Does RoseHip Oil Clog Pores?

Often confused with actual roses, rosehip is a completely different part of the plant altogether. Rose Hip oil is usually produced from the Rosa Canina plant; cover image shows just how different it looks from a traditional rose (which is the plant’s flower, whereas the rose hip is more of a fruit.)

Rosehip at a glance has so many wonderful benefits

  • Rich in linoleic acid, which is an omega-6 fatty acid 
  • Rich in carotenoids, which are vitamin A precursors. This means within the skin, carotenoids will be chemically processed to turn into retinal, then retinol or retinoic acid. Retinol is a wonderful ingredient for acne, and for health overall. 
  • Tocopherols, usually found in high quantities in Vitamin E, are also found within rose hips. Tocopherols are antioxidants, which help to protect skin from environmental (especially sun) damage. 

Rose hip oil can be placed into your daily routine in a number of ways, mostly dietary, as an ingested supplement, or as a topical skincare product in order to keep your t-zone clear and acne free. 

Does Rose Hip Heal Wounds?

Rosehip oil has been studied to evaluate if it truly does help skin wounds, there is a wealth of anecdotal information – including the historical use of this ingredient in Ancient Egypt, and Rome. 

Rosehip oil helps to form a barrier over the wound, which prevents bacteria entry (stopping the wound getting infected and requiring a much longer recovery time) and also prevents moisture loss. During wound healing there are multiple stages, one of which include inflammatory processes to trigger the rebuilding of the damaged area. Inflammation strains the skin, so rose hip’s anti-inflammatory properties can help speed up the healing process

Unprocessed rose hip, the kind more likely to be found in supplements and in your diet is rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C is one of the best vitamins for supporting wound healing! However, there is a myth of vitamin C levels being high in rosehip within skincare oils – vitamin C is water-soluble, hence it wouldn’t work within an oil formula.

Does Rose Hip Oil Clog Pores?

Rosehip oil is a dry oil, meaning it absorbs into the skin quickly (so it doesn’t leave a wet/greasy feeling to the skin after application.) It actually is described as non-comedogenic, meaning it should not clog pores – however, it’s worth noting the way ingredients are tested to be comedogenic is quite outdated. As Rosehip oil is quickly absorbed, it doesn’t tend to linger within pores (which is usually part of the catalyst for other skincare oils increasing breakout risk) meaning congestion is unlikely to occur. 

The overproduction of oil within skin often occurs when there is a deficit of oil to begin with – put simply if you strip your skin of oil, it overproduces it. So by applying a small amount of rosehip oil onto skin every day, this helps to supplement any loss of oil, which in turn prevents the skin overproducing it. Less oil production means less sebum, and less fuel for bacteria within pores. This means you’re less likely to experience pore clogging.

Best Oils & Ingredients For Acne Prone Skin

Summarizing the best oils and ingredients for acne prone skin isn’t easy, as there are just so many options now. First up, the oils (rosehip hasn’t been included, as it’s already been discussed) : 

  • Marula Oil : Has a high level of antioxidants, amino acids and fatty acids, which make it great for repair of the skin barrier, meaning skin is likely to improve in health when applying this. However, it is more likely to be pore clogging due to the higher proportion of oleic acids to linoleic acids when compared to other facial oils like rosehip. 
  • Argan Oil : Argan oil is incredibly popular throughout hair and skin care products, and when used correctly it can be fantastic for acne-prone skin. It is nourishing to the skin, due to it;s high levels of antioxidants (including Vitamin E) and fatty acids. Also, argan oil is non-comedogenic so it will not clog pores.
  • Squalane Oil : Squalane is the hydrogenated version of squalene, which is a lipid naturally found in our skin’s oils. This means that squalane is almost identical in chemical structure to squalene, so it works beautifully on skin as it’s already meant to be there. This means it won’t clog pores, and actually leads the skin to produce less oil naturally. I also give squalane bonus points for its anti-inflammatory and repairing properties! 
  • Blue Tansy Oil : Don’t tell the other oils, but this one is my favorite. If I’m out browsing a local beauty store and I come across a product with Blue Tansy oil in it, it’s almost certain I’ll purchase it! Blue Tansy oil is actually an essential oil, which can trigger sensitivities for some people, but it’s worth noting not all essential oils are equal. Personally I find Blue Tansy incredibly soothing on my irritated breakouts, whilst being rich in the antioxidant Chamazulene (which gives the oil its signature blue color.)
  • Jojoba Oil : Jojoba will be the oil your esthetician raves about – this is due to the structure of jojoba actually mimicking your sebum, so your skin produces less sebum and we know less sebum means less chance of congested pores! Jojoba is incredible for conditioning skin, reducing irritation and promoting skin soothing.

Now, let’s break down the best ingredients for acne prone skin

  • Exfoliating acids : There are a wide range of exfoliating acids such as : glycolic acid, mandelic acid, salicylic acid, azelaic acid to name a few. They all work on the skin in different ways, but mostly lead to the same effect of exfoliation without physically scrubbing. They work by dissolving sebum, or the chains holding dead skin cells together, meaning pores can become unclogged and fresher, brighter skin is revealed. 
  • Retinoids : Again a class of ingredients, ranging from gentle over the counter types, to very potent prescription only forms such as tretinoin. They are the gold standard for acne care, as they speed up cell turnover (so less congestion can occur) whilst also altering the mechanisms within the cells, enabling them to act ‘more healthily.’ 
  • Niacinamide : The other ingredients mentioned in this section can be quite harsh, active ingredients. This means we must plan carefully when to use them, and ensure skin is extra protected during the daytime by sunscreen. Niacinamide however is gentle, and a B vitamin. It works to strengthen the skin barrier, and also the walls within pores – meaning they have more resistance to sebum and other ‘gunk’ filling up inside them. This helps pores look smaller, and also congest less easily. 
  • Benzoyl peroxide : This is an antimicrobial ingredient, meaning it can kill acne-causing bacteria on the skin – whilst also reducing the presence of sebum within pores. Benzoyl peroxide can be difficult to tolerate for sensitive skin, causing bleaching of towels and bedding, as well as excessively drying out the skin.

Does Rose Hip Oil Help Reduce Acne Scars

Acne scars form when the skin hasn’t healed properly, and fibrous connective tissue instead takes its place, hence to improve the appearance of acne scars we must either ensure the correct healing of acne or break down the fibrous connective tissue. 

Correct healing helps to reduce the scarring which will form in the first place, so to do this we must minimize inflammation, soothe the skin and resist picking or popping the spots. Applying rosehip oil at the preventative stage is likely to help, as it is anti-inflammatory and also produces a shield over the top of the breakout, reducing its severity as more bacteria cannot get in. It also prevents the formation of certain types of collagen, so hypertrophic scarring is much less likely to occur.

Once the scar is formed rosehip oil may also help, as it keeps the scar well nourished and moisturized. It also contains the retinoid precursor, with retinoids working well on scarring. The actual amount of retinoid produced from the rosehip oil on the skin will be very minimal though compared to a true retinoid. 

Best Way To Use Rosehip Oil on Face

Rosehip is most commonly found as an oil, to be used as the last step in a skincare routine. You can find many options, varying from budget-friendly to rather expensive. The key to finding a good quality rosehip oil is it being cold-pressed, as this helps to retain the nutritional components which we need for skin health!

Other types of products with rosehip you may want to consider are cleansers – oils or balms which remove makeup may contain rosehip (the brand Q+A does a lovely one!) or water-based morning (or evening second cleanse) cleansers also may contain small amounts of rosehip oil. However, as the cleanser will only come in contact with your skin for a small amount of time so the impact of rosehip will be minimal. 

Originally Published: February 27, 2023

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Analyzed by Beth Cooper
I'm a beauty content creator from the UK, on both Instagram and TikTok. I adore exploring new beauty products, whilst also learning the science behind the skincare (I'm a major science nerd - currently studying a Bachelors Degree in Health Sciences!) I'm passionate about making acne care accessible for all, whilst empowering people to feel like they are good enough and beautiful with or without their acne. It's such a complex condition, so getting good information to people is so important to me, years of those horrendous internet DIYs really damaged my skin! Read more of Beth's articles.

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