From fading dark marks to reducing fine lines, and calming inflammation, rosehip oil is the secret to flawless skin you’ve been looking for.
With its fantastic smell and higher content in vitamin C than orange and lemon, rosehip oil has become a staple in many beauty connoisseurs’ skincare routine.
Used since ancient times around the world for its therapeutic properties, rosehip oil’s abilities to hydrate, protect, heal, and restore face and skin health and radiance has catapulted it to cult status.
Like with its nearest cousins rose water and rose oil, rosehip oil’s huge popularity continues to grow. This is driven by the fact that more people are looking for gentler, nature-based products to add to their beauty regimen.
Read on to discover more about rosehip oil, and how it effectively supports face and skin health. Find out some recommended rosehip oil face and skin products worth investing in to level up your skincare.
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What is Rosehip Oil?
The rosehip, also known as rose hep and rose haw, is an edible rose plant fruit. Its typical colour ranges from orange to red, with some species displaying dark purple or black shades.
After the death of roses left unpruned on a rosebush, these tiny fruits packed with gentle medicinal properties appear more prominently, ready for harvest.
Rosehip oil is extracted from the fruits and seeds of the rose plant, whilst rose oil is pressed from rose petals.
While all rose plants produce rosehips, the best species to extract rosehip oil from for face and skin are Rosa canina and Rosa rugosa.
The most widely used Rosa canina, commonly known as the rose dog, can be sourced from Europe, north Africa, western Asia, and South America.
Prized for its skin nourishing essential fatty acids, vitamins, phenols, anti-ageing, skin lightening, antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties, rosehip oil continues its ascendency in beauty cabinets.
Below are key components that make rosehip oil work wonders for your face and skin.
How Does Rosehip Oil Work for Your Face and Skin?
Rosehip oil has a high content in collagen stimulant vitamin A and antioxidants vitamin C and lycopene, and beta carotene. The latter are known for their sun protection and skin-lightening properties. Some species of rosehip contain more vitamin C than a lemon or an orange.
Rosehip oil is also rich in anti-inflammatory polyphenols, anthocyanin, vitamin E, and vitamin F, a fatty acid combination made of alpha-linoleic acid and linoleic acid.
Rosehip oil is a great source of essential fatty acids including:
- Gamma linolenic acid
- Linoleic acid
- Palmitic acid
- Oleic acid
The key nutrients above contained in rosehip oil make them hugely effective in deeply nourishing, healing, protecting, and restoring your face and skin health and youthful-looking glow.
Here are my top picks of superb face and skin products with rosehip oil and rosehip seed extract that will definitely bring life and radiance back to your skin.
Best Rosehip Products For Face and Skin
Allies of Skin CE15 Bakuchiol Firming Oil
© Allies of Skin
Level up your skincare with organic sea buckthorn oil, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, bakuchiol, and rosehip oil. Their exceptionally high levels of vitamin C shelter the skin from environmental pollutants, deeply nourish and brighten texture. Black cumin oil helps improve the appearance of fine lines and spots.
Susanne Kaufmann Nourishing Night Cream
© SUSANNE KAUFMANN
Skincare veteran plumps up tired and dull skin with rosehip oil, echium seed oil, and hyaluronic acid. Together they help prevent moisture loss, boost cell turnover, and improve skin elasticity and firmness. Balloon vine strengthens skin barrier and soothes irritated skin thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Viridian Rosehip Extract, 90 VCapsules
This high-performing food supplement expertly blends together rosehip extract and rosehip powder. Both, especially rosehip powder, have been clinically proven to brighten skin tone, improve cell longevity, enhance skin elasticity, and prevent the breakdown of collagen that is helpful to maintain healthy skin.
Typology Radiance Face Scrub with Rosehip Oil
This 100% naturally derived face scrub mixes together rosehip oil with macerated carrot oil and apricot kernel powder. The savvy blend delivers a gentle exfoliation that helps unclog pores to reveal a smoother, brighter, and more refined skin texture.
Pai skincare Rosehip Bioregenerate Oil
© Pai Skincare
Hyper sensitive skin will fall in love with this beautifully curated concoction of natural vitamin E and rosehip oil obtained from an advanced CO2 extraction method that better preserves oil than cold-pressed versions. It deeply nourishes skin to deliver a softer, supple texture, and an even skin tone.
African Botanics StretchMark Botanical Body Oil
© African Botanics
A blend of rosehip seed oil and jojoba oil deliver essential fatty acids and powerful antioxidants to boost collagen production and cell turnover. The skin nourishing oils enriched with marula oil maintain skin elasticity and speed healing of wounds, dark marks, scars and stretch marks associated with pregnancy.
Wildsmith Skin Active Repair Nourishing Cleansing Balm
© WILDSMITH SKIN
Gently cleanse away stubborn makeup and impurities with this powerful combination of kukui butter and rosehip oil. Both ingredients contain high levels of vitamins A, C and E that are great sources of antioxidant protection from pollutants. Calendula oil helps calm irritated skin and speed wound healing.
Beauty Pie Plantastic™Overnight Miracle Face Oil
© BEAUTY PIE
This vegan formula combines retinol alternatives such as rosehip oil and bakuchiol to target uneven skin tone and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Skin nourishing grapeseed, sweet almond, jojoba, avocado, and baobab plant oils strengthen skin barrier, support natural water retention, and lock in moisture.
The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil
© The Ordinary
Get all the potent nutrients from cold-pressed Rosa Canina Seed Oil. This naturally hydrates and moisturises your skin. Simultaneously, it helps combat early signs of ageing, promote skin elasticity, and brightens and evens out your skin tone for a radiant glow.
Benefits of Rosehip Oil for Face and Skin
1. Hydrates Skin
Rosehip oil’s high content in essential fatty acids such as oleic acid, linoleic acid, and palmitic acid help nourish and strengthen your skin cell walls to keep them youthful, soft, and supple. These are signs of a well hydrated skin.
Fatty acids contained in rosehip oil also help skin cells retain water, minimising transepidermal water loss. This is essential to maintain skin elasticity and promote a healthy level of hydration, particularly in dry, itchy skin and dehydrated skin showing premature signs of ageing.
Vitamin A together with antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and lycopene found in rosehip oil further support skin hydration by enabling the plant oil to deeply penetrate and absorb into skin cells.
2. Locks in Moisture
Adding rosehip seed oil as part of your skincare routine is an excellent way to boost your skin’s natural moisture level, particularly for dry, itchy skin types that tend to lack nourishing oils. Skin lipids regulate moisture and support water retention to help maintain skin elasticity and youthfulness.
Clinical study carried out in 2015 revealed that rosehip powder containing seeds and shells of Rosa canina, noticeably helped improve cell longevity, skin moisture and elasticity after 8 weeks of treatment.
The right balance of moisture enables your skin to perform its protective barrier function from environmental aggressors. An adequate level of moisture is also essential to minimise your skin’s water loss, thereby preventing it from becoming tight and dry.
3. Supports Collagen Production
Thanks to its high content in vitamin A, rosehip oil is effective in boosting collagen production. Collagen is the core component of our skin cells that help our skin to maintain its elasticity and firmness.
As we get older, our bodies tend to produce less collagen. Consequently, adding a plant oil that actively supports skin rejuvenation by triggering the natural process of collagen formation is important. It helps your skin remain soft, supple, and radiant.
Additionally, rosehip oil has been clinically proven to inhibit the formation of MMP-1, an enzyme that is responsible for breaking down collagen in our bodies.
4. Helps Minimise Fine Lines
Vitamin A contained in rosehip oil encourages skin cell turnover, increases collagen levels and elastin in skin. When applied to skin, natural vitamin A found in rosehip oil converts into trans-retinoic acid.
This is a form of retinoid that helps improve skin texture, rejuvenate and restore skin health. It also assists in promoting and maintaining a healthy dermis and epidermis, the top two layers of your skin.
A study involving participants aged 35 to 65 years, who took rosehip powder orally, reported significant improvements in participants’ crow’s-feet wrinkles, cell longevity, skin moisture, and elasticity after 8 weeks. This suggests that rosehip powder containing rosehip seeds has powerful anti-ageing effects.
For people with sensitive skin, rosehip oil is a gentler natural alternative to synthetic vitamin A derivatives, also known as retinoids, that tend to increase skin inflammation upon application.
Natural vitamin C, a science-backed ingredient also contained in rosehip oil, may help slow early signs of skin ageing, improve the appearance of wrinkles, and dark spots.
5. Reduces Scars and Supports Wound Healing
The powerful combination of vitamin A, antioxidants and essential fatty acids found in rosehip oil help promote tissue and cell regeneration in the skin. Vitamin A is known to speed up skin healing and prevent breakouts. This is why rosehip oil is used as a remedy for wound healing and scars reduction.
A 2015 study involving participants with post-surgical scars incision who applied rosehip oil twice per day reported significant improvements in scars inflammation and colour after 12 weeks of use. This is compared to patients who did not apply any rosehip oil on their scars over the same period.
6. Helps Reduce Hyperpigmentation
Hyperpigmentation results from overproduction of melanin leading to the appearance of dark marks or dark spots on the skin. This is caused by various factors, from skin inflammation, hormonal changes, sun exposure, to taking certain medications such as birth control pills or chemotherapy drugs.
Rosehip oil’s content in vitamin A, which converts into trans-retinoic acid upon contact with skin, is helpful to fade dark marks and black spots caused by hyperpigmentation. As a form of retinoid, trans-retinoic acid is known for its ability to gradually minimise dark marks and age spots over time.
Rosehip oil is also rich in natural vitamin C, lycopene, and beta carotene. These ingredients are known to have skin-lightening properties, because of their ability to inhibit the production of melanin in the body.
Animal studies carried out in 2013 indicated that rosehip extracts were effective in reducing the production of melanin in guinea pig skin. This suggests that the rosehip has skin whitening effects that may need further studies on humans.
7. Boosts Sun Protection
Unprotected sun exposure over the years has an adverse impact on your skin’ ability to produce collagen and fight off hyperpigmentation effectively. This is because the sun’s damaging UVA/UVB rays negatively alter your skin’ healthy ageing process.
Rosehip oil contains antioxidants vitamins, C, A and E. These vitamins work effectively together to visibly help prevent photoageing and combat visible signs of sun damage.
Additionally, antioxidant lycopene found in rosehip oil has been shown in a 2003 study to help shield the skin from sun-induced free radicals.
Whilst rosehip oil may be helpful to minimise some negative effects of sun exposure, wearing adequate sunscreen remains the best way to shelter your skin from damaging sun rays
8. Calms Skin Inflammation
Rosehip oil also contains lycopene, polyphenols and anthocyanin, which are known to help calm inflammation in skin and joint pain. Phenols are thought to have antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Vitamin E and F found in rosehip oil also have anti-inflammatory properties.
These combined nutrients help soothe and calm irritated skin by strengthening the skin’s barrier, reducing excessive water loss, and regulating healthy cell function.
Based on the above nutrients, rosehip oil may be very helpful to calm a number of skin conditions including:
9. Supports Skin Exfoliation and Brightening
As a retinoid, trans-retinoic acid in rosehip oil has gentle exfoliating effects on skin. This is helpful to remove impurities, regulate sebum production, and restore skin health and a vibrant glow.
10. Helps Strengthen Skin Cells
The wealth of antioxidants and polyunsaturated fatty acids found in rosehip oil are helpful to prevent the breakdown of healthy cells. A strong skin barrier supports your body to better retain water and moisture, fights off bacteria and other skin infections.
Rosehip powder has been clinically proven to improve the strength and longevity of the skin’s cells. It also helps prevent the breakdown of collagen in the skin by reducing the production of MMP-1 enzyme.
How To Use Rosehip oil For Face and Skin
Rosehip oil is an all natural plant oil that you can use as a stand alone product in your daily skincare routine. Ideally use it alongside your moisturiser, before you apply your sunscreen.
Alternatively, you can use rosehip oil as a carrier oil that is blendable with essential oils and/or other potent skincare ingredients as part of a well formulated face or body care product.
Rosehip oil is a fast absorbing dry oil that is known to be safe and suitable for all skin types.
However, like with any new product that you add to your beauty routine, always do a 24-to 48-hour patch test before your first use. This is to find out whether you have any allergic reaction to the vegetable oil.
Possible Side Effects and Risks
Although safe for all skin types, rosehip oil can trigger an allergic reaction in some people. Possible side effects you can experience that require immediate medical attention include:
- Itchy eyes and skin
- Scratchy throat
- Rapid heartbeat
- Difficulty breathing
- Stomach pain
- Swollen face and throat
Due to its high content in vitamin C, rosehip oil may not be suitable for people with some medical conditions such as anaemia, diabetes, and kidney stones.
Unless agreed upon with you doctor, please refrain from using rosehip oil if you experience either of these conditions for the following reasons:
- For people with anaemia, vitamin C may impair your body’s ability to absorb iron
- For people with diabetes, vitamin C may adversely impact your treatment
- For people with kidney stones, a high content in vitamin C may increase your risk of kidney stones
Michels AJ. (2011). Vitamin C and skin health.
Christensen R, et al. (2008). Does the hip powder of Rosa canina (rosehip) reduce pain in osteoarthritis patients? – A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.
Binic I, et al. (2013). Skin ageing: Natural weapons and strategies.
Mármol I, et al. (2017). Therapeutic applications of rose hips from different rosa species.
Angelo G. (2012). Vitamin A and skin health.
Park J-E, et al. (2015). Inhibitory effect of rosa multiflora hip extract on UVB-induced skin photoaging in Hs68 fibroblasts.
Valerón-Almazán P, et al. (2015). Evolution of post-surgical scars treated with pure rosehip seed oil.
Phetcharat L, et al. (2015). The effectiveness of a standardized rose hip powder, containing seeds and shells of Rosa canina, on cell longevity, skin wrinkles, moisture, and elasticity.