What is Rosehip Oil?

What is Rosehip Oil?

Ever wondered what the best Rosehip oil is? Next up in the Ingredient Spotlight Series, we uncover the two most common types in natural skincare, the many benefits of Rosehip oil, and how you should shop for the best Rosehip oil.


Rosehip oil - also called rosehip seed oil - is extracted and cold-pressed from the fruits and seeds of wild rose bushes. There are several varieties recognized across the globe for their miracle-like, skin saving abilities. 

With over 150 rose species in existence, it makes sense that there’d be more than one oil to choose from. However, the best rosehip oils are cruelty free and organic rosehip oils from the Rosa Canina and Rosa Rubiginosa plants. These flowers have a sweet, mild fragrance, and are easily identified by their pink or white flowers with five large petals. 

Native to Europe, Asia, and Northwestern Africa, the Rosa Canina plant is also known as the “Dog Rose”. It was given this name in both ancient Greek and Roman mythology due to the belief that its roots could cure rabid dog bites. Its hooked thorns have lent it additional titles, including briar rose, dog briar, and wild rose. The bulgarian rose oil made from its seeds has astounding skin hydrating and regeneration effects. It has a high make up of essential fatty acids (about 71 percent), as well as Vitamin E, C, A, and D. Today, these deciduous climbing shrubs are commonly scattered atop the hedgerows of the UK, providing nectar to insects, food for mammals and birds, and being turned into rosehip syrup. 


Rosehip seed oil texture


On the other hand, the Rosa Rubiginosa plant is native to the Southern Andes in Chile. It is also called Rosa Mosqueta and so is where Rosa Mosqueta Oil comes from. At approximately 78 percent, the Rosa Rubiginosa has an even higher essential fatty acid content than that of the Rosa Canina. They look almost identical, and both have vitamins, beta-carotene, and omegas 3, 6, and 9. The main difference between the two organic rosehip oils is that the one from Rosa Rubiginosa is also made up of Trans-Retinoic Acid, an effective antioxidant for treating acne.

Which Rosehip oil you choose is up to you and your skincare needs, but we’ll always recommend using those that are cruelty free and sustainably-sourced. 


Speaking of decisions, pure rosehip oil can be applied directly to the skin on its own. The trick is to do so sparingly (a little goes a long way!). Warm two to three drops between the fingertips and apply where needed no more than twice a day. When layering, use after cleansing, exfoliating, and toning, but before moisturizing for maximum absorption.



Rosehip oil on the skin


So once it soaks in, what will Rosehip oil do for your skin? If you’re not a fan of putting pure oils directly on your face: no worries. Over 30 of our clean beauty picks mix pure Rosehip oils into their formulas. Here’s what any of them will do for your facial skin:



As we all know, water is essential for soft skin, especially as it ages or during extreme weather conditions. The wealth of essential fatty acids present in Rosehip oil, such as linoleic acid and linolenic acid, help keep water in by strengthening cell walls. It is easy for rosehip seed oil to travel deep within skin layers as well. This makes it an excellent option for dry, itchy skin.  



Water hydrates, while moisturizing helps lock in any added oils and the body’s natural hydrants. Studies have shown that rosehip seed oil possesses several anti-aging properties, such as the ability to improve skin’s overall moisture levels and fade fine lines. Rosehip oil is also considered non-greasy, which makes it great for any skin type and the best serum for acne prone skin! 



While we’re on the topic of aging, let’s talk about the building blocks of the skin: collagen. 

Collagen is what makes skin firm and elastic; the more is being produced, the younger the skin will appear. In order to have collagen, you need vitamin A, and rosehip seed oil has plenty of it. It also prevents the maturation of MMP-1, an enzyme that breaks down cell structures like collagen in the body. 

{Want younger-looking skin fast? Odièle's Rose Sérum decadently blends 600 pure bulgarian rose oils - including rosehip seed - to boost collagen production, promote healthy cell turnover + more!}



Hyperpigmentation occurs when excess melanin forms dark spots or patches on the skin, either due to hormonal changes, sun exposure, or certain medications. Here’s where Vitamin A comes in handy again: it is made up of several nutritional compounds like retinoids that are known to reduce hyperpigmentation and other signs of aging, if used regularly. 

In addition, the lycopene and beta carotenes in Rosehip oil are notorious for their natural skin-lightening effects. 



Did we mention that rose face serum makes an awesome natural exfoliant? It can help reduce dullness and leave your skin vibrant, but that’s not all. Once old skin cells are gone, rosehip encourages cell turnover as well.

{UpCircle Beauty's new skin brightening serum, the Organic Face Serum With Coffee, also uses the best rosehip oils to help fade dark spots, keep skin firm, and add luster.}



Rosehip oil for hair

With so many more popular hair oils on the market like coconut, castor, and jojoba, adding yet another to your arsenal might feel overwhelming or redundant. However, less popular does not mean less effective. Here are three reasons to add this lightweight oil to your hair care collection:  



Did you know that Rosehip Oil can double as a natural hair conditioner? It’s all thanks to those omega fatty acids (namely gamma-linoleic acid). Not only can they nourish and soften strands, but they’ll keep the scalp healthy and balanced, too. This is because GLA naturally maintains healthy skin barriers. The stronger the skin barrier function is, the less flakes will appear. 

Once applied to the scalp, Vitamins A and C begin producing more collagen and stabilizing existing collagen. The result is a healthier head of hair over time. They’ll also protect it and the scalp from free radical damage, as well as oxidative stress for stronger, shinier locks. 



Moisturized hair is happy hair! Like all the others, Rosehip oil is great at locking it in, especially on the ends of the hair. Since they’re the oldest and farthest section from the scalp, our ends need all the moisture they can get to keep from splitting the scene. And, because it’s a dry oil, Rosehip sinks into the strands quickly. 



Given all the traits listed above, a connection between Rosehip Oil and hair growth can’t be far off, though further research is still needed to be sure. 



Rosehip oil for body


Another thing that causes premature aging is spending a lot of time in the sun. Too much exposure to UV rays can tamper with the body’s ability to produce collagen. Antioxidants in Rosehip Oil like vitamin E and A work together to fight against visible sun damage.



Essential fatty acids not only hydrate the skin, but assist in tissue and skin cell regeneration as well. That is why many groups of people have long used Rosehip Oil for scars, healing wounds, and reducing the appearance of fine lines on the face.  

{Apply the Devine Body Oil by SK+N/MUSE from head to toe after bathing to add moisture, treat wrinkles, and even out skin tone. For an even more luxurious experience, add 2 to 4 drops of the Rose Sérum by Odièle or the Rosa Whole-Fruit Rosehip Oil by Earthwise Beauty to your favorite face mask.} 


Yet another benefit of Vitamin E; this antioxidant is widely known for its anti-inflammatory effects. Because of this, Rosehip Oil is highly likely to reduce irritation caused by skin conditions such as eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, and dermatitis. 



In addition to their many other rewards, antioxidants and polyunsaturated fatty acids are necessary to keep cell membranes in the skin from breaking down. Weak cells allow bacteria to invade the skin, which can lead to outbreaks and infections. Rosehip helps skin fight back by reducing MMP-1 production, strengthening skin cells, and creating longevity. 



Though their similar names can make things confusing, Rose Oil and Rosehip Oil are not the same. 

For starters, Rose Oil is made from rose petals, while Rosehip Oil comes from the hips of rose plants (small round fruits usually found behind the flower). Because of this, rose essential oil has a rich floral fragrance while rosehip does not. Instead, it sports a subtle earthy scent with woody undertones. 

Rose Oil is extracted using a process called steam distillation, which is why its smell is so strong. 

Furthermore, it contains no fatty acids and, because it’s an essential oil, it must be diluted before application. In contrast, rosehip is a carrier oil, so it is hydrated enough to help “carry” other oils into the skin. 

{The Devine Body Oil by SK+N/MUSE is packed with Egyptian honey and rich oils - including rosehip - to keep your skin soft, healthy, and lift you into your highest form of self-care.}


And finally, though Rose Oil does have its perks, its strong odor can badly irritate the skin, especially sensitive types. Rosehip oil on the other hand provides moisture, helps fight acne, and reverses signs of aging - all without causing irritation.



The confusion here is also understandable, but, as the name implies, rose water is a liquid and not an oil. 

The first way Rose water is created is when water is infused with fresh rose petals through the same process as Rose Oil. It is also the essential water portion of distilled rose petals - a by-product of making rose oil, if you will - that is used in perfumes.

In addition to beauty, Rose water is widely used to improve digestion, lessen headaches and sore throat, increase brain health, and more. Like Rosehip Oil, it has been shown to protect cells against damage, soothe irritation, and ease skin condition symptoms, but that’s pretty much where their similarities end. 



Rosehip Oil is usually very safe on any skin type when used topically. Nonetheless, it can pose very rare side effects. Here are a few of them:

  1.   Rosehip Oil rarely causes mild to severe allergic reactions. Symptoms can include:

o    Itchy, watery eyes

o    Rash or hives

o    Congestion

o    Dizziness

o    Chest discomfort

o    Wheezing

o    Anaphylaxis


  1.   If you have super fine hair, Rosehip Oil’s molecular weight can bog it down, make it greasy, or appear flat. As a result, it is very easy to end up with product buildup, so only apply a small amount


  1.   Rosehip Oil is not recommended for internal use. 

To avoid risk, we recommend performing a skin patch test prior to using any new skin product. Contact your health care professional should you experience any severe or persistent symptoms.  



Rosehips have been used for centuries all over the world for their many beauty, health, and wellness capabilities. We love it! Surprisingly, though, there still haven’t been enough studies done on the benefits of Rosehip oil to decisively connect it to many of them. We not only hope that having discussions about ingredients with our community will create more educated experiences, but look forward to more detailed studies on cruelty free and organic rosehip oil in the future. If you think Rosehip Oil might be perfect for you, we’ve curated an entire list of clean beauty brands that love it, too. Happy shopping!




Our quick quiz will help you to select the products that are right for your skin type and concerns. Jazmin and her team will recommend products and are also on call should you need more 1:1 support.