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Is rose oil really good for skin?

Cynthia’s feeling rosy: I LOOOVE the Beauty Brains! Thanks for everything you all do! Here’s my question: I came across a new skin care company online called Aroma Prescriptions. I am thinking of buying their rose moisturizer but since it’s over $100, I wanted to ask you guys first! The line claims that rose oil has been used as medicine for years and is great for the skin. I wanted to see what you guys thought of rose oil all over the body and if it really is known to be good.

The Left Brain finds some thorns:

Thanks for the kind words Cynthia. It’s always nice to hear from our fans. The Aroma Prescriptions line is interesting. All of their products are formulated by a physician who touts the benefits of rose oil. He says their flagship product, Roses of Sparta Pure Rose Oil Lotion, is America’s only physician-formulated rose oil lotion.

A rose by any other name

You can check out the website for the entire list of claims but basically the good doctor says his special rose oil smells better than regular rose oil used in other products. “With one whiff, rose connoisseurs will understand its significance” and “unlike any synthetic rose fragrance, this REAL rose aroma is deeply entrancing and unrivaled.” Ok, fine. The stuff smells really good. I’ll give him that. He also claims that rose oil has been used to treat chronic skin conditions like rosacea and eczema by multiple medical cultures and that it has natural anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Let’s see if that’s true.

Does rose oil really work?

It’s true that rose oil contains over 300 different chemical compounds and that several of them do have some functional properties. For example, citronellol, been shown to be an antioxidant while geraniol and eugenol have antibacterial properties. A quick search of Pubmed confirms that that as far as essential oils go, rose oil is a pretty good anti-oxidant. I couldn’t find any specific references to rose oil’s anti-inflammatory or antiseptic properties. In fact, according to at least one source, rose oil can be a skin sensitizer and an irritant.

The Beauty Brains bottom line

Antioxidant and antibacterial properties are beneficial in skin care, but there are many ways to formulate these into a product. There just doesn’t seem to be any compelling data to show that this rose oil product is really better. If you’re one of those rose connoisseurs who love the way it smells and you can afford it – then buy it. But if you’re buying it because it’s better for your skin, this Beauty Brain says there’s no proof that this product is worth that much money.