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Niche, natural rose-infused beauty products, curated and delivered quarterly


RosePost Box Blog: Real Rose Ingredients Guide

How to Identify Real Rose Ingredients and Select the Best Clean Rose Beauty

by Mariana Nikolova, October 2, 2017; Updated August 19, 2018

With increased awareness and demand for more natural and ingredient-conscious beauty care, there’s been increased attention to the power of botanicals and the rose – this queen of flowers – is taking central stage and experiencing, what some call, a major renaissance.

If you search for ‘rose-infused beauty’, you’ll get back the staggering 24 million results! With rose becoming somewhat of a beauty hero, every major beauty publication and online lifestyle community have something to say on the matter, compiling their coveted lists of must-have rose-infused beauty products. Whether you love the enchaining scent of roses or crave them in your routine because of their many skincare benefits, you are probably happy to see roses featured in products from established and high-end to independent, newer brands, and even the neighborhood convenience store.

With so many options, how do you identify the authentic, real rose ingredients and choose the best in clean rose-infused beauty? Here’s our simple guide:

1. Educate yourself on recognizing the few oil-bearing roses – Rosa Damascena, Rosa Centifolia (Rose de Mai), Rosa Alba, Rosa Gallica – and key ingredients that come from them, so you are familiar when you see them on product labels. There’s been a lot of discussion about being ingredient-conscious, so you can choose what’s best to use on your skin, and this is no different. A number of mainstream so-called-rose products contain harsh chemicals and fragrance that – while smelling sweet – are not good for you and won’t provide the benefits of rose essential oil and real rose ingredients. Avoid rose-advertised products that contain 'fragrance' and 'colorants' on the ingredient list. For example, pure steam-distilled rose water is clear and colorless and while some rose water-based products may have a pink color, this is due to other ingredients or colorants, and not due to the color of natural rose water.

2. Look for a level of specificity in the listed rose ingredients that ideally indicate the rose species, origin and type of base ingredient. Here are a few good examples (from more to less specific) – Bulgarian Rosa Damascena oil, Rosa Damascena flower oil, Bulgarian rose oil, Turkish rose oil, Moroccan rose oil, Rosa Centifolia flower oil, Rosa Centifolia flower water, Rosa Alba flower water, Rosa Damascena petals, rose essential oil, rose flower water, rose hydrosol, rose absolute, rose. Our simple rule – the higher the level of specificity, the better.

3. If you want to go a step further, do some research on the brand and the people (creators and formulators) behind it – what is their story, how and where they source their ingredients from. For example, if you see ‘dried rose petals’ listed as an ingredient, ask about the type of rose and the origin; while all oil-bearing roses are precious, the damask rose (Rosa Damascena) is considered the queen of them all. We’ve found that most times, brands will happily provide the additional information, if you ask.

4. Know which ingredients, though having 'rose' in the name and even a somewhat similar scent, do not come from roses. Rose Geranium oil is the most common example. While Rose Geranium oil is lovely and has many benefits, it is not rose. However, because of the rose scent it exhibits, it is often used as an extender for rose in many rose-scented products that are, in fact, geranium-oil based. It is also about 10-15 times less expensive than rose essential oil. Another such example is Palmarosa oil.

5. Know some basic facts about rose essential oil and translate them into your choices of clean rose-infused beauty. Priced at $650 + / ounce, rose essential oil is one of the most expensive in the world and unfortunately, one of the most adulterated ones. Be suspicious of products stating they are made with rose essential oil, but costing a fraction of the price of what they should cost. Soap bars are a good example.

With its proven astringent, hydrating, anti-inflammatory and rejuvenating properties for all skin types, rose oil has been a staple ingredient in beauty and skincare, so it’s no wonder more and more consumers seeking plant-powered, green products are turning to rose-infused beauty. We hope that the rose beauty movement is here to stay and that there’ll be more ingredient-conscious brands using rose essential oil, flower water, absolute, and rose hip oil to make high-quality, clean, cruelty-free rose products. Know your rose beauty facts, so you can choose smart!

Share with us what are some of your favorite  clean rose-infused beauty and skincare products, and the brands you trust.


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