When we think of a rose, most of us will envision a flower. But on some rose varieties, including the wild rose species of Rosa canina, the flower begets a small fruit. Called a “rosehip” it’s akin to a crabapple in shape, with a tart flavor. From the seeds of this fruit comes rosehip oil, a valuable, nutritive oil that can help protect skin from exposure to the elements. Below, I share five benefits of rosehip oil for skin, and how it’s used for protection and repair in three incredible products.
(If you’re as impressed with rosehip oil as I am, then be sure to check out the Rosehip Repair Collection for a special price on two of my favorite Eminence Organics products with rosehip oil!)
Five Benefits of Rosehip Oil for Skin
- Promotes skin hydration and elasticity
Rosehip oil has high concentrations of essential fatty acids, according to a 2017 review of scientific literature. Notably, linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid) and alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid). These promote hydration and elasticity, improving skin’s moisture and tone. Although rosehip oil is appropriate for any season, it can really shine in winter, keeping skin hydrated in spite of dry air.
- Prevents damage from environmental stressors
Rosehip oil also has high concentrations of fat-soluble antioxidants, which benefit skin by neutralizing free radicals. Free radicals are an unavoidable byproduct of normal cellular processes, but the body creates more during encounters with environmental stressors like ultraviolet light and pollution. Within the body, free radicals scavenge electrons from other molecules, damaging cells and DNA in the process. Coming to the rescue, antioxidants readily offer electrons to balance free radicals, preventing oxidative damage (hence the name, “antioxidant”). So when the tocopherols and carotenoids in rosehip oil meet the skin’s lipid layer, it’s a wellness party for your cells that can help prevent damage from exposure to environmental stressors.
- Protects from inflammation
Because free radicals cause damage that triggers the body’s inflammatory response (a natural part of the healing process, but is also the cause of many skin disorders), the neutralizing effect of antioxidants prevents the need for inflammation. So one of the benefits of rosehip oil, with its combination of essential fatty acids and fat-soluble antioxidants, is that it offers strong protection against both oxidative stress and inflammation.
- Supports wound healing
A 2019 scientific study demonstrated that rosehip oil significantly promoted wound healing and effectively improved the appearance of scars. The study’s authors speculated that it might work by speeding a cellular response that supports the growth of new tissue and slows a different cellular process that can contribute to abnormal scarring.
- Slows visible signs of aging
The benefits of rosehip oil cascade from skin’s health to its appearance. As mentioned previously, antioxidant tocopherols, carotenoids, and vitamin C in rosehip oil neutralize free radicals, preventing damage to cell structure and DNA. Because cell damage and inflammation both speed aging, antioxidant-rich rosehip oil prevents damage at the molecular level and creates the conditions for repair, slowing the effects of aging on skin.
Special thanks to Jade Shutes, director of education for the School for Aromatic Studies, for pointing me in the direction of the 2017 review of scientific literature linked in numbers 1 and 3 above. Jade is a former president of the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy, and my go-to for information on fatty oils. Her class, Aromatic Studies Monograph Database includes invaluable research on fatty oils (aka carrier oils).
Rosehip Oil in Action: Protection and Repair for Skin
The three products below leverage the benefits of rosehip oil for skin. They were formulated to enhance repair and regeneration at the cellular level, and offer hydration and protection. (The Rosehip Repair Collection includes the first two. The third is a bonus recommendation for our 20 to 30-year-old clients.) All three products are from Eminence Organics, a skincare line with uncompromising standards for quality, ethical production, and results.
Appropriate for use with all skin types, Rosehip Triple C+E Firming Oil hydrates deeply to plump the skin and minimize the appearance of wrinkles. The ingredients in this science-backed firming blend combine to tone and protect skin, increasing resilience to the elements.
As the name suggests, rosehip oil is a star in this blend. It’s rich in vitamins C, E, and beta-carotene — antioxidants that neutralize damaging free radicals, promoting repair at the cellular level.
Rosemary leaf extract and vitamin C bring a double dose of goodness to the dermis, the layer beneath the visible epidermis that gives skin strength and flexibility. Eminence Organics’ rosemary leaf extract is a patented, organic formulation designed to:
- fight glycation (damage to cells caused by sugar molecules that can speed the aging process) and
- promote the production of collagen and elastin
And while most skin products with vitamin C can’t penetrate the skin’s lipid matrix — they’re water soluble — Eminence’s oil-soluble vitamin C is absorbed into the dermis, delivering antioxidant protection to the cells that produce collagen and elastin.
This firming formula also employs jojoba oil to nourish sebum on the skin’s surface, and sea buckthorn oil brings an additional wealth of antioxidants, vitamins, and essential fatty acids.
To use, apply 2-3 drops of oil to your face and neck with circular motions once nightly. Alternatively, use 6-7 drops and give yourself a gua sha facial massage. Leave on. Follow with the application of the Rosehip & Lemongrass Repair Balm (below) for ultimate protection or the Rosehip Whip Moisturizer (also below) for a lighter application.
Whether you’re up against drying wind, sun, or moisture-sapping winter air, this any-season balm is here for your skin. The benefits of rosehip oil shine in this blend, bringing essential fatty acids, and antioxidant vitamins C, E, and beta carotene to improve skin’s moisture, tone, and texture.
Wax esters — jojoba esters, green wattle flower wax, sunflower seed wax — are also stars in this blend. Along with oil, wax esters are part of what make up your skin’s sebum. Waxes and oils are both lipids, have hydrophobic properties, provide antibacterial protection, and protect the skin against TWEL, or Transepidermal Water Loss.
Rosehip makes a second appearance in the balm as part of Eminence Organics’ signature Natural Repair Complex. Made from rosehip and rosemary, Natural Repair Complex speeds recovery of dry skin and protects from further drying. And the evolutionary wisdom of a cactus — prickly pear stem is rich in flavones, vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals — brings soothing moisture while helping skin stay firm.
For ultimate protection against bacteria and moisture loss, use with the Rosehip Triple C+E Firming Oil. Apply the oil first, then the balm on top. This is most effective as part of your evening skin care routine, as the body naturally seeks to repair damages from the day while you sleep.
You can also use Rosehip & Lemongrass Repair Balm as a spot treatment anywhere on your body, (nostrils during cold and flu season, elbows, cuticles). Or on top of moisturizer before heading out for a winter activity, like skiing, to protect skin from further dryness.
Want the firming oil AND the repair balm? Purchase the Rosehip Repair Collection for $157 (a savings of $27). Note: The bundle does not include the moisturizer below.
Rosehip and carrot combine forces in this whip to tone, soothe, and moisturize. Formulated for youthful, oily, or sensitive skin, Rosehip Whip Moisturizer uses rosehip extract to hydrate and improves tone and appearance. Of course, it’s also a rich source of antioxidant vitamin C.
Lemon, also high in vitamin C, assists in preventing oxidative damage, working to tone skin and reduce visible signs of aging. The whip also contains Eminence Organics’ unique BioComplex: a booster of antioxidants, Coenzyme Q10, and Alpha Lipoic Acid to minimize wrinkles and improve the overall appearance of skin.
To use, apply a layer of moisturizer over the entire face and neck. Leave on. Rosehip Whip Moisturizer is best for youthful, oily, and sensitive skin types.
Exposure to environmental stressors — whether sun, pollution, or cold, dry air — is an unavoidable part of life. But skin that’s nourished with plant-based antioxidants and essential fatty acids can meet the elements with resilience, minimizing damage and supporting recovery. One of the top benefits of rosehip oil, then, is that it’s on our side in the quest to enjoy an active life and feel great in our skin.