- Rosehip oil is a natural treatment for acne that’s available as an over-the-counter topical treatment and in supplement form.
- Because it’s high in vitamin A, vitamin C, linoleic acid and essential fatty acids, rosehip oil helps to fight inflammation and hyperpigmentation.
- People with inflammatory acne will benefit most from using rosehip oil.
- Rosehip oil is generally safe and has few side effects when used in topical form.
Rosehip oil is a natural extract from the seeds of the rosehip fruit. The fruit is the part of a rose that remains after the petals have fallen off. Many rose species produce hips, whose oil is a popular natural skin care remedy and can be used to treat acne.
Does Rosehip Oil Treat Acne?
Rosehip oil is nourishing and moisturizing to the skin, and it can help treat acne. It’s available over-the-counter as a topical treatment and an oral dietary supplement.
When used topically, it has astringent properties and encourages new collagen production. Collagen helps rejuvenate the skin, minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and helps the skin retain a youthful appearance.
Rosehip oil is also used to address hyperpigmentation. It’s high in vitamin A, a natural retinoid that has been proven to fight acne. It is also rich in essential fatty acids and vitamin C, which also helps to protect the skin from damage and visible signs of aging.
People with inflammatory acne may experience the greatest benefits of using rosehip oil for acne. Inflammatory acne symptoms include cysts, nodules, papules and pustules all respond, to some degree, to treatments that target inflammation.
It’s possible that people with noninflammatory acne may also experience benefits from rosehip oil. It contains linoleic acid, which works alongside vitamin A to help control the natural production of oil, or sebum. When sebum production is regulated, whiteheads and blackheads are less likely to form.
Rosehip oil for cystic acne
Because rosehip oil reduces inflammation, it may be beneficial against cystic acne to some degree. However, it probably isn’t strong enough to treat cysts on its own. Most likely, it may help as part of a combination of treatments.
Cystic acne can be a severe condition, and most of the time, over-the-counter (OTC) treatments can’t address it on their own. If you have severe cystic acne, your dermatologist will probably prescribe stronger medication to address your symptoms.
Rosehip oil for hormonal acne
Hormonal acne can present as a combination of inflammatory and noninflammatory acne. Imbalanced hormones can cause:
- Overproduction of sebum
- Inflamed skin
Rosehip oil may alleviate the symptoms of hormonal acne, particularly symptoms related to inflammation. Because this type of acne isn’t caused by external factors, rosehip oil probably won’t prevent further breakouts and symptoms. Hormonal imbalances should be addressed by a doctor.
Rosehip oil for fungal acne
Fungal acne is caused by overgrowth of yeast–a type of fungus–on the skin. This type of acne is worse when the skin is overproducing sebum. People who live in hot or humid climates may also have worse symptoms.
Rosehip oil is rich in phenols, compounds which are antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial. Although rosehip oil may help fight fungal acne to some degree, it’s not an appropriate treatment on its own.
The primary treatment for fungal acne is taking prescription antifungal medication by mouth. Your dermatologist can diagnose fungal acne and prescribe the appropriate medicine. Topical antifungal cream may also be recommended.
Other Benefits of Rosehip Oil
Besides being a natural acne treatment, rosehip oil has a host of other benefits for skin.
Antioxidant-rich vitamin C also occurs in rosehip oil. This vitamin can help to alleviate inflammation, encourage cell turnover, boost collagen and elastin production and address hyperpigmentation. Its skin-brightening properties make vitamin C a go-to ingredient for people who want to rejuvenate their skin’s appearance.
The linoleic acid found in rosehip oil is an omega-6 essential fatty acid. Linoleic acid can help to reduce overproduction of sebum in the skin, which may help to control breakouts.
Rosehip oil for acne scars
Rosehip oil may help to reduce certain acne scars’ appearance. The vitamin C in rosehip oil may help treat scars. Its essential fatty acids such as linoleic acid could be helpful in addressing hyperpigmented scar tissue. Fatty acids are also hydrating and softening, which may help with reducing the appearance of scars.
Studies have shown rosehip oil to be healing to scars in general. One study involved post-surgical patients who applied topical rosehip oil to their surgical site. Over a 12-week period, participants who used rosehip oil noted that their scarring wasn’t as dark as those who didn’t use it. Their post-surgical inflammation also improved drastically.
Rosehip oil works best for people who have dark, small, flat scars. However, depressed acne scarring probably won’t respond to rosehip oil. Ultimately, more research is needed to determine how effective rosehip oil is for acne.
Rosehip oil for post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation
The vitamin A, beta carotene, linoleic acid and lycopene in rosehip oil all contribute to reducing hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation can occur as a result of acne and inflammation. When used consistently over time, rosehip oil can help to reduce dark spots in some people.
How To Apply It
Rosehip oil is available over-the-counter both in its pure form and as an ingredient in other skin care products. Some people prefer to use pure rosehip oil, while others want it in addition to other ingredients.
Depending on the severity of your acne, you might choose to try it in combination with other acne-fighting ingredients. Keep in mind that moderate to severe acne may not respond well to rosehip oil.
Before you apply rosehip oil to your face, do a patch test to ensure you aren’t allergic. Apply the product to a small, discreet area of your skin and wait 24 hours. If your skin is clear and you haven’t experienced any symptoms of an allergic reaction such as itching or a rash, you can try using it on your face.
To incorporate pure rosehip oil into your daily skin care routine:
- Wash your face with a gentle cleanser.
- Pat dry with a soft washcloth.
- Apply rosehip oil to your entire face, massaging in small circles until it’s absorbed.
- Apply your moisturizer of choice.
- Continue your skin care routine.
Rosehip oil may be applied in the morning and evening. If you purchase an OTC acne treatment that contains rosehip oil, follow the use instructions on the label and use only as recommended.
If your symptoms haven’t been reduced after six to eight weeks of topical use, talk to your dermatologist. They’ll be able to tell you whether taking oral rosehip supplements would be more appropriate for your condition.
Can Any Skin Type Use It?
When used topically, rosehip oil is generally safe for all skin types. Those with sensitive skin should use caution when applying any new product. It’s possible that people with sensitive skin might experience irritation.
Side Effects of Rosehip Oil
In addition to mild irritation, rosehip oil may cause side effects in some people. For most people, however, it’s a safe product.
If you already use topical retinoids or products that are high in vitamin C, use caution. Rosehip oil contains high concentrations of both. Using too much of vitamins A and C can cause skin irritation.
If you have an allergy to plants in the Rosaceae family or to rose hips, you should avoid use.
People who take rosehip supplements might experience more severe side effects, including headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, insomnia, stomach cramps, vision changes, diarrhea, constipation and heartburn.
People who should avoid taking rosehip oil supplements may include those who:
- Have clotting or bleeding disorders
- Are diabetic
- Are pregnant or breast-feeding
- Have G6PD deficiency (glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency)
- Are prone to kidney stones
- Have an iron-related blood disorder such as anemia, hemochromatosis or thalassemia
- Have sickle cell anemia
- Are preparing to have surgery
If you take medications or supplements to address the above conditions, such as blood-thinning medication (warfarin, aspirin, etc.), vitamin C, OTC or prescription iron, lithium, fluphenazine or estrogens, talk to your doctor. Rosehip oil may not be appropriate for you.
Will rosehip oil clog pores?
Rosehip oil is a noncomedogenic and will not clog pores. It has astringent properties and actually works to clear and tighten pores. It also absorbs quickly into the skin.
Other Oils for Acne-Prone Skin
If rosehip oil isn’t right for you, there are other noncomedogenic oils that may be more appropriate. The following oils hydrate the skin and address inflammation without clogging pores:
Rosehip oil may be an effective acne treatment for many people, especially when combined with other beneficial, acne-fighting ingredients. Its healing, anti-inflammatory and skin-lightening properties make it an excellent treatment for mild inflammatory acne and mild hyperpigmentation.
Rosehip oil is high vitamin A, vitamin C, linoleic acid and essential fatty acid, which can all help to nourish, moisturize, calm the skin and encourage cell turnover. It’s generally safe for all skin types, but should be used with caution if you have sensitive skin.
It’s possible that taking a rosehip oil supplement might be a more appropriate treatment if your skin doesn’t respond well to topicals. However, talk to your doctor before you take a supplement, as there are multiple health conditions and medications it may interact with.
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