Rosehip oil comes from the seeds of the rosehip fruit. Its rich antioxidant content suggests it may be useful for treating a number of skin conditions. As an oil, it may also have potential as a cleanser and makeup remover.
Many skincare companies now offer rosehip oil either in its pure form or as an ingredient in other products.
Read on to find out the benefits and possible uses of rosehip oil. We also outline its potential side effects and other drawbacks.
Rosehip oil may have many potential uses when a person applies it to their skin. Its benefits include the following:
Moisturizing the skin
Harsh chemicals and environmental pollutants can damage the outermost layer of the skin. This damage can leave the skin dry and itchy, and unable to retain adequate moisture.
A review suggests that rosehip and other oils may be useful for repairing the skin as a natural barrier.
People who have dry, itchy facial skin should apply the oil immediately after a bath or shower. Doing so helps to create a physical barrier over the surface, which traps in moisture.
According to a 2015 study, rosehip oil may reduce the appearance of scars, and improve scar-related skin discoloration.
The study involved 108 participants who were having surgery to remove skin tumors. Following surgery, some applied rosehip oil to their scars, while those in a control group did not.
After 6 weeks, the participants in the treatment group saw significant reductions in skin redness. By 12 weeks, the same individuals saw significant reductions in skin atrophy and skin discoloration.
The American Academy of Dermatology state that keeping a wound moist may help to prevent scars. Thus, applying rosehip oil may help prevent wounds from drying out while reversing some signs of scarring.
Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition that causes chronic dryness, itchy red spots, and skin irritation.
Rosehip oil is rich in antioxidants that can help fight inflammation. It may, therefore, help to reduce the severity of eczema, especially if a person uses it alongside conventional eczema treatments.
Since rosehip oil can also prevent water loss from the skin, it may help to tackle chronic skin dryness.
Traditional cleansers and face washes may contain harsh chemicals that can aggravate dry and sensitive skin. Rosehip oil is a good alternative that will not strip the skin of moisture. It may be particularly suited to people with dry or allergy prone skin.
Oil based cleansers can help dissolve even waterproof makeup, including mascara and long lasting foundation.
Lightening age spots
Some people claim that rosehip oil can help to prevent or reduce age-related skin discoloration such as age spots. However, there is no direct research investigating this claim.
Nonetheless, rosehip oil is very high in vitamin C. This vitamin helps to protect skin cells from the damaging effects of sun exposure. According to a 2011 review, vitamin C could help reduce a person’s chances of developing age spots, while allowing the skin to repair previous sun damage.
Caring for acne prone skin
The skin absorbs rosehip oil quickly, which means that it is unlikely to clog pores. This makes it an ideal cleansing oil for people with oily or acne prone skin.
Additionally, rosehip oil contains compounds called retinoids, which may help reduce the appearance of acne.
A 2012 clinical trial investigated the anti-acne potential of a herbal cream containing rosehip oil and four other retinoid-rich plant oils. Some 60 participants with acne vulgaris took part. One group of participants applied the cream for at least 2 weeks, while a control group applied a placebo cream.
Participants who applied the herbal cream showed a significant reduction in the number of acne lesions, in comparison to the placebo group. Those using the herbal cream also had an overall reduction in skin inflammation.
However, as the herbal cream incorporated five different plant oils, it is not clear how much of the acne reducing effects were due to the rosehip oil.
Rosehip oil contains high levels of antioxidants, particularly vitamin C. Antioxidants may help fight the effects of DNA damaging molecules called free radicals. Free radicals play a key role in aging and disease.
Some potential free radical fighting benefits of rosehip oil include:
- protecting the skin from sun damage
- reversing some sun-induced signs of aging
- reducing skin inflammation that can cause conditions, such as eczema and acne
Side effects and other drawbacks
Most research reports that rosehip oil is safe and that the risk of side effects is low. However, as with any other natural or artificial product, rosehip oil can cause an allergic reaction.
Allergic reactions can range from a mild rash or irritation up to life threatening anaphylaxis. To reduce the risk of side effects, people should add rosehip oil to their skincare routine gradually.
A person who experiences skin irritation when applying rosehip oil should stop using the oil and seek an alternative treatment.
Another potential drawback of rosehip oil is its shelf life. Rosehip oil tends to go rancid quickly once a person exposes it to the air. Oil that has gone bad may have an unpleasant odor and may not work effectively. To avoid replacing the oil frequently, people can buy small bottles and store them in the refrigerator.
Other oils for the face
Rosehip oil is not the only antioxidant-rich oil that people can use on their face. Several other oils can remove makeup, prevent moisture loss, and improve skin health. They include:
- coconut oil
- jojoba oil
- avocado oil
- olive oil
- sesame oil
Some essential oils, such as tea tree, may also help to alleviate skin problems. However, essential oils contain botanical allergens which can trigger skin irritation and allergies.
People who are interested in incorporating natural oils into their skincare routine should start with a gentle oil. Rosehip oil and sesame oil are good options.
Rosehip oil is a gentle oil that most people tolerate well. This makes it a good choice for people with eczema or sensitive skin.
Rosehip oil is also rich in antioxidants, so it may ease skin irritation and inflammation and target signs of skin aging.
However, rosehip oil can cause skin irritation and allergies in some cases. People who wish to try the oil should start by applying a small amount daily. A dermatologist or herbalist knowledgeable about skincare and natural remedies may be able to offer further guidance.