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; 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 and antioxidant properties.

With that said, is it then safe to consider it might help calm inflammatory responses such as acne breakouts?

That’s what I’ll be covering in this post, but if you’re in a rush, here’s the TLDR version of my answer:

Rosehip oil might not be the best remedy for your acne, and it can potentially make the problem worse for some people. 

The image captures an up-close view of a person's face, focusing primarily on the skin, eye, and eyelashes. A droplet of reship oil is suspended at the end of a pipette, hovering just above the surface of the skin, seemingly ready to be applied. The eye in the frame is detailed with individual eyelashes appearing almost feather-like, and the skin tone is soft, conveying a sense of delicacy. The image exudes a sense of skincare routine and attention to detail.

NB: I can show you how to never have acne again. If you have acne and want it gone, read this message.

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 skin care products: Rosa Canina and Rosa Rubiginosa.

Rosehip oil, extracted from the Rosa Canina plant, is renowned for its numerous health benefits and is cultivated in various regions around the world, including South Africa, Europe, and North America.

Historically, the rosehip fruit has been a staple in folk medicine, offering remedies for a wide range of ailments.

Rich in essential nutrients, rosehips have demonstrated prophylactic and therapeutic efficacy against common colds, infectious diseases, gastrointestinal issues, and inflammatory conditions.

While both Rosa Rubiginosa and Rosa Canina are sources of rosehip oil, they exhibit slight differences in oil content and composition.

Generally, Rosa Rubiginosa is considered to be of higher quality due to its enriched content of essential fatty acids, surpassing that of Rosa Canina.

This distinction is particularly significant for those with acne-prone skin.

Rosa Rubiginosa boasts a more favorable linoleic-oleic acid ratio; linoleic acid is known for its acne-combatting properties, whereas oleic acid can potentially exacerbate acne issues.

Ensuring a balanced ratio helps in managing acne-prone skin more effectively.

Is Rosehip Oil Good for the Skin?

 The image showcases a clear, glass bowl filled with amber-colored rosehip oil on a rustic wooden surface. Scattered around the bowl are deep red, slightly wrinkled rosehips. The setting evokes a feeling of organic purity and natural richness.

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).

Is Rosehip Oil Good for Acne?

While rosehip oil is proven to help in wound healing and reduce 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 cells, 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.

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; yes, it can potentially contribute to clogged pores and future acne breakouts.

Which Oils are Best for Acne-Prone Skin?

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

I strongly believe there is no 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 closing, I’d like to say that 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.

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An extensive, no-nonsense course showing you how to never have acne again, from a licensed Esthetician specializing in oily/acne-prone skin.

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.

    • 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.

  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.

    • 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.


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