What to Know About Rosehip Oil for Acne Scars

Medically Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner, MD on February 22, 2024
4 min read

Rosehip oil comes from the fruits of the rose plant and has been traditionally used to treat a variety of conditions. Due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, it can help with skin disorders and other conditions.

Studies have suggested that rosehip oil can improve the appearance of scars and make your skin clearer. Read on to learn more about rose hip and rosehip oil and their effects on your body.

Rosehip oil is extracted from rose hip or rose haw, the fruit of the rose plant. 

Known for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and anti-diabetic effects, rose hip is used for medicinal purposes as well as for cooking.

Rosehip oil is full of antioxidants, particularly vitamin C. It can be very helpful if you're dealing with a skin condition, because antioxidants stimulate your skin to repair itself naturally. Rose hip defends your skin in the following ways:

  • It protects your skin from sun damage.
  • It reduces skin inflammation that can cause acne and eczema.
  • It reverses signs of aging caused by the sun.

Rosehip oil also contains fatty acids that are useful for treating wounds and scars:

  • Linoleic acid
  • Oleic acid
  • Linolenic acid

These oils make your cells softer, more porous, and better equipped to heal more quickly.

Rosehip oil may help you treat acne. Also called inflammatory acne or acne vulgaris, this is a skin condition where your follicles are clogged by dead skin cells and oil, which allows blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples to form. 

In severe cases, acne can scar the skin and affect your self-confidence. Fortunately, rosehip oil can help reduce your inflammatory acne, get rid of acne scars, and clear your skin. 

Reduce inflammatory acne. Rosehip oil is an anti-inflammatory, able to reduce swelling and fluid buildup. So when your skin follicles get inflamed, and you break out into pus-filled blisters and acne lesions, rosehip oil may offer relief.

Reduce the appearance of acne scars. Testing has shown rosehip oil to be good at treating post surgical scars. In one study, 160 patients who had surgeries to remove skin tumors were separated into two groups. 

One group was told to apply the rosehip oil twice a day on their scars for six weeks. The other group did nothing for their scars. Results at six to 12 weeks showed that those who had used rosehip oil on their scars had less redness in the area affected by surgery.

Another study has shown that products containing rosehip seed oil can reduce acne and acne scars as well as make your skin less oily. The linoleic acid in the rosehip seed oil reduced acne lesions. It also offered a type of protective coating for the skin.

Prevent acne by clearing your skin. If you don’t have inflammatory acne or acne scars, rosehip can also help prevent acne by clearing your skin. By regulating your sebum or skin oil production, the linoleic acid in rosehip oil may help prevent whiteheads and blackheads from forming.

Rosehip can be used as an essential oil that you can apply to your skin or as a food supplement. Both can help you get rid of your acne and acne scars.

As an essential oil. Rosehip oil is available as an essential oil that you can use on your skin. Apply it directly to your acne scars twice a day until you see improvements. One study has indicated that you’ll be able to see results around six to 12 weeks after starting to use it regularly.

As food supplements. In addition to directly applying rosehip oil to your acne, you can boost your body’s defenses against inflammation by eating and drinking rosehip food supplements. As an anti-inflammatory, rosehip may help you prevent or more quickly handle acne breakouts.

You can use fresh or dried rose hip fruit or rose hip powder to prepare the following:

Or you can mix it with other foods and liquids. Rose hip has a high concentration of natural sugars that will add to the taste of your drinks and food, making them a great addition to any meal. Dried rose hip can be used to make tea, while fresh and dried rose hip can be used to make fruit juice, beverages, jam, and marmalade.

Although rosehip oil and supplements are generally safe to use, there are some risks you should be aware of before you use them.

You may experience the following symptoms when taking rosehip supplements:

  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Heartburn
  • Headache
  • Formation of kidney stones

Researchers have not yet uncovered any specific side effects of rose hip oil. But they allow that it may cause similar side effects as those of the supplements. In any case, also avoid using rose hip oil if you have sickle cell anemia.

For best results, talk to your doctor about your medical history, current health, and other concerns before you decide to take rosehip supplements or use rosehip oil. Your doctor will walk you through how much rosehip or rosehip oil is best for you.