincare powerhouse.
What is rosehip oil?
Rosehip oil — or rosehip seed oil — is made from the rosa canina plant. Contrary to popular belief, it is made from the seed buds of roses (the rosehips), not the blossoms.
While rosehip powders can be made from any part of the rosehip, rosehip oil is traditionally made from the seeds alone. The highest quality rosehip oils are organic and cold-pressed from 100 per cent rosehip seeds.
Rosehip oil has a long history in medicine and skincare, used for hundreds of years across the world as a healing ingredient.
Rosehips are rich in vitamin E, vitamin C and essential fatty acids, and have noted anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-ageing effects — earning it a stellar reputation as a skincare ingredient.
What are the benefits of rosehip oil?
Rosehip oil is one of the most popular ingredients in the skincare world. Here are some of the benefits of this powerful seed oil.
It heals the skin
Rosehip seed oil has been proven to reduce the appearance of scars and aid in wound healing.
In one study, rosehip oil was shown to improve the cosmetic appearance of scars within 12 weeks. With reliable use, it helped reduce erythema, discolouration and atrophy of surgical scars.
It fights free radicals
Rosehip oil contains a significant number of lipophilic antioxidants, like tocopherol (vitamin E) and carotenoids. These vital compounds are key in fighting free radicals and oxidants.
Free radicals and oxidants can break down essential elements of our skin barrier and contribute to oxidative stress, which can cause inflammation, redness, the deterioration of skin cells and accelerated ageing.
To fight these, we need antioxidants in our skincare routine — of which rosehip seed oil has many! Carotenoids in rosehips — like lutein, lycopene, and beta-carotene — have also shown to be great antioxidants, helping to fight these harmful free radicals.
When applied topically, as well as when taken orally (for example, via food or supplements), carotenoids can improve our skin health.
It has anti-ageing powers
Key ageing accelerants include the loss of collagen and photo-ageing — such as hyperpigmentation, dark spots and wrinkles — due to UV exposure and sun damage.
Collagen is a key part of keeping skin firm, supple and youthful. It occurs naturally in the body and skin, but we tend to lose more collagen as we age. Other factors like smoking and genetics can also accelerate collagen loss.
Rosehip oil can help boost the formation of collagen.
A study from 2015 examining the ingestion of rosehip powder found significant improvements in the appearance of crow's feet wrinkles as well as a noticeable increase in skin elasticity after eight weeks.
The impact of rosehip oil on signs of ageing is considered promising thanks to its levels of vitamin A and E and essential fatty acids like linoleic acid.
It calms inflammation
Some studies have found rosehip oil has promising results in aiding some inflammatory skin conditions, including eczema and atopic dermatitis. Rosehip powders have shown a positive anti-inflammatory effect on rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis.
Essential fatty acids found in rosehips have anti-inflammatory effects and can help fight free radicals thanks to its antioxidant levels.
It helps treat acne
Thanks to the vitamin E and linoleic acid (omega 6 fatty acid) properties in rosehip seed oil, it can also be an effective acne treatment as vitamin E has been found to prevent comedones (blocked pores or follicles that cause pimples).
Meanwhile, linoleic acid helps balance the oil on your skin and prevents other oils from clogging your pores.
Finally, the anti-inflammatory qualities of rosehip oil can also help with acne-prone skin.
Are there any side effects of rosehip oil?
As with all skincare products, side effects are always possible depending on the individual and the use of the product. But, studies tend to find no side effects of topical rosehip oil and it should be perfectly fine for sensitive skin, whether it be oily or dry.
However, as a rule, always patch test any skincare product before using it on a larger area. Furthermore, ensure your rosehip oil is always well-sealed and stored in a cool, dry place. Rosehip oil can become rancid quickly if left in imperfect conditions.
Be sure to check use-by dates and purchase small quantities at a time to prevent the product from spoiling.
Is rosehip oil good for rosacea?
Although there is currently no scientific support for rosehip oil as a rosacea treatment, many sufferers of rosacea cite rosehip oil as a helpful part of their skincare routine.
Rosehip oil is moisturising, anti-inflammatory and reduces redness, so it can potentially ease some rosacea symptoms.
Is rosehip oil good for scars, stretch marks and pigmentation?
Rosehip oil has been shown to reduce some types of scar visibility. This suggests it could potentially be useful for stretch marks, although research in this area is minimal.
Is rosehip oil comedogenic?
Rosehip oil isn't just for dry skin. It can be used by those with acne-prone skin as well.
Rosehip oil is non-comedogenic — meaning it won't clog your pores. In fact, as stated above, it can even help prevent acne.
Can you use rosehip oil if you have sensitive skin?
Rosehip oil is generally considered an excellent product for folks with sensitive skin. If you have sensitive skin, just check your rosehip oil isn't mixed with any other ingredients that may upset your skin.
High-quality rosehip oils are usually pure, cold-pressed and unscented.
Can you use rosehip oil every day?
Yes! Rosehip oil is mild and can be used every day. Some use it in place of a face (or body!) moisturiser.
Thanks to the gentle nature of rosehip oil, there's no limit to how often you can use it but be sure to see how your skin responds to it.
How do you use rosehip oil?
Rosehip oil is applied topically. You can use rosehip oil as a spot treatment in a targeted area, or as an all-over moisturiser. It's a gentle product, making it fit for everyday use.
It's best to apply rosehip oil after water-based ingredients, so follow up cleansing, toning and any water-based serums or acids with a few drops of rosehip oil. You can also apply rosehip oil in the morning and wear it under your SPF and makeup.
Remember to patch test rosehip oil before introducing it into your skincare routine.
- CHRUBASIK, Cosima et al. A systematic review on the Rosa canina effect and efficacy profiles, Phytotherapy Research, Vol.22 Issue 6, 2008
- VALERÓN-ALMAZÁN, Pedro et al. Evolution of Post-Surgical Scars Treated with Pure Rosehip Seed Oil, Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences and Applications, 2015
- LEI, Zhiyong et al. Rosehip Oil Promotes Excisional Wound Healing by Accelerating the Phenotypic Transition of Macrophages, Planta Med, 2019
- BALIĆ, Anamaria, MOKOS, Mislav, Do We Utilize Our Knowledge of the Skin Protective Effects of Carotenoids Enough?, Antioxidants (Basel), 2019
- PHETCHARAT, L et al. The effectiveness of a standardized rose hip powder, containing seeds and shells of Rosa canina, on cell longevity, skin wrinkles, moisture, and elasticity, Clinical Interventions in Aging Vol.10, 2015
- MÁRMOL, Inés et al. Therapeutic Applications of Rose Hips from Different Rosa Species, International Journal of Molecular Sciences Vol.18, 2017
- LIN, Tzu-Kai, et al. Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils, International Journal of Molecular Sciences Vol.19, 2017
- KEEN, Mohammad Abid, HASSAN, Iffat, Vitamin E in Dermatology, Indian Dermatology Online Journal Vol.7, 2016