Miranda Kerr calls it the secret of her flawless complexion. Even Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Middleton are known to use it to keep their skin glowing.

We’re talking about rosehip oil, an essential oil packed with vitamins, antioxidants and essential fatty acids. While this oil has gained immense popularity in recent years, its benefits have been known since ancient times.

Several benefits of rosehip oil include anti-aging property, skin moisturizer, reduces scars, prevents stretch marks, etc.

In this article, you will learn in detail about rosehip oil, its benefits for the skin and different ways to add it to your skincare routine.

What is rosehip oil?

Rosehip oil, also known as rosehip seed oil, is extracted from the small fruit ‘hips’ which are left behind after the wild roses have bloomed and lost their petals.

Rosehip oil is harvested using the cold-press extraction method, from the Rosa canina rose bushes that are grown mostly in Chile.

Rosehip oil has a subtle woody smell, and its color ranges from deep gold to rich red-orange to light yellow.

Rosehip oil is packed nutrients like vitamin A, C and E, essential fatty acids (linolenic acid, linoleic acid, and oleic acid), stearic acid and palmitic acid. This oil also contains carotenoids, flavonoids, and trans-retinoic acid.

History of rosehip oil

Ancient Egyptians, Mayans, and Native Americans used rosehip oil for its healing properties. Ancient Chinese doctors used rosehip to treat stomach weakness and cramps.

During World War 2, rosehip was used as a citrus replacement to keep coughs and colds at bay.

The syrup made from rosehip oil also helped provide relief from diarrhea, nausea, indigestion, stomach, and menstrual cramps.

Rosehip contains 60 times the amount of vitamin C as compared to any citrus fruit.

We learned of the skin healing properties of rosehip oil in the 1980s.

During a study conducted by the University of Santiago in 1983, researchers discovered that rosehip oil could help in regenerating skin, minimizing scars and it could even improve skin tone.

Benefits of rosehip oil for the skin

1. Anti-aging

The anti-aging properties of rosehip oil come from its high vitamin C content. Vitamin C has potent antioxidant properties that prevent damage caused by UV rays and thus reduces wrinkles.

Collagen production naturally slows down as we age.  Rosehip oil is rich in vitamin C, which is known to stimulate collagen production.

According to a 2015 study, when 60 female volunteers applied vitamin C topically for 60 days, it induced significant collagen synthesis with minimal side effects (1).

Rosehip also inhibits the creation of the enzyme MMP-1, which breaks down collagen in the body.

Rosehip oil also contains vitamin A and lycopene which have skin rejuvenating properties.

2. It brightens skin

Rosehip oil reduces hyper-pigmentation and brightens skin. This oil contains vitamin C and vitamin E, which help combat the sun damage that results in age spots and hyper-pigmentation.

These antioxidants reduce the overproduction of pigmentation that can lead to an uneven skin tone. Vitamin A present in rosehip oil also encourages skin turnover.

You can also drink rosehip tea to get these antioxidants in your diet.

3. It soothes redness and irritation

Rosehip oil contains anti-inflammatory fatty acids such as linoleic acid, alpha-linolenic acid, and oleic acid.

These fatty acids are effective against skin conditions like rosacea and atopic dermatitis, which are inflammatory disorders.

Rosehip oil helps reduce redness and inflammation on the skin.

4. It calms acne and reduces acne scarring

Rosehip oil is a light oil that quickly gets absorbed into the skin. It is noncomedogenic, which means it does not clog pores.

The anti-inflammatory powers of rosehip oil help calm the redness and irritation associated with breakouts.

People who suffer from acne are often prescribed retinol creams for topical application. Rosehip oil contains trans-retinoic acid, which is the natural form of vitamin A.

The essential fatty acid content in rosehip oil help reduce acne scarring by promoting skin regeneration.

5. It moisturizes the skin

Rosehip oil contains fatty acids like linoleic acid and linolenic acid which are excellent moisturizers for the skin.

These fatty acids help keep the skin hydrated and also aids in ceramide formation. Ceramide is the substance that keeps the walls of the skin cells strong so that they can retain moisture better.

This property of rosehip oil makes it an excellent solution for those with dry, itchy skin.

6. It promotes healing and reduces scars

According to a 2015 study from Spain, researchers treated108 patients with rosehip oil after undergoing surgery.

The results showed that rosehip oil helped in the improvement of erythema, discoloration, and atrophy of post-surgery scars (2).

According to research, fatty acids in rosehip oil help with how the skin cells rebuild after surgery.

According to a recent study from China, rosehip oil promotes wound healing by accelerating the phenotypic transition of macrophages (3). This property also helps in preventing scar formation.

7. It prevents stretch marks

The fatty acids, vitamin C and other antioxidants present in rosehip oil help improve collagen production, which helps in reducing stretch marks.

According to a study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science in 2012, when women used anti-stretch mark cream containing rosehip oil, it reduced the severity of stretch marks.

For women who had no stretch mark in the beginning, it helped prevent stretch marks (4).

Other benefits

8. It boosts the immune system

As rosehip oil is one of the most abundant plant sources of vitamin C, you can improve your immune system and treat infections by using this oil.

According to the University of Maryland, rosehips are as useful as vitamin C supplements in boosting the immune system.

Vitamin C in rosehip oil also aids in the proper absorption of iron, which helps in the production of red blood cells.

9. It provides arthritis relief

Rosehip oil has been used to provide relief from arthritis for centuries. Rosehip oil contains polyphenols and anthocyanin, which help in reducing inflammation and joint pain.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, rosehip powder is a rich source of vitamin C, which helps decrease inflammation by inhibiting inflammatory proteins and enzymes, including COX-1 and COX-2 (5).

According to a meta-analysis of three studies, rosehip powder reduces pain in osteoarthritis patients (6).

How to choose the correct rosehip oil?

Good quality rosehip oils are cold pressed as this preserves the quality and potency of the oil.

The best rosehip oil is dark amber, and its texture is smooth and thick.

Always store rosehip oil in a cold and dark place to prevent it from going rancid.

There is no specific dosage for rosehip oil, but experts generally recommend using it twice a day.

You can use rosehip oil topically and aromatically.

  • Apply rosehip oil directly on the skin and massage in circular motions.
  • Add a few drops to a diffuser and inhale the aroma of this oil.
  • Apply it to your pulse points.
  • Mix a few drops of rosehip oil in your bath water and soak in it.

What is the difference between rose oil and rosehip oil?

  • Rose oil is extracted from rose petal while rosehip oil is obtained from the seeds of a wild variety of roses found in Chile.
  • Rose oil is an essential oil, and rosehip oil is a carrier oil. This means rose oil must be diluted before application, while rosehip oil can be applied directly on to the skin.
  • Rose oil is extracted through steam distillation, and rosehip oil is extracted through cold pressing.
  • Rose oil smells of freshly cut roses, but rosehip oil has an earthy and herbaceous scent.
  • Rosehip oil contains fatty acids but rose oil does not.

Side effects and precautions

Rosehip oil generally considered safe for most people; however, it can cause an allergic reaction in some people.

The symptoms of an allergic reaction include nausea, vomiting, red and itchy skin, watery and itchy eyes, and scratchy throat.

Rosehip oil helps treat acne scars, but you should not apply it to active acne.

Always do skin patch tests before you apply rosehip oil directly on your skin.

Rosehip oil and its effects have not been studied on children, pregnant and breastfeeding women, so they should avoid using it.

Rosehip oil is rich in vitamin C, but it is not clear how much of this is absorbed in the skin.

Vitamin C is known to impact diabetes control. A large amount of vitamin C can also increase the risk of developing kidney stones. Vitamin C can also affect the body’s ability to absorb iron.

If you have to undergo any surgery, you must stop using rosehip oil at least two weeks before that. Rosehip oil can increase your bleeding risk.

Final thoughts

Rosehip oil is one of the most nutritionally packed oil. It contains vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, essential fatty acids, carotenoids, flavonoids, and trans-retinoic acid.

Rosehip oil has been used traditionally for thousands of years in America and Europe. The numerous benefits of this oil include its ability to moisturize skin, reduce scarring, lower inflammation, and prevent stretch marks.

Rosehip oil is also helpful in boosting immunity and preventing arthritis and joint pain.

Always buy good quality organic rosehip oil and store it in a cool and dry place. Always do a skin patch test before applying this oil on your skin for the first time.

The numerous benefits of this oil include its ability to moisturize skin, reduce scarring, lower inflammation, and prevent stretch marks.