When we think of natural oils, the beauty industry has its heroes: Coconut, argan, and witch hazel oils are just a few of the majorly buzzy ingredients we’ve come to swear by. But, if you find that those old reliables just aren’t doing your skin justice—especially during this frigid, moisture-sucking winter—then you might need an extra boost. When the going gets tough, reach for rosehip seed oil, a multi-hyphenate pore replenisher.
What Is Rosehip Seed Oil?
According to Victoria Fu and Gloria Lu, the chemists behind skincare blog Chemist Confessions, this botanical derivative comes from the fruit part of the rose bush (who knew roses have fruit?). Ann Marie Cilmi, VP of Education & Innovation at Face Haus, says that this is the main distinction between rosehip seed oil and the popular rose oil, which is derived from rose petals. Rosehip seed has been shown in a study from the International Journal of Molecular Sciences to help with a variety of health issues, including arthritis, inflammatory disorders, and diabetes, through its antioxidants.
According to the Chemist Confessions duo, rosehip seed oil is also one of the best natural oils for moisturizing. “Of all the plant oils out there, rose hip oil has one of the better profiles of fatty acids, linoleic acid (~35-55%) and alpha-linolenic (~17-27%), which are great for supporting the skin barrier,” Fu and Lu explain. “Although this is the triglyceride fatty acid version and not the most efficacious form, rosehip’s ratio of linoleic/alpha-linoleic to oleic acid makes it a great non-comedogenic emollient that nourishes and smooths the surface of the skin.”
Fu and Lu also state that rosehip seed oil’s heavy concentration of antioxidants and various forms of vitamin A—including pro-vitamin A (a.k.a. retinol, Frank Ocean’s favorite skincare ingredient), nourishing beta carotene, and trace amounts of all-trans retinoic acid (or tretinoin, another anti-aging retinoid)—are all aids in promoting clearer, healthier skin. Plus, Climi says that the oil can help with a variety of skin issues. “It promotes tissue regeneration and is good for scars, burns, and wrinkles,” she notes. “It restores moisture lost due to climate/environmental conditions.”
And if you’re worried about irritation, our experts insist that this nourishing ingredient is suitable for all skin types—and can even help soothe sensitive or irritated skin. But, just to make sure, Fu and Lu recommend doing a patch test before you slather it on. “Really, anyone can use rosehip seed oil since its fatty acid profile makes it even friendly to oily skin types,” the Chemist Confessions duo explain. “We would incorporate it if your moisturizer is lacking or skin seems dull and in need of a boost of glow.”
Want to add this all-natural godsend into your routine? Check out our favorite rosehip seed-infused skincare picks, below.
“We love rosehip’s profile and strategically blended it with seabuckthorn, grapeseed oil, and squalane to get the best of everything,” says the Chemist Confessions duo. “As we mentioned before, plant oils don’t provide the best form of these beneficial free fatty acids, so we also added 1% pure free fatty acid along with 1% alpha-bisabolol to brighten and soothe skin.”
No matter how many oils you slather on your face, your skin always need sun protection. This tinted sunscreen contains all of the benefits of rosehip seed oil, plus SPF 30.
This multi-use product acts as a cleanser, mask, and moisturizing balm to give your skin the quenching benefits of this natural derivative, along with the balancing benefits of sea buckthorn, wrinkle-reducing camellia oil, and more.
One of Climi’s top picks, this award-winning oil has a blend of rosehip seed oil, anti-inflammatory jojoba oil, sea buckthorn oil, and hydrating rosemary leaf extract to give your complexion the ultimate boost.
Cleansers are always essential, but many of them can leave your skin feeling tight and over-stripped. This cleanser’s hero ingredient is rosehip seed oil, and it will leave your skin feeling cleansed and refreshed without any discomfort.
“There’s no reason to pay top dollar for rosehip oil,” says Fu and Lu. “Any cold pressed, 100% rosehip oil that’s preserved in an amber dropper bottle is okay for use.” And this pick from The Ordinary is just that: a pure form of rosehip oil, under $10.