The beauty benefits of roses have been touted for centuries. From the stress relieving properties of its aroma to the healing oil extracted from the rosehip, plenty of claims have been made about the magic this flower can work.
Should we buy into the hype? Sometimes. But only after careful research on a per product basis and with great caution even then. While, for example, rosehip oil can help even out skin tone and fade scars, it’s no real match for high-tech retinols. And the scent can make it an irritant for some very sensitive skins.
But if you like a more natural, fragrant approach to beauty, try these rose-imbued products.
Kypris 1,000 Roses ($90-225): You might be disappointed to learn that this powerful serum has no fragrance whatsoever, but that’s a bonus for those with sensitive or breakout-prone skin. This formulation is devoid of all the usual irritants, making it a safe bet for most skins. A treatment oil packed with powerful antioxidants like CoQ-10, Kypris 1,000 Roses is especially good for dry, dehydrated, combination or acne-prone faces. All that and it will reduce sun spots, scarring, and other skin discoloration. If you’re looking for a natural alternative to expensive serums from the usual department store suspects—and if your skin freaks out during your menstrual cycle—this is the product for you.
Neal’s Yard Wild Rose Beauty Balm (about $40): A cult beauty product for over 30 years, this is the ultimate multi-tasker. Plenty of people use it as a cleanser, and it does a great job of removing makeup and oil. But frankly, it’s way too gorgeous a product to rinse off your skin so quickly. Wild Rose Beauty Balm makes a soothing final layer on your face when you’re breaking out—even if you have oily skin. The rosehip oil in this is a reparative antioxidant, and smoothing on just a dab of this on top of your serum will reduce redness and ensure skin doesn’t overproduce oil or aggravate acne. It also makes a gorgeous lip balm and will moisturize cuticles without the mess of a gloppy oil.
Melvita Damask Rose Floral Water ($17.56): Most “rose waters” on the market are little more than plain water with fragrance added. (Yes, we’re looking at you, Mario Badescu.) But this organic hydrator is legit and is one of France’s most popular skincare products. With added glycerin, this spritz makes a superb neutralizer to spray over the face after using exfoliating acids. Use it to set or refresh makeup throughout the day, and pop it into your handbag for a quick wake-up mist anytime.
REN Moroccan Rose Otto (various): Once you get a whiff of this exotic scent originating from Northern Africa, you’ll want every single product in the range. It delivers all the floral impact without a trace of old lady smell. The Moroccan Rose Otto Body Wash ($28) energizes in the morning and calms at night, while the Moroccan Rose Otto Sugar Body Polish ($60) stimulates circulation and leaves skin smooth and soft as a rose petal. Just a few pumps of the Moroccan Rose Otto Ultra-Moisture Body Oil ($65) gives your body a fragrant glow that dries instantly with no greasy residue. If you want to sample the range at a steep discount, Sephora is now offering the REN Moroccan Rose Otto Gift Duo ($49). It includes both the Moroccan Rose Otto Body Wash and Body Lotion, which would cost $74 if purchased separately. Warning: These are gateway products. You’ll soon be buying the entire collection.
Amarté Rose Gold Collection (various): Dr. Craig Kraffer, who founded the superstar skincare site Dermstore in 1999, continues his visionary work with this Korean-inspired range to address acne, scarring and dehydration. Loaded with reparative antioxidants, argan oil and other botanical ingredients, these luxurious products absorb instantly and are an excellent way to evade the extreme shine and breakouts that frequently plague summer skin. Amarté Wonder Cream ($120) is teeming with peptides to build up collagen and plump the skin without lingering on its surface. This is the daytime moisturizer that won’t make you look like you’re having a meltdown in the heat and humidity. Amarté Hydrolift Cream ($70) includes retinol to help even out skin tone, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and restore suppleness. Amarté Aqua Veil Hydrator ($65) is a light but substantial serum to layer under moisturizer for an ultra-hydrating boost you can use AM or PM, but its faint cucumber scent makes it especially refreshing in the morning. (Full disclosure: None of these products contain any rose whatsoever. But their rose gold packaging will look so good on your bathroom counter that you won’t mind at all.)
Jackie Danicki created one of the first and most popular beauty blogs in 2004, and has consulted some of the world’s most iconic brands on digital content strategy and innovation. Jackie blogs at http://burnedoutbeauty.com, and you can find her on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat as @burnedoutbeauty.