Rosehip Oil for Acne? Why It Works for Blemish Prone Skin

Once upon a time, I used to slather my face with night creams in hopes of waking up to rejuvenated, glowing skin. In the morning, I’d wash my face as usual and then reach for another, lighter moisturizer for the daytime and then top that off with yet another layer of primer to help my makeup go on smooth and flawless.

These days I use just one thing for my night cream, daytime moisturizer and makeup primer…and it’s the best of its kind in every single category.***

So, what is this wondrous, multi-tasking product?

Let me introduce the fabulously gifted…rosehip seed oil.

rosehip oil for acne

This lovely, light oil is a near-colorless, fragrance-less oil that’s rumored to have been used by the ancient Egyptians, Mayans and Native Americans for its healing properties. Those smart ancient people…rosehip seed oil is one of the best all-natural beautifying and healing oils I’ve ever encountered.

It is very light and “dry” and barely feels like an oil when you apply it to your skin. It goes on velvety soft, soaking into your skin for what I can only call a “luxurious moistness.”

The only downside to rosehip seed oil is its price, but after learning of the trouble that’s taken to make the lovely oil, I have nothing but gratitude…

What is Rosehip Seed Oil?

You see, rosehip seed oil is cold pressed from the rose hips of wild rose bushes found in the southern Andes and known as Rosa moschata or Rose rubiginosa. The bright crimson rose hips grow amidst delicious apple-scented leaves and thick spiny bushes and it is inside these fruits, or “hips” that you find the tiny seeds that are pressed to extract the precious rosehip seed oil.

And precious it is…rosehip seed oil is one of the most difficult oils to extract since the tiny seeds are attached to hair-like, tiny leaves that are itchy and even fatal if breathed into the lungs. Still, they need to be hand-picked from amidst the thick, spiny bushes and then prepped for a complex extraction process that involves drying, de-hipping and then removing irritants through the process of pressing.

The whole process is complicated and labor-intensive, which is duly – and justifiably – reflected in the high price of rosehip seed oil, which is around $10 for a 1oz bottle. If you’re looking for a great rosehip seed oil – go for Radha’s. It’s pure, certified organic and only $14 for a 4oz bottle. 

Overall, I think it’s a small price to pay considering the benefits and uses of the lovely oil, especially since it’s been one of the only natural oils I can use on my acne-prone skin without fear of breakouts…

Rosehip Oil for Acne? Here’s Why You Should

Rosehip seed oil is rich in skincare vitamins A and E. It’s also very high in essential fatty acids – in fact, 77% of its composition is fatty acids – including linoleic and linolenic acids. It was primarily for the oil’s linoleic acid content that I started using it on my skin. I suffer from both occasional acne and chronic clogged pores, which I believe is a result of my skin not having enough linoleic acid.

You see, the natural sebum that seeps out of our pores to moisturize our face and protect our skin from bacteria is normally made of linoleic acid. But if you don’t produce enough linoleic acid, your sebum becomes made of oleic acid, which is thicker and dryer than linoleic acid and more prone to clog pores, resulting in whiteheads and cysts.

To combat this, I’ve been on a kick to give my skin more linoleic acid internally and externally. Rosehip seed oil seemed like a great topical option since it’s both rich in linoleic acid and one of the “dryest” oils, but I was still hesitant to use it since a good portion of my face was covered in active acne and despite the most thorough Internet research, I couldn’t really get a definite “yes” or “no” on using the oil directly on acne skin.

Some people claimed it helped acne and some swore it made them break out…I figured the only way to find out how it’d go for me was to put it on my face.

So I applied it one night when my acne was especially red, raw and inflamed and then went to bed. I woke in the morning to find my skin considerably less red and still moisturized.

I repeated again the next night. And the night after that. And I’m still hooked.

Rosehip seed oil turned out to be the perfect night cream for me (with oily, acne-prone skin) since it hydrates without feeling thick or heavy – a sensation I hate falling asleep to. Plus, it has visible benefits when you wake up. My acne is considerably less inflamed and the red patches of past acne spots fade so much faster.

Pretty soon, I started using rosehip seed oil as my daytime moisturizer as well and found that I never needed a primer – the oil soaked in velvety soft on my skin and my makeup applied flawlessly on top. My skin stayed perfectly moist throughout the day without looking oily or feeling heavy or thick-laden with stuff. It is hands-down the best moisturizer I’ve ever used.

For me, rosehip seed oil has been a blessing for my acne problems, but that is not its only beauty benefit…the lovely, light oil is credited with bringing relief to everything from sun damage to wrinkles to stretch marks. It is, in essence, a very active oil that absorbs into the skin to promote cellular membrane and tissue regeneration, making it helpful for a number of skin conditions.

Here are a few other rosehip oil uses:

  • Wrinkles and fine lines
  • Scars, burns and wounds
  • Age spots
  • Skin discoloration and acne spots
  • Eczema
  • Sun damage
  • Stretch marks
  • Dermatitis
  • Psoriasis

…as well as…

  • Repairing dry and damaged hair
  • Strengthening brittle nails

There have been two main studies done of the healing and regenerative effects of rosehip seed oil on sun damaged, wrinkled, and scarred skin. You can read about them here and here.

How to Use Rosehip Seed Oil

I use the rosehip seed oil directly on my skin, hair, and nails. After washing my face, I blot some of the water off (a little bit of water helps your skin better absorb the oil!) and drip a few drops of it onto the palm of my hand, apply it onto my face and massage lightly ’til it soaks into my skin and then rub the remainder of the oil left on my palm into my hair or onto my nails.

It’s a wonderfully simple night cream, daytime moisturizer and makeup primer in one…but of course, you can add it into a bunch of beauty concoctions as well.

***I haven’t tried every skincare product under the sun, but I’ve dabbled in my fair share of products. But when it comes to natural moisturizers…I’ve tried everything, looking for something to adequately replenish while not adding to the oily greasiness state my skin is prone to.

Not an easy task. As for makeup primers, I have the least experience with these and I’ve liked the lot I’ve used, but I prefer to do without the extra layer of stuff I’m putting on my face. Rosehip seed oil is the best 3-in-1 solution I’ve found thus far.

Leave a Comment:

Alva says August 16, 2016

Hi Hannah,
Love how you talked about rosehip seed oil and your motivated words on using it for acne skin.
May i know what do you use for cleansing your face and do you use any toner?
Thank you so much, cheers ?

    Hannah says August 16, 2016

    Hi Alva, thanks for stopping by and glad you enjoyed it! Currently, I use hemp seed oil to do oil cleansing when I’ve worn makeup – it’s probably the best OCM oil for acne-prone skin since it’s completely non comedogenic. I follow that with a face wash but I switch between a few so my skin doesn’t get “used to it.” Current favorites are Andalou Naturals Kombucha Cleansing Gel (which is really similar to Acure’s Cleansing Gel in feeling and results) and EveryDay Coconut (which has more neem than coconut :)). They’ve all been great on the acne front and won’t leave your skin feeling tight or stripped.

    As for toner, I learned the hard way that drying out your skin leads to more oil and more blemishes so now I stick to really gentle stuff like rose water and just straight up green tea 🙂 DIY is fun to do with toners – cucumber water, chamomile tea, rooibos tea, holy basil tea, neem tea…the possibilities are endless. Hope that helps!

Janice says August 24, 2016


I have bad acne and acne marks on my face I have just started using the trilogy cleanser and moisturiser and rose hip oil they all have rosehip oil in them. I applied it for the first time and I noticed some tingling feeling on my face I got very worried I thought I will get a major reaction so I washed it off quickly with cold water. Than I went online to read if anyone else has felt this way and I read a couple of people with acne problems said not to use rosehip products. I really like the reviews on this product and was wondering is this really true ?

    Ellis says September 29, 2016

    Hi Janice, everyone is different so even for things that don’t typically cause blemishes, there’s always the risk that someone may break out from it. The only way to really know for certain is to try it. If you’re really worried, you can try it on a less blemish-prone area of your face and see. Good luck 🙂

Richell infante says November 9, 2016

How much the rosehip oil here in kuwait?

Brookelynn says January 21, 2017

I thought rosehip oil was darker with an orange amber tint. And has a very very faint smell like rosehip tea but close to odorless….

Anita Lemons says December 12, 2017

Broke both my husband’s and my skin out. I have problem free skin. My husband has combination, acne-prone skin. Rose hip oil never works for us.. tried in both oil ans serum form. BUT as with any oil you have to try to see if it suits you. Everyone’s skin is different. I love frankincese and avocado oil! I will start using frankin for my husband too if it doesn’t help him, I will have to experiment further with other oils…

Nash Khan says December 17, 2017

Such a wonderful read! I’m a combo skin girl who leans quite dry towards the winters and recently started using rosehip oil (since last week). I use LifeFlo’s Rosehip and it is just as good, has lots of stellar reviews and is priced at $6! I get mine from Iherb and been loving it to bits. I’m also hoping it fades away my pretty dark acne scarring since I’ve read a ton of its benefits on that (:

tahira says August 2, 2018

I need help with my skin at my age BREAK OUTS at my age (15) urgent could u people tell me more good natural sources for my face email me

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