Here’s Why Rosehip Oil Is Bad For Acne-Prone Skin

Oils are definitely a hot topic in the skincare world.

Some prefer to avoid them and others embrace them; however, there is one issue that has led to a particularly animated debate among experts – whether or they are good or not when it comes to blemish-prone skin.

Rosehip oil, in particular, has been extensively researched for its wound-healing abilities as well as antioxidant properties, therefore, it is safe to consider it might help with calming inflammatory responses such as acne breakouts, however…

Rosehip oil might not be the best remedy for your acne and it can potentially make the problem worse for some people. This article explains why rosehip oil is bad for acne.

ROSEHIP OIL FOR ACNE

NB: If you’re someone with oily/acne-prone skin, you need my new book “The Ingredients Handbook for Acne-Prone Skin“. Download it here.

What Is Rosehip Oil?

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

Unlike rose oil, which is extracted from rose petals, rosehip oil is pressed from the fruit and seeds of the wild rose bush.

Now, if you start to dig a little deeper into the rosehip oil topic, you will see that there are lots of species of rose, and it is confusing to know what the differences and similarities are.

However, there are two major types of rosehip oil used in skincare products:

Rosa Canina

rosa canina

Rosehip oil can be extracted from Rosa Canina which grows in many regions of the world including South Africa, Europe, and North America, where the fruits of the rosehip have been used in folk medicine for a long time.

Rosehips have prophylactic and therapeutic actions against the common cold, infectious diseases, gastrointestinal disorders, and inflammatory diseases.

Rosa Rubiginosa

rosa rubignosa

Or the oil coming from the seeds of the wild rose bush most common in the southern Andes in Chile. It is a rich and nourishing oil that is loaded with fatty acids such as linoleic, linolenic, and oleic acid.

Additionally, the oil extracted from this rose bush contains the active ingredient trans-retinoic acid, aka tretinoin, a known cell-communicating component that aids in restoring and regenerating tissues, making rosehip oil excellent for acne scars and wound healing.

The oil content and composition of Rosa Rubiginosa and Rosa Canina is similar, but there are some differences between them.

Rosa Rubiginosa tends to have better quality from the two as it contains a higher percentage of essential fatty acids than Rosa Canina.

Additionally, the linoleic-oleic ratio of Rosa Rubiginosa is better and this is especially important when it comes to acne-prone skins as linoleic acid can be good for acne and oleic can exacerbate the problem.

Is Rosehip Oil Good For Skin?

is rosehip oil bad for acne

Rosehip oil contains a high amount of linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid and among the essential fatty acids, our skin needs to stay nourished and soft.

It also contains antioxidants such as carotenoids (which is a precursor of vitamin A) and tocopherols, abundant in vitamin E and the major fat-soluble antioxidants in our skin.

The effects of vitamins A and E can increase cellular turnover and to some degree repair damage on the skin done by the sun.

Additionally, rosehip oil can help eliminate signs of flaky, dehydrated-looking skin and play a role in maintaining the skin’s appearance.

There is a common misconception that rosehip oil contains vitamin C as the fruit itself does, however, this isn’t true because vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, hence it is not contained in the oil.

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant responsible for offering skin benefits such as supporting collagen production, while rosehip oil isn’t proven to do that.

The antioxidant and regenerative properties of the oil come from the oil-soluble tocopherols (vitamin E) and carotenoids (pro-vitamin A).

Does Rosehip Oil Have Side Effects?

Severe side effects of topical rosehip oil are rare. though an allergic reaction is possible as with anything else.

Some of the allergic reaction symptoms may include rash or hives, wheezing, watery eyes, chest discomfort, and dizziness.

Rosehip oil will cause you the least amount of problems if your skin is on the dry side and can actually give you the benefits of nourishing and softening your skin.

However, if you have oily skin or suffer from acne;

Rosehip oil doesn’t offer any benefits that will help clear your acne besides temporary soothing the inflammation.

Moreover, it has the potential to contribute to future acne breakouts.

Is Rosehip Oil Bad For Acne Prone Skin?

How To Get Rid Of stress caused Acne

While rosehip oil is proven to help in wound healing and reduces acne scars, it definitely shouldn’t be your first treatment of choice against acne.

The only reason for this is that you have to experiment and hope that it works for you.

Due to the clogging nature of oils, rosehip oil can also create an oily barrier on your skin that will make it look greasy and can potentially worsen your breakouts by clogging your pores.

Acne develops when the pores on your skin become clogged with excess sebum and a mixture of accumulated dead skin cells and white blood cells.

The mixture of oil, dead skin cell, and white blood cells creates a perfect airless environment for the acne bacteria to grow and thrive, which essentially results in breakouts.

Now, imagine applying an additional layer of oil on top of that congestion, regardless of the type.

Oils create an occlusive barrier on our skin, preventing the natural oil from flowing freely and basically compress dead skin cells deeper into the pore and prevent them from naturally shedding off.

While in some cases, rosehip oil may help soothe the inflammation that comes with acne, in others, it may only make the problem worse.

Which Oil Is Best For Acne-Prone Skin?

I know a lot of people are going to come for me for saying this, however;

I strongly believe that there isn’t such thing as the best oil for acne-prone skins.

Oils contain essential fatty acids that are excellent for skin types that can tolerate them and benefit from these components.

They can soften the skin and give a nice and healthy glow to skin types that are not prone to congestion and breakouts.

However, the most important thing here is that we do not need to add oils in our skincare routine to hydrate and moisturize the skin.

Our skin is perfectly lubricated by the natural oil produced by the sebaceous glands and it also receives hydration and nourishment from its deeper layers.

Additionally, using beneficial ingredients known as humectants and emollients can help your skin with its moisture retention capacity and keeping it hydrated.

Oils, on the other hand. are known as occlusives, therefore they don’t have the same action.

So having hydrated skin and soft skin is not to be confused as there are much more sophisticated ways to deeply hydrate your skin than applying potentially harmful oils.

Even natural oils such as coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, sunflower oil, and almond oil can cause significant clogging and potential long-term skin damage.


In this article, we shared a little bit of research-confirmed material, some knowledge, as well as my personal opinion on why rosehip oil is bad for acne.

While rosehip oil for acne is definitely not the worst thing I have heard while learning about different ingredients used in skincare products, we found out that it can (against popular beliefs) contribute to worsening your acne breakouts.

Therefore, turning to more beneficial and proven-to-work ingredients such as salicylic acid is always the better option in my humble opinion.

OILY SKIN PRONE TO CONSTANT ACNE-BREAKOUTS?

simone sydel licensed esthetician

I've coached hundreds of clients just like you helping them tame their oily and acne-prone skin.


I've had my battle with acne. I know what it's like when your skin seems to be conspiring against you


The good news is, I can now show how to manage it!


My new book will help you understand your skin better so you can make informed decisions about what products would work best for your specific needs.

4 thoughts on “Here’s Why Rosehip Oil Is Bad For Acne-Prone Skin”

  1. Strange. You don’t think the fatty composition of Rosehip seed oil can potentially assist with reducing acne lesions? Rosehip seed oil is high in linoleic and linolenic acid which are the essential fatty acids absent from healthy skin sebum fat composition.

    Reply
    • Hi Dresden and thanks for reaching out!

      I am not convinced that the fatty composition of Rosehip seed oil can potentially assist with reducing acne lesions because acne forms due to a clog inside the pore caused mostly by excess sebum and dead skin cells. Rosehip oil has shown some mild wound-healing effects during a controlled study, however, it doesn’t have any exfoliating properties needed to get rid of the clog and kick-start the healing process.

      Linoleic acid can absolutely be helpful, however, taking it through foods such as nuts, seeds, meat, and eggs is a significantly better option. Our sebum is quite a unique composition that cannot be mimicked with topically-applied components.

      Reply
  2. Hi there. I used to use rosehip oil, after washing my face every night with undiluted (yikes) Dr. Bronner’s castor soap. In short, this worked for a while (my skin was the greatest it had EVER been). But, I am not sure if it’s because of the hard water at my college, being worse in some buildings than others, but after I switched buildings, experienced more stress, and ate lots more sugars, my skin went bad. But it was mosly blackheads around my cheeks, and I was still using the rosehip oil.

    I stopped it for a while, and among improving my lifestyle a bit, I also noticed my skin got better. I’m back at college, and just noticed my skin just lacks moisture, it looks dull. I started using my rosehip seed oil again, but I am noticing that I am getting blackheads again. And on my forehead, which I never do. I am most sure it’s because of the oil. I think that it was necessary before when I stripped my skin from everything with that castor oil, but I think it’s too much for my skin now, as I only use the cerave cleanser for normal to dry skin.

    This is frustrating. Do you have any tips for me? I also am using bottled water now to wash my face, to help my skin from this terrible water, but I am stuck on what to use to moisturize!! I really want my glowing, healthy skin back! But I just have a bunch of hole (larger pores) from all these blackheads, on my cheeks, sides, and now forehead 🙁 Please help. I would appreciate any suggestions! I have normal skin, unless I strip it with soaps, then it’s dry.

    Reply
    • Hi, maybe the cerave cleanser is damaging your skin. Its pH is 6.2, which is too alkaline and can disrupt your skin barrier. You could use the bioderma sebium purifying cleansing gel, its the best. I myself have experienced “amazing” skin because of some oil like argan or jojoba, but this was just a FEEL, eventually after a long time, it was only BAD for my skin and gave me pimples and stuff. I am one of the non popular believers that oils dont reallllly benefit you, although I do use products with a tiny bit of non comedogenic oil in it, because I trust that its wellformulated and I see it as an extra emollient.. Maybe you could use mandelic acid from TO (its sort of a less heavy version of salicylic acid, which helps with blackheads)

      From my experience with sensitive acne prone skin, I have learnt that I dont have to follow every trend and listen to my skin. It was hard for me when f.e. TO niacinamide and zinc broke me out and gave me like those big ass pimples, because I was like, why does it not work on me? I want to share this advice with others, so now I am telling u this. Less is more, it will benefit you in the long run I promise. Use the gentle cleanser I recommended (double cleanse with this product when u use any makeup, probably not needed tho), remove it with water, put on moisturizer on the damp skin (recommandations: Cerave moisturizing cream or PM lotion, Eucerin urea idk the names, Aveeno oat gel, some moirsturizer from Purito or COSRX, just look on incidecoder.) Use SPF 30+ everyday, aim for spf 50, this one from Cerave, Drmtlgy, Elta Md, Supergoop, Bioderma, well a lot, look on youtube on dr Dray or shereene Idriss, there are more..
      And add then an exfoliant after doing that for a month, u dont have to use glycolic acid or salicylic immediately, there are plenty of other ones, but these have the most data/research.

      Reply

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