All About Rosehip—Rose’s Less Obvious, Ridiculously-Good-For-You Sister

According to my local drugstore’s recent explosion into a pink and red rose disaster zone, it is almost Valentine’s Day. To be honest, Glossier HQ isn’t so different from a Duane Reade around this time of year—beyond the normal Soothing Face Mist rose scent, there’s more pink than usual, almost too much chocolate, and our usual Meta Flora arrangements have been joined with bouquets from significant others (and the occasional, very generous PR firm).

Is it just me or is anyone else a bit sick of roses? There’s nothing wrong with them, of course…but they do seem a little *obvious* at this time of year. Do you really want to feel beautiful on Valentine’s Day—or any day, really? Take a note from the skincare routines of women with beautiful skin (lookin’ at you, Miranda Kerr) and focus your attention on rosehip.

Think of rosehip as the Jan to rose’s Marcia: Rose gets all the attention, but rosehip is lowkey great at everything, and a little less showy about it. Sprung from the same flower, a rosehip is a tiny red fruit that is left when the petals of a wild rose fall off, and there it hangs until it is pressed into an elixir known to us as rosehip seed oil. It is amazing for all skin types, is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, moisturizing, and packed with insane amounts of antioxidants and vitamin C.

Now, before I tell you how you can slather this stuff on your body from head to toe, let my mom, a professional biodynamic gardener and know-it-all, tell you all about it. She says that rosehip is only going to be as pure and potent as the soil it was grown in (typical biodynamic gardener talk). If you cultivate rosehip using organic compost, the end result will provide your skin with optimum nutrients and benefits, but if a rosehip is grown using pesticides and stripped soil, you’ll be missing out on all that little bud has to offer—or as my mom put it, “Nobody wants to put that shit on their skin!” Listen to my mom: Make sure your rosehip products are organic.

Without further ado, here’s how you can put rosehip on every part of your body:

FACE
After cleansing, you can do one of three things: mask, peel or moisturize—the choice is yours.

For masking, Eminence Organics’ Rosehip and Maize Exfoliating Masque works overtime. The rosehip soothes and moisturizes, while the maize flour gently exfoliates for a rosy (too much?) and even complexion.

For peeling, try Korres’ Wild Rose Vitamin C Peel. This two-step peel is gentle because it uses that high source of vitamin C we were talking about earlier to exfoliate. The antioxidant doesn’t stop there: Vitamin C also helps smooth fine lines and discolorations, Lena Korres told me (she’s the the brand development director and and actual Korres family member behind the Greek drugstore line).

For moisturizing, Herbivore’s Phoenix Facial Oil has been my oil of choice for the past couple of months. It has a mixture of rosehip, sea buckthorn and CoQ10, all of which work together to fight aging, produce collagen, and intensely hydrate. While this can be used alone day or night, I prefer to use Phoenix under my day cream to combat my case of winter face.

If you prefer to not lay down a cool $88 for a face oil, do a quick Google search for organic rosehip seed oil. When I was just beginning my foray into the wonderful world of rosehip, I bought a huge bottle on Amazon for fifteen bucks that lasted me for months and provided just as many good skin days.

HAIR
Your scalp is skin! Don’t forget it and use Christophe Robin’s Delicate Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner. Both products not only smell amazing—I’m talking the freshest and cleanest lingering rose scent—but they also restore the moisture that’s slowly being sucked out by life. Save your black wool coats from embarrassing dandruff situations with a couple quick spritzes.

BODY
Speaking of Miranda, Kora Organics’ Luxurious Rosehip Body Oil makes sure that the skin south of your face doesn’t get left out either. It’s dry enough that you can put it on without worrying about your clothes and moisturizing enough that it leaves you with a slight sheen on the skin with a light, herbal scent. This oil has me looking toward the future—to warmer days spent on the beach where it’ll enhance my nonexistent tan. Until then, rosehip oil will rid my skin of wintery dry patches and ensure that come summer, I’m ready for that Pucci bikini that I bought on sale in January.

­–Amelia Sabra

Amelia is a Glossier Editorial Intern. Photographed by Tom Newton.

Head into the glossary with ITG’s ingredient guides to echinaceapearl, and many more.

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Ingredient To Know: Echinacea

Constantly having a head cold is my winter look. It’s never just a fleeting state of sickness. It goes like this every time: chilly weather hits and so does my telltale sore throat. The following months are spent nursing lingering symptoms of that initial cold while squelching subsequent ones that no doubt crop up. Yes, it is somehow possible to get a cold on top of a cold. And after colds on colds on colds, I have sprayed, gargled and chugged every preventative measure.

Prevention means heading to Juice Press, Duane Reade, Whole Foods or the Chinese Herbal Apothecary to pick up the usual suspects: vitamin C, zinc, elderberry, ginger, garlic and…echinacea, perhaps the most intriguing of the cold-fighting ingredients, if not the trickiest to spell. As with all supplements, there’s conflicting evidence as to the effectiveness of each. When in doubt, chalk it up to that elusive placebo effect. Nevertheless, I consume any number of them in various combinations until the sore throat either a) shrinks back to wherever it came from, or b) morphs into a full-blown cold.

To play it safe, I’ve also begun to pay closer attention to the hero ingredients in beauty products—perhaps loading vitamin C, et al., straight into my skin would lessen my sick chances. Luckily echinacea, one of my immunity mains, is the new ingredient that’s all of a sudden in everything. Here are the standouts:

The Fresh Crème Ancienne Ultimate Nourishing Honey Mask—far more luxurious than your echinacea supplement, but the same principles are at work here. Echinacea’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities are what’s said to nip a cold in the bud or reduce its duration. On skin, the mask coaxes a dewy glow from even the most sleep-deprived of faces, while also soothing any cold-induced redness. After blowing my nose on repeat, the mask is a much-needed recovery treat. Not to mention echinacea’s co-star, sweet, sticky, antibacterial honey—great for those Puffs-Plus-With-Lotion-induced breakouts. The Fresh Crème Ancienne line is inspired by monks and their diligent use of natural remedies, and the mask strikes a perfect balance between luxe and medicinal.

The Davines Well-Being line had me as skeptical as WebMD on homeopathic cold remedies. However, it’s my favorite discovery of the bunch. The products, which contain echinacea and vitamin C, have cured my unhealthy hair. Shampoo and conditioner-wise, you don’t need much—they smell lovely and subtle, and leave locks silky and not weighed-down, which, with fine hair, is the curse of overly rich conditioners. The Well-Being Shampoo somehow cleans roots without drying hair. The real champion, though, is the De Stress Lotion that I originally wrote off. Not a shine spray or a curl-enhancer, I wondered what, exactly, this product proposed to do. Well, what can’t it do? I have found the perfect supplement for my hair’s overall well-being. When applied wet, the lotion (more of a spray) feels like it’s locking in the effects of the Well-Being Conditioner. I don’t need any additional products, despite sickly-looking split ends. It also encourages my curls—and not in a crunchy, salt spray kind of way. Later in the week I learn it’s also the perfect supplement to dry shampoo—sort of helping to disperse the product and freshen up hair in terms of scent and texture without resorting to hair perfume, which seems drastic. If dry shampoo is like pressed powder, then Davines De Stress Lotion is like facial mist. It’s the perfect remedy whether your hair is sick or just in need of an immunity boost. If only I remembered to swallow echinacea in pill form as often as I now mist my hair (and body, according to the bottle) with it.

Honorable mentions include Jurlique Rose Hand Cream (the rose smells divine, even through a stuffy nose), the entire Farmacy line (shoutout to the Soothing Coconut Gel Mask, which features kale you don’t have to eat) and Chantecaille Nano Gold Energizing Cream (echinacea is perhaps overshadowed by, you know, real gold, the luxury of which has brightened my seasonally-affected morale, along with my complexion).

So while it remains to be seen whether echinacea has had a hand in preventing any potential colds this winter, I can say, with confidence, that it’s done wonders for my skin and hair, which even prompts me to believe it’s been the secret hero of my awful-smelling Source Naturals Wellness Formula pill—though I think I’ll continue to down Ginger Fireballs and Emergen-C’s just in case.

—Michaela Waites

Michaela is a Glossier Editorial Intern. Photographed by Tom Newton.

More ingredients to know: Practical information (and product recommendations, obviously) for blue tansysea buckthorn oilfern, and more.

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Ingredient To Know: Sea Buckthorn Oil

When it comes to nouns in the English language, I have a pretty clear mental picture to accompany most of them. That’s what elementary school is for, right? But when I first heard “sea buckthorn,” I was stumped. Was it animal? Plant? Other? I came to the conclusion that there were two options. One: It was a spiny sea creature. Or two: It was a mythical ingredient used in a witch’s brew. Totally logical guesses, I thought.

The mysterious ingredient had first made its way onto my radar a few weeks ago when I was introduced to the founders of a new-ish Swedish skincare line called MyHavtorn. Recently launched in the US (they’ve been producing in Sweden for several years), the line is made up entirely of products containing sea buckthorn extracts and oils. “Um, so what is a sea buckthorn?” I asked MyHavtorn’s founder, Robin Johansson. “It’s a berry!” he replied. Oh, OK.

In the next few days, sea buckthorn started popping up everywhere I turned. I discovered it in my beloved May Lindstrom The Youth Dew, rediscovered it in my Pai Fragonia & Sea Buckthorn Instant Hand Therapy cream I keep in all my bags, and realized that I even own a bottle of Sea Buckthorn Oil Gelcaps from Sibu, (purchased with virtuous intentions and then promptly forgotten in my medicine cabinet—my typical vitamin MO).

Apparently, what the sea buckthorn-enlightened knew and I didn’t is that the cheerful little orange berries are packed with nutrients to feed the skin. They’ve got carotenoids (important antioxidants to help fight aging that are particularly well absorbed by the top layers of your skin), antioxidant vitamins like A, C, E, and nourishing omega 3, 6, 7, and 9 oils. It’s been said to help skin retain moisture, repair itself from scarring and sun damage, and boost collagen production—all things that fall high on my spectrum of skincare requisites.

Unsurprisingly, I’m not the first to discover this super ingredient. The Chinese have been using it in their medicine for centuries, as have the Swedes (sea buckthorn grows naturally in cool climates like Sweden and the Himalayas). The oil extracted from sea buckthorn is great for your skin, and you can eat the vitamin C and antioxidant-rich berries too. “They’re like the new acai berry,” Johansson said, “but actually, better.”

Other than anti-aging superpowers, what all my sea buckthorn products share is their warm, orange hue, refreshing scent, and the ability to make your skin seriously glow. I’ve added MyHavtorn’s Facial Cleanser, Facial Essence, and Body Oil to my daily routine in addition to the already-loved May Lindstrom face oil, and my skin is looking pretty shiny (in a good way) and new. Plus, the body oil gives me a little bit of a natural sun-kissed glow, which I can only assume comes from that orange hue. I’m even taking my sea buckthorn supplements—a great source of omegas for those who don’t love fish oil. Turns out that there’s no witchcraft or wizardry involved at all, just one seriously super, natural berry.

—Victoria Lewis

Illustrated by Lucy Han. Read more about fern, blue tansy, and mangosteen in skincare.

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Ingredient To Know: Mangosteen

The first time that I encountered mangosteen was in my acupuncturist’s office. “I want to lose weight,” I announced to him. “But I don’t want to stop eating cheese or cut out wine. Basically, I want a miracle pill.” Of course, I had expected him to roll his eyes and continue his work of turning me into a human pincushion. Instead, he very calmly and without a hint of irony said, “OK sure, let’s get you some mangosteen drops.” Well, that was easier than I expected.

He went on to tell me all about this alleged super fruit and its anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-bacterial and anti-pretty-much-everything-else bad properties. I was fascinated.

The Spark Notes on mangosteen are these: It’s a tropical fruit with a deep purple skin and alien-like white insides and is native to southeast Asia. It’s sometimes referred to as the “queen of fruits” (rumor has it this nickname was christened when Queen Victoria of England offered a reward for anyone who could bring her a fresh mangosteen). For centuries, Vietnamese and Thai locals have eaten the fruit to soak up its many healing properties—some even rub a mashed-up mangosteen paste on their faces as a mask. More recently, scientists have begun to study its anti-cancer properties.

I started taking mangosteen extract about six months ago. Every morning, I add a couple drop to a glass of water and dutifully down it (it’s relatively tasteless). I will go ahead and tell you right now that I didn’t miraculously drop 15 pounds. I also didn’t stop eating cheese (if anything I ate more cheese, so maybe don’t fault the mangosteen). However, I noticed over time that my skin was a bit brighter, and I felt all-around healthier and more energetic, too.

Then, a few months ago I discovered Skin Owl and their Beauty Drops PM Mangosteen (I was also downing shots of mangosteen juice called Xango at the time—clearly I was on a kick). The founder, Annie Tevelin, had been working for years as a makeup artist at a Lancôme counter when she started to develop cystic acne. “It was really difficult to sell makeup and skincare to people when my face looked the way that it did,” she recalls. Reevaluating what she was using every day (and going back to school at UCLA for a certificate in cosmetic chemistry), she switched to natural oils (“It felt totally counterintuitive to use oils on acne at the time, but I had heard such good things, so I decided to give it a try,” she said) and within 30 days, her acne was gone.

Eventually, she developed a line of beauty drops (of naturally infused oils) based on her experience with her own skin. The latest addition to the line, mangosteen drops, was inspired by a trip Tevelin took several years ago to Vietnam where she was introduced to the fruit. “Mangosteen is insane in terms of what it can do to oxygenate the skin and wipe out damaging toxins,” she says. “It goes eons past what other antioxidants like goji berries, acai berries, and blueberries can do.”

A lot of “new” ingredients boast better-than-ever results beyond your wildest dreams. I’m not usually apt to believe them. But I speak from experience when I tell you that after a late night out with friends, you want these sweet-smelling drops on your face by the end of the night. Though, ideally, they’re not just meant for a one-night stand says Tevelin. “The longer you use them, the more you start to really see results. You won’t look tired when you wake up anymore.”

For a second opinion, I went to Dr. Georgeann Dau, a New York M.D. with a doctorate in natural health science. As she describes it, mangosteen’s power comes from the fact that it is an ultra-potent antioxidant. Here’s how it works: Free radicals are unstable atoms looking to steal electrons. The xanthones in mangosteen essentially give themselves up to the harmful particles so that they aren’t able to destroy a vulnerable cell. Once a cell is damaged by a free radical, it is irreparable. So, consider mangosteen your skin martyr. It’s sort of romantic when you think about it. Like a Jack and Rose situation or something.

But in all seriousness: “Inflammation is the precursor to all disease, and free radicals are the precursor to inflammation,” explains Dr. Dau. To get even more technical, in lab tests, an ounce of mangosteen juice has been shown to have the ability to absorb 20 to 30 times the number of free radicals that other fruits or vegetables can. “It’s an immune booster, it’s antiviral, it’s cardio protective,” explains Dr. Dau. “Mangosteen is pretty much good for every organ because it helps protect the whole body.”

As for skincare, Dr. Dau says that antioxidants are important topically, too. “With a good delivery system—a quality oil that can penetrate the layers of the skin and carry the extract below the surface—it has the potential to be very beneficial,” she says. Which is good news for me, since I’ve pledged my allegiance to the queen of fruit wholeheartedly. She’s been very good to me.

—Victoria Lewis

Illustration from Fleurs, Fruits et Feuillages Choisis de l’Ile de Java 1863-1864 by Berthe Hoola van Nooten. For more health articles, click here.

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Ingredient To Know: Fern

There are two things that come to mind when I think about ferns: Kate Hudson’s “love fern” with Matthew McConaughey in How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days and the modern masterpiece FernGully: The Last Rainforest, which taught me the dangers of deforestation at a young age.

So I didn’t know quite what to expect when Dr. Timm Golueke emailed me out of the blue when he was visiting New York (he’s based in Munich with his own dermatology clinic) to introduce his recently debuted line, Royal Fern. Perhaps it was in homage to some little known German-monarchical line. (Probably not, but a girl can dream, can’t she?)

Not selling an intriguing story of crowns nor conquest, instead Dr. Golueke came by to make sure we were aware of the anti-aging properties locked inside the unassuming fern plant. We were not, so this was useful. The story of his product line goes as such: While reading various medical journals, Golueke noticed that fern and menthol extracts were credited as antioxidant, anticancer, and antibacterial agents, in no small part due to the plant’s superior environmental adaptability. It’s also a combination that’s safe for sensitive skin and resistant to UV rays. Predictably, this all sounded intriguing to Golueke, who screens for skin cancer in his practice, so he and his team got to work developing a line revolving around ferns when looked at through the lens of skincare. On a side note, have you ever noticed that while ferns are more than 400 million years old, they still look pretty good for their age?

After four years of research, Royal Fern was born (it launched at Bergdorf + Goodman in January) and it is genuinely great—beyond the fact that fern skincare is a fun novelty that’s intriguing in and of itself. There are three products—an anti-aging face cream, an eye cream, and a serum—all which promise the phytoactive elements of the fern along with hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and Acerola cherry for hydrating products with a firming, lifting kick. The serum, when applied at night, will make you look like your skin’s been having dreams of laying on a sandy beach (even if your real dreams are stress dreams about a project at work, but hey, in this dream Johnny Depp is your boss). It dries quickly and matte—allowing other SPFs and whatnot to be layered on top without feeling greasy. Similarly, the two creams are light enough to use all year ’round and disappear into skin quickly—and you’ll be tempted to continuously reapply, mostly because it feels so good and that matte white packaging is the hardest to resist.

And while one skincare line does not a trend make, we’ve got a feeling about this one. Keep a lookout—fern is about to get big.

—Emily Ferber

Photographed by Tom Newton. For other Ingredients To Know like copper, click here.

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