You can’t walk through a Sephora these days without spotting at least a dozen different types of oils. Jojoba, argan, coconut oil—you get the drift. But hey, don’t breeze past that rosehip oil without taking a second look.
The first thing you should know: Rosehip oil is not actually extracted from a full-grown rose. Instead, it “is pressed from the seeds of wild rosehip fruit, which is a plant grown in Chile, but can also be found in other parts of the world, too,” says Melissa K. Levin, M.D., New York City-based dermatologist. “Originally, it was used by the Mayans and Native Americans for its healing properties.”
Typically ranging from $5 to $15, rosehip oil (or rosehip seed oil) “has a high ratio of linoleic, alpha-linolenic, and oleic acid, as well as tocopherol and carotenoids,” says Levin. “This combination makes it useful as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant to neutralize oxidative stress.”
So yeah, the benefits of rosehip oil are real. Here’s more proof:
1. It moisturizes your skin
“Many people who regularly use rosehip oil note that their skin is less dry, which makes sense considering the free fatty acids, including linoleic acid, that are found in this product,” says Suneel Chilukuri, M.D., founder of Refresh Dermatology in Houston. Howe adds that linoleic acid is an essential component of ceramides, the skin’s main moisturizing element.
2. It’s anti-aging
The high level of vitamin C alone gives rosehip oil a potent anti-aging effect. “The antioxidant activity of the vitamin C protects and repairs UV-damage and helps to reduce wrinkles,” says Kenneth Howe, M.D., New York City-based dermatologist at Wexler Dermatology. Additionally, the carotenoids, which are vitamin A-like compounds that regulate skin turnover, “lead to a brighter, more even complexion,” says Howe.
3. It brightens skin
Vitamin C in rosehip oil has been “shown to effectively reduce hyper-pigmentation and brighten the skin,” explains Chilukuri.
4. It may promote healing
Maybe dab that stuff on the shaving scar that just won’t disappear from your leg. Some preliminary research on skin cells in a laboratory shows that rosehip oil “effectively improved scars. “
Rosehip oil help stimulate “ macrophages to shift into a form that promotes good healing, as opposed to a form that causes poor healing and greater scar formation,” says Howe.
5. It’s antibacterial
The phenols in the rosehip oil have antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. “As long as the oil is not irritating to those patients with eczema-prone skin, this product may benefit them in both re-hydrating the skin as well as preventing infections commonly seen in eczema,” says Chilukuri.
6. It can help reduce skin pigmentation
Retinoids in rosehip oil, such as trans retinoic acid, help to lighten pigment. “They also speed up cell maturation and turnover, which results in an overall brightening effect,” says Howe.
7. It fights acne
“Retinoids exert an effect similar to Retin-A, regulating cell turnover in such a way that reduces follicular plugging and the formation of blackheads,” explains Howe. The anti-inflammatory effects of rosehip oil calm redness and reduce cysts, too.
8. It may help with stretch marks
One recent study looked at a stretch-mark prevention cream that contained rosehip oil. Amazingly, “women who used the cream throughout their pregnancies were less likely to develop stretch marks, and those who already had them found that they did not get worse,” explains Howe. Hey, worth a shot.