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What is rosehip oil?

Rosehip oil is an essential oil derived from plants in the Rosaceae family. It goes by many names, including rose oil, rosehip seed oil, and rose hip.

Unlike rose oil, which is extracted from rose petals, rosehip oil is pressed from the fruit and seeds of the rose plant. Although the oils are pressed from different parts of the plant, they contain similar active ingredients and offer similar benefits.

Rosehip oil is packed with skin-nourishing vitamins and essential fatty acids. Read on to learn how these properties may help treat acne and related scarring, what to consider before you add the oil to your routine, popular products, and more.

Rosehip is a natural source of vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that can help with everything from irregular pigmentation to collagen production.

Not only can vitamin C help reduce acne-related inflammation, the powerhouse ingredient boosts collagen and elastin production to encourage skin cell regeneration. This may help minimize the appearance of acne scars and other areas of hyperpigmentation.

If you want the most vitamin C that rose hip has to offer, fresh rose hips (yes, they’re edible!) are the way to go. Much of the plant’s vitamin C content is destroyed during processing, so oils and supplements often contain added lab-created vitamin C.

Rose hip also contains a high amount of linoleic acid. This is an omega-6 fatty acid. Older research suggests that people who are prone to acne have lower levels of linoleic acid, which alters the skin’s natural oil (sebum) production.

The result is thick, sticky sebum that can clog pores and cause skin to break out. Boosting your linoleic acid levels may help regulate your sebum production, ultimately minimizing your breakouts.

Vitamin A — another key ingredient in rosehip oil — may amplify these benefits. Vitamin A is thought to minimize the amount of sebum that your skin produces.

Given its anti-inflammatory nature, rosehip oil may have the most explicit effect on inflammatory acne. This includes:

  • papules
  • pustules
  • nodules
  • cysts

You may still see improvements with noninflammatory acne, or clogged pores. The oil’s vitamin A and linoleic acid content helps regulate sebum production, which can help prevent blackheads and whiteheads from forming.

Rosehip oil may also help reduce the appearance of scarring. One study revealed that linoleic acid can help reduce hyperpigmentation in certain scars. If you have flat, dark-colored scars left over from old acne breakouts, then rosehip could help.

If you have depressed acne scars, rosehip and other topical remedies are unlikely to have an effect. But rosehip oil has been shown to be effective in reducing discoloration and scarring.

More research is needed fully assess how rosehip oil affects acne scars, especially in comparison to hydroquinone and other well-known remedies.

Topical rosehip oil is considered safe for most users. There aren’t any known guidelines for differences in skin type.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to avoid face oils just because you have oily skin. Many oils, like rose hip, act as an astringent, drying up natural oils and minimizing the appearance of pores.

If you have sensitive skin, you may be at a higher risk of reaction. You can determine your individual risk of reaction by performing a patch test prior to use.

Rosehip oil is available in both topical and supplement form.

Consider using topical rosehip first to see how your skin fares. If you don’t see improvements in 6 to 8 weeks, talk to your doctor about whether rosehip supplements are right for you.

People who are advised against taking supplements, such as women who are pregnant, can usually use topical rosehip oil safely. If you’re unsure which rosehip variety is right for you, your doctor can advise you on use.

For the best results, use your version of rosehip oil daily, or as directed.

There isn’t a clear consensus on whether it’s best to use rosehip alone or in conjunction with other ingredients.

Some users claim that you’ll want to look for a pure rosehip essential oil, but others say it’s better to use a targeted acne-fighting product that counts rosehip among its ingredients.

It’s important to do a patch test before adding your product of choice to your skincare routine. This allows you to see how your skin will react to the product while also minimizing the extent of any potential irritation.

To do a patch test:

  1. Apply a dime-sized amount of product into the inside of your forearm.
  2. Cover the area with a bandage and leave it alone.
  3. Check the area again in 24 hours. If you don’t see any redness, swelling, or other irritation, the product should be safe to use elsewhere.
  4. If your patch test is successful, you can add the product to your routine.

Although how you use it ultimately comes down to the product you bought, you’ll likely be advised to:

  • Use the product twice a day (morning and night) for best results.
  • Apply the product to your entire face. Rosehip can do much more than just dry out an active breakout, so skip the spot treatment and apply to your whole face.

Possible side effects and risks

Some people may experience mild irritation when using topical rosehip. The only way to determine how your skin will react is to do a patch test before your first full application.

If you have sensitive skin, you may find it helpful to dilute rosehip oil with another carrier oil. Although rosehip is generally safe to apply as is, diluting the oil in a 1:1 ratio can help prevent discomfort.

If your skin care routine already contains vitamin A- or C-based products, you may be more likely to experience irritation. Getting too much of either vitamin can be toxic and result in hypervitaminosis.

Discontinue use and see your doctor if you experience unexpected:

  • vision changes
  • dizziness
  • sensitivity to sunlight
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • fatigue

You shouldn’t use topical rosehip oil if you’re allergic to rose hips or other plants in the Rosaceae family.

Although topical rosehip oil typically doesn’t pose the same risks as rosehip supplements, you should still check with your doctor before use if:


Make sure you do a patch test before doing a full topical application of a new product.

If you want to stick to pure rosehip oil, popular options include:

If you want to try an acne-fighting product with added rose hips, you may consider:

Supplements aren’t regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, so you should only buy from manufacturers you trust.

If you need recommendations, read product reviews and research their brands until you find something that meets your needs.

Most supplements pair rose hips with another skin-brightening ingredient, such as vitamin C.

You should always follow the dosage instructions provided by the manufacturer. A common dose for combination supplements is a once-daily capsule with 1,000 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C and 25 mg of rose hips.

You can also drink rose hip tea to complement your oral supplementation.

Possible side effects and risks

When taken as directed, rosehip supplements are considered safe for temporary use. This means taking no more than 2,500 mg of rose hip per day for up to 6 months at a time.

If your supplement contains other ingredients, such as vitamin C, talk to your doctor about dosage. It’s possible to consume vitamins at hazardous levels.

Discontinue use and see your doctor if you experience

  • abdominal cramps
  • diarrhea
  • headaches
  • fatigue
  • nausea
  • vomiting

You should talk to your doctor before use if you take:

  • iron supplements
  • vitamin C supplements
  • aspirin, warfarin, or other blood-thinners
  • estrogens
  • lithium
  • fluphenazine

You should also talk to your doctor before use if:

You shouldn’t take rosehip supplements if you’re allergic to rose hips or other plants in the Rosaceae family.


You should always check with your doctor before adding a supplement to your routine. They can discuss your individual risk for side effects and interaction.

You can usually find rosehip supplements at your local pharmacy or natural food store. They’re also available through online retailers.

Popular options include:

You can find pure rosehip oil and other products at your local drug store, health food store, or online. Make sure you only purchase products from trusted manufacturers, and follow all package instructions.

If you decide to try topical rosehip oil, give it time. It can take up to 8 weeks before you start to see noticeable effects.

If you aren’t seeing results by this time — or if you’d like to try oral supplements — talk to your doctor. They can answer any questions you have and discuss your options for treatment.