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:

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.

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.

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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My Face Has a Drinking Problem

Red, red wine has been mankind’s drink of choice since the creation of goblets. In fact, we as a people love it so much, we’ve figured out how to explain away our dependence on it by saying it’s secretly good for us, making our hearts stronger and whatnot.

A large part of that excuse is resveratrol, a plant compound found in the skin of grapes. It’s more present in the red grapes used to make red wine than in the white grapes, which is why people are obsessed with it. Studies suggest that it helps the heart by preventing blood clots and other things you always hear as symptoms in Lipitor commercials (lower cholesterol, etc.).

But notice how I said “suggest”? It’s because there are so many factors that cast doubt: the fact that the studies were on mice (studies on humans found no benefits), the fact that you’d have to consume almost 60 glasses of wine to match what the mice took in, and the fact that long-term effects have yet to be documented.

Regarding skincare, though, there’s been even fewer studies. The only relevant one I found tested SkinCeutical’s Resveratrol BE and found it improved skin elasticity, firmness, and radiance. It’s the highest concentration of resveratrol on the market, the dermatologist who performed the study, Dr. Patricia Farris, told me.

“What the resveratrol does is boost internal antioxidant defense by increasing synthesis of antioxidant enzymes,” she said. “So it acts as an antioxidant itself and promotes synthesis of enzymatic antioxidants.”

The craze for resveratrol is fairly recent, so it makes sense that there isn’t much research out there yet. Studies cost money to perform, and it seems the only people paying for these ones are the skincare companies themselves. So like my relationship with religion, I go between faith and fact—the wanting to believe in this special ingredient and then being overwhelmed with doubt.

But, I figured, I never pass up a glass of red wine, so why pass up on it for my face? Here are a few of the grapey options I’d recommend if you’re going with faith. I noticed that across all brands, the night creams are a little stickier than usual, so don’t shove your face in your cat’s to kiss him goodnight—I learned the hard way.

DHC Resveratrol Series Set
I’m really into this ombré packaging, first of all, but the lotion (which is not a lotion at all, but a toner) goes first, which I splashed on like Kevin in Home Alone. But there’s no sting, and—even better—no scent. Then comes the essence (THIS is lotion) and the cream (oh hey, it’s cream!). I felt mega-moisturized, but I didn’t notice any visible results. Hoping that long-term use will benefit me later on, which is the point here, I think.

Vine Vera Resveratrol Pinot Noir Longevity Serum
Vine Vera easily has the wine-themed branding down—their logo’s V is a little wine glass, and they have collections called “Chianti” and “Moscato.” At the astonishing price of five hund-ohs, I expected some downright biblical results, but the lightly perfumed night cream went on smooth, and I woke up with the same, relatively unpockmarked face.

100% Pure Red Wine Resveratrol Scrub + Mask, Luminous Primer
I had never heard of 100% Pure, a brand name that really hits home in the literal department, but I saw lots of chatter on MakeupAlley and figured it deserves a try. I could use fewer sulfates, you know? The scrub has little jojoba beads that were a bit too harsh for my skin, but I adored the grape Bubblicious scent and the way it makes my skin feel like it has moisturizer on after I wash it off. The primer (not scented) has a great weight for daytime, though it didn’t set my makeup as well as my usual primer, Hourglass’s badass Veil Mineral Primer, does.

Caudalíe Vinexpert Firming Serum, Radiance Day Cream SPF 15, Eye & Lip Serum
Trust the French when it comes to red wine. Caudalíe’s Vinexpert (a resveratrol formula they love so much, they patented it) felt the most luxurious, hands down. After a few glasses of wine myself, I decoded the little heads with arrows and applied all three creams. (You pinch the serum on your forehead and smile lines, which is fun!) my skin was glowing as if lit up by an invisible iPhone screen. My gentleman asked, “What’s on your face?” because he’s so romantic.

Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencil
Every Bite product has at least 5g of resveratrol, which is like smushing five glasses of wine on your lips—or what I’d call a quiet Wednesday night in. My favorite shade was a berry-hued pencil called Quince, which covers up any Malbec stains you’re trying to conceal. All of their lip products are fantastically long-wearing and have this pixie stick flavor that reminds me of rollerblading in a white crop top in my youth. And good news for my crop top, this resveratrol overload might just be preserving my youth.

Sunday Riley Bionic Anti-Aging Cream
After my sir got Lasik eye surgery done, we now refer to his eyes as “bionic eyes,” which are really just eyes that can see like a normal person and reveal only a lack of eyebrows no one noticed before. Anyway! What a great word. I’ve never met Sunday, but she seems nice via her face cream, which has a sweet purple-candy smell I don’t mind getting into bed with. I love that it’s one product where someone might sell you three. Like Caudalíe, it made my face shimmer and feel a little tight—good signs, unless you’ve been exposed to radioactive waves lately. Is it slowly preserving my youth? Only time will tell.

—Alex Beggs

Photographed by Tom Newton.

For more on anti-aging, read up on copper’s use in skincare.

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A Little Thing Called EGF

At a glance, it feels like beauty can be broken down into two general categories: art and science. There are products that provide flourishes (MAC Fluidline), finishing touches (RMS Beauty Living Luminizer), possess dreamy names (Laura Mercier Caviar Stick), or come in intriguing colors (Nars’ Schiap); these are the cosmetic art stars. Then there are those that plump, prime, preserve, etc. How do they do this? With science, of course. The word alone often implies enough justification for shelling out hard-earned cash money for a consumable cream.

But we live in the age of the internet, where information—good, bad, and otherwise—is at our fingertips, so there’s no real excuse for not doing a little homework, right? Enter EGF—the next frontier in anti-aging, an acronym worth reading up on.

Epidermal growth factor has come to the beauty market by way of modern medicine. A polypeptide (or molecular chain of amino acids) developed to speed wound recovery, EGF stimulates skin growth at the cellular level. It may also increase collagen production, though the jury’s still out on this count. EGF’s success as a healing agent (success is a bit of an understatement actually; scientists have been awarded the Nobel Prize for this breakthrough) has led many in the beauty industry to parlay its powers in anti-aging products. Haven’t heard of it yet? Don’t worry, you will.

And soon. In the immortal Nordic fairy market, Bioeffect is one of the first on the scene with an EGF Serum. There’s also DHC’s sumptuously jarred EGF Cream and Mizon’s Bee Venom Calming Fresh Cream, which contains a bit of EGF that works in tandem with bee venom, propolis, and vitamin E. The DNAEGF Renewal line by cosmetic surgeon Dr. Ronald Moy out in Beverly Hills also relies heavily on EGF.

But if there’s cognitive dissonance among you, readers, it’s warranted. That’s because wounds do not equal wrinkles; the profile of skin damaged by sun and time is not equivalent to skin damaged by injury, and therein lies the rub. Though EGF might sound like a miracle cream allowing us to regenerate fresher, newer, younger faces on a weekly or even daily basis (like some freakish John Travolta/Nicolas Cage thriller come to life), there’s still not enough research to prove its positive effects on more mature skin. In fact, early testing has connected its use to psoriasis and skin irritation brought on by the over-production of skin cells.

I spoke recently with Alicia Yoon of Peach & Lily about EGF’s current double-edged appeal. Though she admits to seeing “Benjamin-Buttoning” effects from her own testing of EGF products popular in Korea, she adds a word of caution in these early days of the ingredient. “There are controversial studies around whether it can be harmful in high doses for different reasons, but it is commonly agreed on that there is no conclusive set of data that shows that the ingredient is truly dangerous,” she said. “EGF, like parabens, is surrounded by some controversial talk but still has an avid, almost cult-like, following by those who have tried EGF-infused products. It all really depends on your risk tolerance for ingredients without substantial research on their potential hazards—and I would say that this doesn’t apply to just beauty products, but the heaps of toxins we’re exposed to and even eating on a daily basis.”

So until the verdict is in on EGF, test products with caution or consider pairing them with tried-and-true age-fighters. “My take is this—if you really want to go there, pick sunscreen over any product with EGF in it,” says Charlotte Cho of Soko Glam. “Protecting your skin from UVA/UVB is proven to protect your skin from premature aging with no side effects, and it’s a lot more affordable too!”

You win again, SPF.

—Lauren Maas

Photo by ITG. EGF! Now you know. Now it’s time to get schooled on essence—because we did.

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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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