Rose Extract: What Is It, Skin Benefits & Side Effects

Fact-Checker: Devina Handayani
This article was last updated on: November 25, 2023
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Navigating the world of cosmetics often feels like wading through a sea of scientific and botanical names. Each ingredient listed on the back of your skincare products comes with its own unique name, sometimes a tongue-twister, often a puzzle. Amidst this jargon, one ingredient that may catch your eye is Rose Extract. Despite its seemingly straightforward name, it carries layers of benefits and complexities beneath its petal-like simplicity.

In this article, we’ll unravel everything you need to know about Rose Extract, an ingredient that might sound obscure but is a hidden gem in the skincare realm. From its botanical nuances to its skin-loving properties, we’re diving deep into what makes this ingredient a noteworthy addition to your beauty routine.

What is Rose Extract?

In the realm of cosmetics, Rose Extract, sometimes known as Rosa Extract or Rosa Damascena Extract, is a cherished ingredient. Extracted from various species of the rose flower, primarily from the Rosa damascena or Rosa centifolia varieties, this extract is celebrated for its skin conditioning properties.

The making of Rose Extract involves distilling or macerating the rose petals, which captures the essential components of the flower. This process yields not only the fragrant rose oil but also the rose water, which forms the base of the extract. Its primary role in cosmetic products is to nourish and hydrate the skin, thanks to its rich array of antioxidants and vitamins.

In terms of concentration, Rose Extract is typically used in modest amounts, often varying from 1% to 10% in formulations, depending on the product and desired effect. Its gentle nature makes it suitable for a variety of uses, from serums to creams.

Rose Extract is predominantly found as part of a wider formulation in skincare products, synergizing with other ingredients to enhance the overall efficacy. It is less common as a stand-alone product but can be found in pure rose waters or oils for those seeking a more concentrated form.

Who Can Use Rose Extract?

Rose Extract is a versatile ingredient suitable for a broad spectrum of skin types. Its gentle and nourishing properties make it ideal for dry, sensitive, and mature skin, though it’s beneficial for normal and combination skin as well. The hydrating and soothing qualities of rose extract help to calm irritated skin, making it a favorite in products targeting redness and inflammation.

This ingredient is also a boon for vegans and vegetarians. As a plant-derived substance, Rose Extract aligns perfectly with vegan and vegetarian ethics. Its extraction process involves no animal derivatives or by-products, making it a cruelty-free and sustainable choice for conscious consumers.

When it comes to pregnant or breastfeeding women, Rose Extract is generally considered safe. Its natural origin and gentle nature typically pose no risk. However, as with any skincare ingredient during pregnancy or breastfeeding, it’s always advisable to consult with a healthcare provider, considering the individual’s health and skin condition.

Rose Extract Skin Benefits

Rose Extract is lauded for its myriad of skin benefits, each contributing to a healthier, more radiant complexion. Here’s a detailed look at these benefits:

  • Hydration: Rich in water-based components, Rose Extract is a natural humectant. It helps retain moisture in the skin by forming a barrier that reduces water loss. This is particularly beneficial for dry and dehydrated skin types, as it ensures a plump, hydrated appearance.
  • Antioxidant Protection: Rose Extract contains a variety of antioxidants, such as vitamins A and C. These antioxidants combat free radicals, unstable molecules that can damage skin cells and accelerate aging. By neutralizing these free radicals, Rose Extract helps in reducing visible signs of aging and promotes a youthful glow.
  • Soothing and Anti-Inflammatory Properties: The natural anti-inflammatory properties of Rose Extract make it ideal for calming irritated skin. It helps in reducing redness and soothing conditions like eczema or rosacea. This is attributed to the presence of certain compounds in roses that have therapeutic effects on the skin.
  • Toning and Astringent Qualities: Rose Extract naturally tones the skin, thanks to its astringent properties. It helps tighten pores, giving the skin a smoother appearance. This is particularly beneficial for oily and acne-prone skin types, as smaller pores are less likely to become clogged and form acne.
  • Enhanced Skin Barrier Function: Regular use of Rose Extract can strengthen the skin’s barrier. This means better protection against environmental stressors like pollution and UV rays. A strong skin barrier is essential for maintaining overall skin health and appearance.
  • Reduction of Fine Lines and Wrinkles: Due to its hydrating and antioxidant properties, Rose Extract can help in diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. By providing essential hydration and fighting oxidative stress, it aids in maintaining the skin’s elasticity and firmness.

It’s important to note that the beneficial effects of Rose Extract are not permanent. Continuous use of the ingredient is necessary to maintain its positive impact on the skin.

Rose Extract Potential Side Effects

While Rose Extract is generally well-tolerated, side effects and reactions can vary from person to person. This variability often stems from individual differences in skin composition and sensitivity. Factors such as skin type, existing skin conditions, and even genetic predispositions play a role in how one’s skin might react to Rose Extract.

Potential side effects and interactions include:

  • Allergic Reactions: Some individuals may have an allergy to Rose Extract, leading to symptoms like itching, redness, or swelling.
  • Skin Irritation: Although rare, Rose Extract can cause irritation in some skin types, especially if used in high concentrations or in combination with other potent ingredients.
  • Photosensitivity: In rare cases, Rose Extract can increase skin’s sensitivity to sunlight, leading to a higher risk of sunburn.

If you experience any of these side effects while using a product containing Rose Extract, it’s advisable to discontinue use immediately. Consult a dermatologist, especially if symptoms persist or worsen. They can provide guidance and help in identifying any specific allergies or sensitivities.

It’s important to note that adverse reactions to Rose Extract are rare. Generally speaking, this ingredient is safe and effective for most skin types. However, as with any skincare ingredient, there is always a potential for individual reactions.

Finally, the importance of patch testing cannot be overstated when it comes to incorporating new skincare products into your routine. A simple patch test can help identify any adverse reactions before applying the product to a larger area of skin. For a comprehensive guide on how to conduct a patch test, refer to our patch testing guide. This step is crucial in ensuring that the products you use are compatible with your skin and won’t cause unexpected reactions.

Comedogenic Rating

Rose Extract is assigned a comedogenic rating of 1/5. This rating indicates that it is highly unlikely to clog pores, but there’s a slight chance for some individuals. This low rating is due to Rose Extract’s composition, which is primarily water-based and doesn’t contain heavy oils or components known to clog pores. Its gentle nature and soothing properties further minimize the risk of acne or breakouts. Therefore, Rose Extract is generally suitable for those prone to acne or breakouts, offering hydration and skin benefits without the risk of exacerbating these conditions.


Success in skincare is often a journey of experimentation, trial and error, and, once you find what works, consistency. Each ingredient, including Rose Extract, contributes uniquely to this journey. You might opt for products containing Rose Extract for its hydrating, soothing, and anti-aging benefits, especially if you’re seeking a natural, gentle ingredient.

Rose Extract enjoys moderate popularity in the skincare world. Its effects, particularly in terms of hydration and soothing properties, are well-regarded, though it’s not as ubiquitous as some other ingredients like hyaluronic acid or retinol. In terms of similarity, Rose Extract can be compared to other floral extracts like chamomile or lavender, known for their gentle and soothing properties.

The timeline to see results from Rose Extract can vary, but generally, some benefits like hydration are immediate, while others, like reduced redness or anti-aging effects, may take several weeks to become noticeable.

For those concerned about incorporating Rose Extract into their skincare routine, the key takeaway is its suitability for a wide range of skin types and concerns. Its low risk of irritation and acne, combined with its array of benefits, makes it a versatile and generally safe choice in skincare.

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