Beauty

Rosehip oil: why we’re obsessed with Kate Middleton’s go-to skincare ingredient

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Amber Ascroft
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Rose Hip Oil Benefits

The natural oil is said to be good for treating just about everything, from acne scars to dehydrated skin and eczema.

When a supermodel, royalty and world-class fashion designer all use the same skincare product, we sit up and we listen. And when said devotees are Cara Delevingne, the Duchess of Cambridge and Victoria Beckham? We can’t sling it in our virtual basket fast enough.

Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil, £19.50, is the wonder product in question with a bottle selling every 20 seconds. Cara loves hers so much, she’s said to use it twice a day – after cleansing at night and before moisturiser in the morning. 

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So what is it about this elixir that’s scored such a cult following? And do you really need it in your skincare routine

Trilogy’s version is lauded for being 100% certified organic but it’s the natural oil itself that boasts the super-powers. Rosehip oil (or rosehip seed oil), extracted from the seeds of the rose plant, is jam-packed with essential fatty acids that are vital for healthy skin.

Why are those essential fatty acids so… essential? Our skin has its own protective barrier. When that barrier breaks down, because of things like age, over-exfoliation, the sun and pollution, water escapes and irritants enter causing skin to become dry, dehydrated and sensitive. 

Essential fatty acids help to maintain and re-build that shield, keeping our skin smooth, plump, radiant and supple. These same components also make rosehip oil brilliant at banishing dryness and in turn, helping to minimise stretch marks and scars.

And that’s not all. Rosehip oil also contain traces of tretinoin – a type of retinoid that helps skin cells turnover more quickly. The oil even offers benefits for spot-prone skin thanks to its high concentration of linoleic acid - a specific kind of fatty acid (also found in borage seed oil) that has been shown to help treat acne.

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No wonder it’s a star (Kora Luxurious Rosehip Oil) in Miranda Kerr’s best-selling Australian line of organic skincare, too.

Here, we uncover just how the ingredient could benefit your skin and reveal the best rosehip oil products for everyone…

How is rosehip oil made?

“Rosehip oil comes from the fruit left behind after a rose has bloomed and dropped its petals. The best quality oil for skincare purposes comes from the rugged mountainous regions of Chile and Lesotho, southern Africa, where it grows wild and flourishes in the high-altitude climate,” says Corinne Morley, Trilogy Head of Global Education.

You’ll often find it labelled as rosa canina oil, rosa rubiginosa oil or rosa mosqueta oil – Latin names of the plant. But don’t get it confused with rose oil – the highly-fragrant (and often irritating) oil that comes from the petals and is used in perfume or scented body lotions.

Rosehip oil is usually produced using a ‘cold-pressing’ method of extraction which is said to use less heat thus retaining as many of the natural nutrients as possible. Some brands like Pai Skincare, who argue that even cold-pressing can impact the quality of an oil as fragile as rosehip, use ‘super critical CO2 extraction’ instead. This technique claims to be even gentler, delivering an extra pure result. 

What is rosehip oil good for?

“Rosehip oil is super-rich in essential fatty acids (omegas 3 & 6) and fatty acids (omega 9), making it intensely nourishing, hydrating and great for helping to repair and rejuvenate skin,” explains Morley.

As well as boosting skin plumpness and radiance, it’s thought to help with inflammatory conditions like eczema or dermatitis and tackle scars, fine lines, wrinkles and stretch marks thanks to its moisturising prowess. 

Some hail rosehip oil for its vitamin C content, too, although Paula Begoun, founder of Paula’s Choice, says the levels in skincare are likely to be minimal after the oil has undergone processing.

Will rosehip oil cause breakouts?

Rosehip oil is exceptionally nourishing like most oils, but it’s much lighter than many making it ideal if you hate heavy, greasy textures. “Superfine oils like rosehip are readily accepted and absorbed by the skin and they won’t clog or irritate pores,” reveals Morley.

And while some some experts advise against applying any kind of oil if you’re blemish-prone or suffering from acne, Morley maintains rosehip can actually have a balancing effect. “With a molecular structure similar in design to our own natural skin oil (sebum), it can help to regulate the skin’s oil production.”

Is rosehip oil good for acne scars?

Rosehip seed oil can’t resurface the skin so don’t expect an effect on pitted scars or indents. But there is evidence to suggest that, rosehip seed oil can help to minimise the dark marks and pigmentation left behind after spots or acne. 

According to Shabir Daya, pharmacist and co-founder of victoriahealth.com, clinical trials in South America in the early 1980s found a topical application of rosehip oil had a marked improvement in the appearance of scars and preventing the advancement of wrinkles. This was particularly evident after four months of use.

How to use rosehip oil

As with most oils, rosehip oil can be used in all kinds of ways making it a brilliant multi-tasking addition to your skincare kit. Many brands sell it as a pure, organic oil that works well when pressed into skin as the final step in your nighttime routine. Since it’s much lighter than most, it lends itself to being used in the daytime under make-up, too, if you’re particularly dry and craving a plump, dewy effect.

Slather it on as a body oil or use a little on the ends of your hair for a lightweight but deeply-nourishing treat that’s the dream if you have dry, fine hair.

Some creams, lotions and serums use rosehip oil as an ingredient but, as always, check where it features in the INCI list (ingredient list). Look for those that list it as one of the first four ingredients to ensure it makes up a substantial part of the product.

Best rosehip oil products

  • Best rosehip oil with antixoidants

    Trilogy Rosehip Oil Antioxidant+

    Trilogy Rosehip Oil Antioxidant+

    In case we hadn’t already made it completely obvious, rosehip oil’s potent natural actives make it an extremely effective, hardworking product for treating things like scars and dehydrated skin. 

    This product is Trilogy’s bestselling rosehip oil, with added Rosepene - a unique formula that works to provide intense hydration along with added daily antioxidant protection. 

    When applied daily, it helps to shield skin against environmental damage and free radicals, and independent clinical studies show that this product brightened, tone and firmed skin. 

    £31.50, trilogyproducts.co.uk

  • Best budget rosehip oil

    The Inkey List Rosehip Oil

    The Inkey List Rosehip Oil

    We’re obsessed with this no-BS high street skincare brand that champions simple yet effective ingredients with incredibly purse-friendly prices. The growing range is just what you’d expect from a venture that has the brains of two beauty industry insiders, who learned the ropes behind-the-scenes at Boots, behind it.

    Like all the other products, including the hyaluronic acid and retinol, The Inkey List’s rosehip oil is a no-nonsense, does-what-it-promises product that makes experimenting with the ingredient seriously easy. The packaging’s lightweight so it’s handy for travel, too.

    £6.99, cultbeauty.co.uk

  • Best budget organic rosehip oil

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

    If price is your number one purchasing factor then The Inkey List’s option is a no-brainer. But if you’re after a rosehip oil that ticks the organic box too, this is the one to mainline.

    It’s another totally pure oil – listed as rosa canina seed oil – that’s been cold-pressed to lock in a load of goodness.

    The earthy aroma (or as one shopper dubbed it “the smell of a rain-soaked landscape in Arizona”) might not be to everyone’s liking but on the value front, it’s a real winner that leaves skin comfortable and hydrated.

    £9, beautybay.com

  • Best rosehip oil cream cleanser

    Sukin Cream Cleanser

    Sukin Cream Cleanser

    Heads up: your skin should never feel tight or ‘squeaky’ clean after cleansing. If that sounds familiar, your cleanser’s probably too harsh. Swap it for this creamy face wash that banishes make-up and grime without stripping away your skin’s own goodies. Filled with avocado oil, sesame seed oil, jojoba seed oil, wheat germ oil and, of course, rosehip, it acts as a real softening treat for the skin.

    Most complexions will appreciate the effects just skip it if you’re acne-prone since the shea butter inside can be pore-clogging. Simply massage into skin with damp hands then rinse or remove with a warm, damp flannel.

    £8.49, hollandandbarrett.com

  • Best rosehip cleansing oil

    Face Theory Deeply Nourishing Jojoba Cleansing Oil and Makeup Remover

    Face Theory Deeply Nourishing Jojoba Cleansing Oil and Makeup Remover

    If it’s long-wear, heavy-duty make-up you’re looking to tackle, this is the tool for the job. The sumptuous oil cleanser gives a deep clean and pamper in one and feels a whole lot more luxurious than the price tag would suggest.

    The silky texture works effortlessly into skin to melt down make-up – simply massage in a few drops and wipe away with a warm, damp flannel. 

    Alongside rosehip, the no-nasties blend utilises jojoba oil, Argan oil, cranberry seed oil and a dash of vitamin E to leave skin juicy, clean and calm. 

    £13.99, facetheory.com

  • Best rosehip oil for stretch marks

    Fushi Rosehip Oil Organic Cold-Pressed

    Fushi Organic Rosehip Oil

    There’s no hard and fast evidence to say rosehip oil can prevent or get rid of stretch marks but some experts believe the more nourished and supple your skin, the less prone you are to getting them. Either way, there’s something seriously decadent about slathering on an oil.

    This brand’s truly transparent about what’s stashed inside the bottle. The oil comes from around 2kg of top-quality rosehip seeds, grown in Ukraine where the climate is just right for the job, and is approved by the Soil Association – the gold standard in organic accreditation. The brand even even holds an ‘Ethical Award’ that’s given to companies putting people, animals and the environment first.

    Use it on your face, body and scalp or as an intensive overnight hair conditioning treatment.

    £18, feelunique.com

  • Best rosehip oil mask

    Mario Badescu Rose Hips Mask Rosehip Oil

    Mario Badescu Rose Hips Mask

    Kaolin (clay) and rosehip oil are the leading ingredients in this clever fix that’s designed to soup up dull lacklustre skin, injecting radiance in just 20 minutes.

    While the clay gets to work on blemishes and purifying pores, the oil does an excellent job of preventing skin from becoming dried out.

    Just a thin layer, used up to three times a week, is all you need to get your complexion feeling smoother, silkier and infinitely healthier.

    £17.50, beautybay.com

  • Best rosehip oil treatment for hair

    Briogeo Farewell Frizz Rosehip Argan Coconut Oil Blend Hair Treatment

    Briogeo Farewell Frizz Rosehip, Argan and Coconut Oil Blend

    Frizz and flyaways stand no chance against this multi-oil weapon – a powerhouse of rosehip, Argan and coconut oil.

    Just a few drops, worked through using the palm of your hands, is all it takes to smooth the surface, seal split ends, lock in moisture and add a protective shield. But it doesn’t weigh things down thanks to the weightless nature of rosehip.

    Applied to both dry or damp hair, it leaves tresses looking glossier with more vibrant colour. It’s even safe to use if your hair is colour-treated, keratin-treated, chemically-treated or relaxed.

    £24, spacenk.com

  • Best rosehip oil moisturiser

    A’kin Rosehip Oil Facial Moisturiser

    If you’re not a fan of oils but you’re still coveting rosehip’s nourishing prowess, this has your name on it. The texture? A lightweight lotion that feels cosseting but not clogging or occlusive. Use it before make-up or as a nighttime moisturiser if your skin’s on the oily side.

    Infused with that divine rosehip oil (alongside avocado oil and hydrating aloe leaf juice) it quenches and plumps without imparting a greasy residue.

    The entire planet-kind range is worth checking out. There’s a rosehip oil toner, pure rosehip oil and rosehip oil with an added kick of vitamin C, too.

    £20, feelunique.com

  • Best rosehip oil for acne scars

    Pai Skincare Rosehip Bioregenerate Oil

    Pai Rosehip Bio Regenerate Oil

    Not all experts advocate using an oil on skin that’s grease-prone but if you’re in the camp that does, you’ll fall in love with this pick. Produced using a special technique that promises to preserve the most potent nutrients, it’s designed to boost firmness and elasticity while promoting a clear, even skin tone.

    It’s super-gentle and soothing – perfect if you’re suffering from patches of irritation or red, angry blemishes. The texture’s ‘dry’ so it feels more like a serum than a buttery oil and, with the help of vitamin E, it works a treat at diminishing those pesky marks left behind by old breakouts.

    £24, lookfantastic.com

  • Best rosehip face oil for dry skin

    The Body Shop Oils of Life Intensely Revitalising Facial Oil

    We’ve long been impressed by The Body Shop’s Oils of Life range that’s jammed with potent ingredients sourced from around the world. This gem is a concoction of some of nature’s very best including rosehip oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, camellia oil and a whole host of others.

    It feels light and silky, melting into skin seamlessly, but is unbelievable at replenishing moisture, making it especially good post-holiday, on a hangover or as emergency relief when your face is feeling in need of a drink. Just a few drops go a long way – combine it with a mini DIY face massage for an extra lift.

    £30, thebodyshop.com

  • Best rosehip oil for all skin types

    Trilogy certified organic rosehip oil

    Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil

    The OG rosehip oil that celebrities swear by, its made with the finest quality oil and has a minimim of 80% fatty acid content.

    The silky smooth oil blends beautifully into skin, it won’t leave a greasy residue behind and it’s perfect for using day and night time. Try massaging it in with a jade roller for an added benefit.

    £19.50, trilogyproducts.co.uk

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All others: Courtesy of brands

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