What to Know About Using Rosehip Oil, One of the Internet's Most Popular Skincare Ingredients

It even has Kate Middleton's seal of approval.

Black woman applying face oil
Photo: Getty Images

Next to a rich night cream, no skincare product feels quite as decadent as a facial oil. Finishing off your routine with an oil or adding a few drops of one to your favorite moisturizers can transform your nightly ritual into a relaxing, spa-like experience. While there are a ton of facial oils out there suited for different skin types and needs, few are as hyped up as rosehip oil.

Rich in vitamin A and essential fatty acids, the oil can be used to treat visible signs of aging, acne scars, dullness, and inflammation. It's also been said to help heal acne. No wonder Kate Middleton, skincare Reddit, and thousands of Amazon customers are fans.

But what makes this multitasking oil so effective? We turned to a top dermatologist and aesthetician to find out all of rosehip oil's benefits and how to use the ingredient in your skincare routine.

How Does Rosehip Oil Work?

"Due to its small molecular structure, rosehip oil has the ability to penetrate the deep layers of the skin to stimulate collagen and reduce fine lines and wrinkles," explains Dr. Michele Green, a cosmetic dermatologist in New York City. "It is also full of antioxidants and has moisturizing benefits due to its high percentage of fatty acids — a whopping 80% to be exact."

Rosehip oil contains vitamin A (also found in retinol, the holy grail of anti-aging products), E, C, and omega fatty acids 3,6, and 9, which promote skin cell turnover, skin elasticity, and improve the appearance of hyperpigmentation.

Essential acids linolenic (omega-3) and linoleic (omega-6), make rosehip are known for strengthening the skin barrier function (essential for retaining moisture) and boosting collagen (maintains firmness).

What's the Difference Between Rosehip Oil and Rosehip Seed Oil?

Essentially, rosehip oil and rosehip seed oil are one in the same and both safe to use on skin. However, it's important to note that they're different from rose oil.

"Rose oil is extracted from rose petals, while rosehip or rosehip seed oil is made from pressing the small berry/fruit that lies underneath the rose flower," says Sofie Pavitt, an aesthetician in NYC.

How Do You Use Rosehip Oil?

Pavitt recommends massaging a few drops of rosehip oil into your face as the last step in your skincare routine. "This oil will leave your skin feeling smooth, hydrated, and nourished," she says.

Since rosehip oil is a dry oil, Dr. Green agrees it should be applied at the end of your skincare routine following all of your water-based products. "Due to its moisturizing benefits you can opt to skip added moisturizer, especially in the summertime, but don't skimp on applying sunscreen," she says. "During colder months you can adjust this routine by adding a moisturizer after your rosehip oil."

Your skin will feel immediately smooth and nourished, but Pavitt says you see the full benefits of rosehip oil after six to eight weeks of use.

VIDEO: When You Apply Sunscreen in Your Skincare Routine Actually Matters A Lot

What Are the Side Effects of Rosehip Oil?

While rosehip oil boasts an impressive list of skincare benefits and is generally safe for all skin types, it's always best to err on the side of caution when adding any new product into your skincare routine — especially since it's an essential oil, which can be irritating for some.

"You should apply a small amount of the oil to your inner arm to test for any allergic reaction," says Dr. Green. "If there is no reaction after 24 hours you can proceed with applying to your face."

In addition to doing a patch test, Pavitt says acne-prone skin types may find that the oil exacerbates breakouts, even though the oil is said to help clear pimples. She also notes that because rosehip oil contains vitamin A, it's wise not use it in conjunction with retinol products.

Curious about experiencing the benefits of rosehip oil firsthand? Find our favorite oils to add to your skincare routine, below.

The 5 Best Rosehip Oil Products to Add to Your Skincare Routine

Pai Skincare Organic Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil

Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil

Thanks to a mix of concentrated rosehip seed and fruit oils, Pai's oil treats dullness, fine lines, discoloration, and acne. Plus, it's packed with hydrating plant fats, so it's gentle on sensitive skin. Bonus: The oil has a gorgeous golden hour color that doesn't stain skin.

To buy: $41; amazon.com.

Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil

Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil

Call it the Kate Middleton effect. After it was revealed that the duchess used Trilogy's oil while pregnant, the royal-approved product quickly became one of the most popular rosehip oils on the market. The cold-pressed organic oil is safe for all skin types, but it's become known for its ability to help minimize acne scars and other types of hyperpigmentation.

To buy: $54; amazon.com.

The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil

The Ordinary. 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil

If you're looking for an affordable rosehip oil, your search ends here. Known for making wildly affordable products with clinical ingredients, The Ordinary's organic rosehip seed oil will only set you back $10. The oil's vitamin A and omega fatty acids, including linoleic and linolenic, can improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, acne, hyperpigmentation, and strengthen the skin barrier to maintain hydration.

To buy: $10; sephora.com.

Herbivore Phoenix Rosehip Anti-Aging Face Oil

Herbivore Phoenix Facial Oil

Dry skin types will appreciate the hydrating benefits of Herbivore's oil. In addition to rosehip, it's also infused with a mix of soothing and moisturizing oils such as jojoba, meadowfoam, sea buckthorn, and vitamin E.

To buy: $88; sephora.com.

Eminence Organic Rosehip Triple C+E Firming Oil

Rosehip Triple C+E Firming Oil

By reducing inflammation and boosting elasticity, rosehip oil can be an effective anti-aging treatment. Eminence has added additional powerhouse smoothing and hydrating ingredients to its oil, including rosemary leaf extract, milk thistle, and sea buckthorn oil.

To buy: $110; dermstore.com.

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