difference between rosehip oil and rosehip seed oil

If you plan on including rosehip into your skincare routine, then it’s important to know the difference between rosehip oil and rosehip seed oil. The truth is that even though these terms are often used interchangeably, they’re not the same thing.

Rosehip oil and rosehip seed oil are made from various rose species. However, rosehip oil usually refers to a mix of oils – pressed from the pulp of the fruit and the seed – while rosehip seed oil refers to oil pressed from the seed only. Each part of the plant has different nutritional benefits, which makes rosehip oil different from rosehip seed oil.

In addition, rosehip oils are extracted in different ways. Each extraction method affects the final quality of the oil. 

So, to help you make sense of all this, this article is going to cover:

  • The nutritional differences between rosehip and rosehip seed oil.
  • Things to look out for when purchasing any type of rosehip oil.
  • Tips for using rosehip in your skincare routine.

Note: this post contains affiliate links and I earn a commission (at no additional cost to you) if you use them to make a purchase.


The rosehip is the fruit of the rose plant and it contains a seed on the inside, surrounded by an outer pulp or fleshy layer. The most popular rose species that are used in rosehip oil production are rosa canina and rosa rubiginosa. However, regardless of which species is used, each part of the rosehip has the following nutritional benefits:

  • Rosehip seed: very high in essential fatty acids (omega 3, 6 and 9) and also contains some beta-carotene (aka provitamin A).
  • Rosehip pulp and skin: very rich in provitamin A. In fact the amount can be up to five times higher than the seed (source). In addition, this part of the rosehip fruit is rich in vitamin C, although little to none of the vitamin is found in the final oil. (get more details in this guide to vitamin serum C vs rosehip oil).

So, if you’re buying a rosehip oil that is pressed from the entire fruit – i.e. the pulp and the seed, you’re getting the best of both worlds (provitamin A and essential fatty acids). On the other hand, if the oil was pressed from the seed only, then you’re getting mainly essential fatty acids.

So, how do you know which part of the plant was used for your rosehip oil? Read the ingredients and detailed description on the bottle or the company’s website. This is super important because most brands use the term “rosehip oil” regardless of which part of the plant was used.

Yes, it’s very confusing 🙂

Rosehip OilRosehip Seed Oil
pressed from fruit
pressed from seed
contains vitamin beta-carotene (provitamin A)✓ (about 5x more than the seed oil)
contains fatty acids
This table shows the differences between rosehip oil and rosehip seed oil.


Whether you’re buying rosehip or rosehip seed oil, the first thing to look for on the package is the extraction method.

There are 3 types of extraction methods and each method affects the final quality of the oil:

  • Supercritical CO2 extraction: this method uses high pressure carbon dioxide and low temperatures (no added chemicals). In addition, the oil is never exposed to oxygen, which minimizes the risk of oxidation (and improves the shelf life of the oil). Overall, this method produces the best quality rosehip oil (source).
  • Cold pressing: this method doesn’t use any external heat. However, heat is naturally generated from the friction between the cold press machine and the rosehip seed. The resulting temperature is higher than what is used for CO2 extraction. In addition, the oil is exposed to oxygen during extraction, which means some oxidation can start to occur. Overall, cold pressing is a gold standard for extracting good quality, affordable plant oils. But just be aware that compared to CO2 extraction, some nutrients are degraded.
  • Solvent extraction: this method uses a chemical (often hexane) during the extraction process. This is the least desirable extraction method because there’s concern about the toxicity of hexane. It’s best to avoid any oils that are extracted through this method.

The second thing to look for when buying any rosehip oil is the color.

Unrefined rosehip oils will have more of a reddish tint to them and they will also last longer.

If you come across any that are yellow or very pale, then those are most likely refined. They won’t have much nutritional value and they will go rancid faster. Best to avoid these.

Lastly, it’s always better if the oil is stored in a dark bottle or a clear bottle that has a built-in UV protectant.

Things to look for when buying rosehip oils
Supercritical CO2 extraction (best) or cold pressed
Oil with a red tint
Dark bottle or clear bottle with UV protectant


Whether you’re using oil that is pressed from the seed or from the seed and pulp, rosehip oil can help with:

  • Hyperpigmentation.
  • Scarring.
  • Acne.
  • Wrinkles.
  • Collagen production.
  • Inflammatory skin conditions.
  • Stretch marks.


Rosehip oil is quite versatile and gentle, which means you can use it in a variety of ways. Here are just a few tips for how to apply rosehip oils on your face:

  • Use on its own as a natural moisturizer.
  • Use it as a carrier oil for essential oils, especially when making a DIY anti-acne treatment or anti-wrinkle treatment.
  • Mix it into DIY clay masks (it will help to balance out the drying effect of the clay).
  • Combine it with other carrier oils (such as jojoba, argan or almond) to make an oil-based serum.
  • Mix into other lotions or moisturizers.

For a deeper dive into all the ways you can use rosehip – as well as some recipes to try – check out this guide on how to add rosehip oil to your skincare routine.


1. Kosmea Rosehip Oil

bottle of kosmea rosehip oil

Kosmea’s rosehip oil checks all the boxes because it is:

  • CO2 extracted, which means it’s gone through a very gentle extraction process.
  • extracted from the entire fruit (outer layer and seed), which gives you the full spectrum of skin-loving nutrients that are in the rose plant i.e. vitamin A and fatty acids.

There’s really not much else that needs to be said about this oil. It’s top-notch quality and the one that I personally use.

Get Kosmea’s rosehip oil.

2. Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil from Pai

bottle of pai rosehip bioregenerate oil

Not only is this oil extracted from the entire rosehip fruit (seed and outer layer) but it has an added dose of skin-loving ingredients thanks to the addition of:

  • vitamin E.
  • rosemary extract.
  • beta-sitosterol (a fatty compound that helps to keep skin moisturized).
  • plant-derived squalene.

Get this Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil.

3. The Ordinary Rosehip Oil

This cold-pressed rosehip oil is a budget-friendly option from a company that is known for their reliable quality.

In addition, the oil is stored in a UV-protective packaging that helps to extend its shelf life.

As with all things from The Ordinary, this oil is a blend of quality and value that is hard to beat.

Get The Ordinary’s rosehip oil.


Overall, there are not many reports of people experiencing negative effects from the topical use of rosehip oil. However, it’s always a good idea to do a patch test (on the inside of your wrist or elbow, for example) before using rosehip oil for the first time.

If your patch test results in any kind of rash or itchiness, then do not proceed with using it on your entire face.

Please note that if you are allergic, you might notice common allergy symptoms, such as (source):

  • Rash.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Congestion.
  • Watery eyes.


Rosehip and rosehip seed oils are both good sources of vitamin A and essential fatty acids.

Ultimately, the decision of which one to use comes down to your skincare goals.

Whichever oil you go with, it’s best to reach for a CO2 extracted or cold pressed oil. And ideally, a product that uses oils pressed from the seed and the flesh will give you both vitamin A and fatty acids.

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