How to Add Rosehip Oil to Your Skincare Routine

We've been known to pose some pretty intriguing questions when it comes to the topic of skincare practices, like, can we actually get brighter complexions while we sleep? What foods should we add to our Instacart for supermodel-grade skin? And should we be dousing our faces in rosehip oil?

To answer the last, we turned to Athena Hewett, a San Fransisco–based esthetician and founder of the holistic skincare brand Monastery, to learn more about rosehip oil, a natural skincare staple. "Rosehip seed oil is one of my favorite oils," confesses Hewett. "It's a natural retinol product packed with nutrients, but rather than having a thick consistency, it's a dry oil," she explains.

Here, the esthetician breaks down four rosehip oil benefits that will make you want to clear some space on your top shelf and make room for serums containing this naturally derived skincare multitasker.

rose-hip oil benefits
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Vitamins A and C

Rosehip oil's bright color doesn't just make it pretty, it also means that it's packed with vitamins A and C. "Vitamin A (a retinoic acid) and vitamin C brighten your complexion," Hewett explains. While these benefits will make you want to drown your face in rosehip oil serums, be warned: According to Hewett, the orangish color can tint the skin. "Be careful not to overuse rosehip seed oil that isn't combined with other oils, as it can actually give the skin an orange glow."

Benefits of Rose Hip Oil
Emily Roberts

Good Astringent

Rosehip seed oil is a dry oil, meaning it's an oil that doesn't actually feel oily. It has more of a tacky feeling than a slick one."Dry oils are astringent, which makes them less comedogenic, and they are perfect for those with oily skin," Hewett adds. "It's a fantastic moisturizer for all skin types (and a great moisturizer for the hair, too)."

High ATRA Levels

"The main active component (the superstar ingredient) of rosehip seed oil is all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA)," Hewett reveals. "This ingredient is responsible for making rosehip seed oil the powerhouse that it is." ATRA is a naturally occurring derivative of vitamin A, which you probably know as retinol.

"It works similarly to Retin-A, but without the irritation," she adds. Typically, you need a prescription to get your hands on products containing Retin-A, as ATRA is used medically in the treatment of acne, anti-aging, and photo-damaged skin. "Rosehip seed oil has the highest levels of ATRA than any other oil," Hewett says. This makes it a great alternative to scheduling an appointment with a dermatologist.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

"Rosehip seed oil is also high in essential fatty acids, like linoleic acid, omega-6, and omega-3," explains Hewett. "These acids make it highly anti-inflammatory. Anti-inflammatory ingredients soothe and smooth pimples, heal acne scars, and repair broken and damaged skin.

Best Rosehip Oils

According to Hewett, not all rosehip seed oils are created equally. "The quality of the seeds and the extraction method are critical," she explains. The highest-quality oils are cold-pressed and not solvent-extracted. "Solvent extraction removes many of the nutritious properties of the oil, as well as some of the natural properties of the oil, like color and scent."

Luckily, Hewett has a nifty trick to determine which products to add to your top-shelf. "High-quality rosehip seed oil will have a fishy scent to it," she explains. "However, well-made face oils blend the rosehip seed oil with other oils and essential oils to hide the scent without losing the healing properties of the oil."

Check out Hewett's splurge-worthy recommendations.

Active Botanical Serum
Vintner's Daughter Active Botanical Serum $185
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Active transforming oils are mixed with organic botanical oils in this serum that's so popular, it's garnered something of a cult following, explains Hewett.

Retinoic Nutrient Face Oil 1 oz/ 30 mL
Tata Harper Retinoic Nutrient Face Oil $48
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Boasting 37% rosehip oil, this retinoic face oil promises to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, hydrate skin, and give you a glowing complexion.

Monastery Attar Repair Concentrate $124
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This repairing cream is essentially a rosehip seed oil made into a solid with floral wax of jasmine and tuberose, explains Hewett. "It's the most divine face concentrate."

Odacité An Autumn on the World $165
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In this potent serum, rosehip oil is combined with lipid-soluble vitamin C to boost collagen production for a brighter complexion.

Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil
Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil $44
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Suitable for all skin types, specifically sensitive skin, this hardworking product improves your skin's texture while gently tackling dry patches, flaky patches, blemishes, dull skin tone, fine lines, scars, and sun damage.

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