Every rose has its thorn. But we can look past that fact because roses have so much goodness to offer. And we’re not the only ones turning the other cheek. The colorful flower with prickly stems has been revered by many cultures for thousands of years for its enchanting scent, magical medicinal powers, and beauty prowess.
While fragrance might be the first thing that comes to mind, roses in skincare have a long list of beauty benefits. Roses are also quite versatile since they have properties that carry a variety of perks for every skin type!
You might see rose as a common ingredient in many skincare products lately. But rose comes in more than one form. It mostly depends on what part of the plant is used and how it’s made. Since roses are hogging the spotlight this month anyway, we thought we’d give you the rundown on all the different wonderful rose ingredients you’ll find in skincare and why they’re worthy of your love!
Rose water is made by distilling rose petals using steam. The most common type of rose used in skincare is Rosa damascena because it’s the most fragrant and the most potent. For ages, it’s been used in beauty routines around the world and is well known for its ability to soothe red, inflamed or irritated skin. It's believed that Cleopatra herself bathed in a mixture of rose water, milk and honey.
Packed with antioxidants like anthocyanins and flavonoids, rose water is also excellent for protecting skin from free radical damage caused by the environmental stressors we encounter daily. By preventing free radicals from doing harm, rose helps slow the signs of aging, like fine lines, wrinkles, and dull and sagging skin.
Rose water is mildly astringent and helps get rid of excess oil too, making it a perfect choice for oily and acne-prone skin. It also restores the pH of your skin back to healthy levels. Your hair will also love rose water for its ability to replenish moisture to dry damaged strands.
This form of rose is also used in foods and beverages because it has a delicate, sweet, floral flavor.
Rose extract is made by soaking rose petals in alcohol (or glycerin and water) to draw out the active plant compounds. As a result, it’s much more concentrated than rose water. Like rose water, rose extract is soothing for the skin and has anti-inflammatory properties. It also has astringent properties for cleansing pores and preventing blemishes.
Rose Essential Oil
Rose essential oil is the other byproduct made by distilling the rose petals. The oil is an emollient and supports a healthy skin barrier to prevent moisture from escaping. It’s also considered an excellent alternative to hyaluronic acid because it helps your skin retain moisture.
It’s fabulous for blemished skin too, because it has antibacterial properties that help clear out the acne-causing bacteria P. acnes from your pores.
Rose essential oil comes in two forms: Rose otto and Rose absolute. They differ in that rose otto is made by distillation, but rose absolute is extracted with the help of a solvent. Rose otto has a more subtle aroma because not as much oil is extracted in the distillation process.
Rosehip Seed Oil
Another common rose ingredient is rosehip seed oil. Rosehips are the fruit of the rose bush found after its flowers have been pollinated. The oil of the rose hip is found in the seeds inside this fruit. Rosehip seed oil is most noted for its abundance of vitamins A and C and essential fatty acids, like omega-3 and omega-6 (EFAs). These nutrients give the oil its skin-loving properties.
Rosehip oil is most known for its anti-aging properties. Vitamins C is the most powerful antioxidant for your skin, which is why rose hip seed oil is such a potent anti-aging superstar. Vitamin C supports your own production of collagen to keep your skin from losing its structure and firmness. By increasing collagen production, it helps keep your skin from getting fine lines and wrinkles. This oil also does a fantastic job at reducing dark spots and smoothing out scars.
Essential fatty acids are a vital component of your skin’s protective barrier. The fats in rosehip seed oil strengthen your skin’s natural barrier, which enables your skin to retain its moisture. That’s another reason it’s amazing for rejuvenating mature skin that's dry and irritable. Rosehip seed oil is lighter than most plant oils and can be used as a carrier oil to deliver nutrients from other oils to your skin.
Roses have always been prized for their beauty (despite their thorniness). Now you know why roses are also a prized ingredient in skincare and other beauty products. Just about every skin type will gain something from using products with rose-based ingredients. We include roses in various forms in many of our best products because of their unique skin benefits. So treat yourself to a bouquet of beauty with roses and rosehips this Valentine's Day!