Rose Essential Oil Benefits Skin, Depression and Hormones

Healing Benefits of Rose Oil Title The smell of a rose is one of those experiences that can ignite fond memories of young love and backyard gardens. But did you know that roses are more than a pretty smell? It’s true, for they have therapeutic benefits that can help heal many health conditions.

Rose essential oil, which is created through a simple process of steam distillation, has been used to treat health conditions and used in natural beauty treatments for thousands of years.

Research and personal experiences tell us that rose oil can improve acne, balance hormones, relieve anxiety, improve depression, reduce rosacea and naturally increase libido.

Rose Essential Oil Profile

Rose essential oil is made by extracting Rosa damascena, and researchers have uncovered that it contains several therapeutic compounds known to promote healing in the body:

  • Citronellol – effective mosquito repellant (also found in citronella).
  • Citral – strong antimicrobial that is necessary for vitamin A synthesis (also found in lemon myrtle and lemongrass).
  • Carvone – effective digestive aid (also found in caraway and dill).
  • Citronellyl Acetate – responsible for the pleasant flavor and aroma of roses, which is why it’s used in many skin and beauty products.
  • Eugenol – powerhouse behind clove, the richest antioxidant in the world.
  • Farnesol – natural pesticide (also found in orange blossom, jasmine and ylang-ylang).
  • Methyl Eugenol – local antiseptic and anesthetic (also found in cinnamon and lemon balm).
  • Nerol – sweet-smelling aromatic antibiotic compound (also found in lemongrass and hops).
  • Phenyl Acetaldehyde – another sweet-smelling and aromatic compound (also found in chocolate).
  • Phenyl Geraniol – natural form of geraniol, which is commonly used in perfumes and fruit flavorings.

Top 3 Rose Oil Benefits

1. Rose Oil Improves Depression

A perfect example of how beneficial Rose oil can be is seen in how it affects depression. As our ancestors battled situations where their mental status was dampened, or otherwise impaired, they would have been naturally drawn to the pleasant sights and smells of the flowers that surrounded them. I have never seen a person take a whiff of a powerful rose and not smile; instead, they remark how incredible and uplifting it is.

The journal Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice recently published a study that set out to prove these types of natural reactions to rose aromatherapy clinically. With a subject group of 28 postpartum women, the researchers separated them into two groups: one who would be treated with 15-minute sessions of a 2.5 percent solution of rose/lavender oil aromatherapy twice a week for four weeks, and a control group.

Their results were quite remarkable. Not only was it discovered that the women experienced a significant decrease in postnatal depression scores, they also reported marked improvement in general anxiety disorder!

How to use rose oil for depression: If you’re ever feeling anxious or down in the dumps, try putting five drops of rose and five drops of lavender in a diffuser by your nightstand before bed. Hopefully you will wake up renewed and at peace!

2. Rose Oil for Skin Health

There are many qualities of rose essential oil that make it beneficial for skin. The antimicrobial and aromatherapy benefits alone are good reason to put a few drops in your DIY lotions and creams.

In 2010, Chinese researchers published a study uncovering that rose oil exhibited one of the strongest bactericidal activities compared to 10 other oils. They also discovered that just after five minutes of a 0.25 percent dilution, Propionibacterium acnes (the bacteria responsible for acne) was completely destroyed!

How to use rose oil for acne: If you suffer from acne, try dabbing one drop of pure rose essential oil on blemishes three times a day. Make sure you use a sterile cotton swab; if the antimicrobial power is too much for you, dilute it slightly with some coconut oil.

Another reason to use rose essential oil for skin health is because of its uncanny ability to increase your skin’s permeability!

As German scientists explained in a 2010 article, one of the most intriguing aspects of rose essential oil is that, “For substances applied in rose oil, a clear relationship between their lipophilic character, chemical structure, and skin permeation could be confirmed.”

Essentially, what this means is that when rose is added to your beauty and skin products, it opens up your skin to absorb more of the chemicals and nutrients.

Used to your advantage, this can be quite life-changing if you mix your own products and include only the best ingredients. On the other hand, if your products are filled with harmful ingredients, even if the manufacturer includes rose oil (as many do), you may be unknowingly exposing yourself to toxic chemicals!

3. Rose Oil for Libido & Hormone Health

Because it acts as an anti-anxiety agent, rose essential oil can greatly help men with sexual dysfunction related to performance anxiety and stress. It has also been reported that it can help balance sex hormones, which can contribute to increased sex drive.

How to use rose oil for libido: Many men and women who are planning a romantic evening will rub two drops of the following essential oils on their neck or diffuse them throughout the home or bedroom:

Also, these oils can be combined with carrier oils — like jojoba, coconut or olive — and then give your spouse a therapeutic massage.

To learn more about how to use essential oils, check out this free, in-depth, essential oils guide.

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Sources & References:

  • Conrad P, et al. The effects of clinical aromatherapy for anxiety and depression in the high-risk postpartum woman - a pilot study. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2012 Aug;18(3):164-8.
  • Schmitt S, et al. Comparative study on the in vitro human skin permeation of monoterpenes and phenylpropanoids applied in rose oil and in form of neat single compounds. Pharmazie. 2010 Feb;65(2):102-5.
  • Zu Y, et al. Activities of ten essential oils towards Propionibacterium acnes and PC-3, A-549 and MCF-7 cancer cells. Molecules. 2010 Apr 30;15(5):3200-10.
  • Basim E, et al. Antibacterial activity of Rosa damascena essential oil. Fitoterapia. 2003 Jun;74(4):394-6.

About Eric Zielinski

This article was co-authored by Dr. Josh Axe and Dr. Eric Zielinski. Eric L. Zielinski, DC, MPH, has devoted his life to natural health and wellness. Inspired by the timeless principles in the Bible, Eric’s mission is to provide people with simple, evidenced-based tools that they need to achieve the Abundant Life. Formally trained as a chiropractor and public health researcher, Eric’s primary interests are in Urban Homesteading, natural health care and empowering life strategies. He and his wife Sabrina live in Atlanta, GA with their three children Esther, Isaiah, and Elijah. You can read more of Eric's work on his website www.DrEricZ.com
  1. mary jo says:

    I read on one of your posts you recommended frankincense for cancer. The only frankincense I have seen, in a health food store, was in the oil form and says for external use only. So how can you take frankincense internally? Is there a different form of it that is safe?

  2. Annie Montalvo says:

    Hi there! Where can I get a pure grade rose oil? Thank you.

  3. Evelyn haungs says:

    Need the rose oil and lavender.

  4. Rhonda Kerr says:

    Hello Dr. Axe!

    I’m really enjoying reading your posts. How can I get the Rose oil?

    Thank you,
    Rhonda

  5. ELIZABETH ELIAS says:

    DR. AXE I love to watch your youtubes and read your web sides thank you so much I have always bin so sick till I turned to herbs and shacks and so on I don’t wont you to stop I have learned so much from you thank you so much

  6. KO says:

    What do you recommend for a teen who has severe acne?

  7. Lily-Rose says:

    Good afternoon Dr. Axe, I was wondering if Rose water bring the same benefits, or should I create the Rose water myself with Rose essential oil? If yes, what would be the best proportion of distilled water and Rose essential oil?

    Thank you, really like your Web site.

    • Rose water and rose essential oil have different properties thus different benefits! Both are great. To apply the rose oil, I would add a 2-3 drops into your hand with face moisturizer and apply both to the face at the same time

  8. Rita Cyrulik says:

    Am I able to use Rose Oil alone as a facial moisturizer?

  9. billyjhyn says:

    HELLO Dr. Axe,I love reading your web site and i would like to know how to use the EO like lavender and ylang ylang oil to a person with high blood pressure.is it to be takin or just rub it on the skin? and do you also deliver an order to other country? or is there any branch in austalia? thank you so much for all the good info,,

  10. Jodi says:

    I use rose oil in all of my DIY skin care products. Rose oil enhances the absorption of other oils and natural products for a wonderful anti-aging eye cream or deep cleaning Bentonite clay mask. I add it to Witch Hazel for an extra boost and use it as a facial toner after oil cleansing. It’s great for minor skin irritations… Really anything you’d use Witch Hazel for is enhanced with Rose Oil.

    You can create a fantastic home made bug spray with Rose Oil and other ingredients that actually works, smells and feels good on your skin and doesn’t contain poison!!

    It’s my favorite essential oil for both topical use and aromatherapy. Like Dr. Axe said, though, you need to be careful what you add it to because Rose Oil will open your skin up to everything it’s mixed with. I do not recommend adding it to OTC products.

  11. Stephanie Taylor says:

    In my recovery I have been using many different kinds of herbs, oils, and vitamins. Some really work, and others, not so much. What do you think about coconut oil for your hair? I usually use the very expensive Pureology line because it is Sulfur-free and it has combated a bit of hair loss due to the medications I was once taking. Since eliminating 50% of the scripts, my hair is so long and thick and most women really want this! Recently I have heard to only wash your hair twice a week and to add Coconut Oil. What are your thoughts?
    Definitely going to try the Rose Oil. My husband is always attracted to the way I smell, so perhaps this will give his libido a push?
    If I have missed it, I apologize, what is your board certification in?
    Stephanie Taylor

  12. janet jackson says:

    my email is not working I cant get into it,, I have been loooking for rose oil, lavendor and lemon oils, they make me sleeep so well. could u send me info to purchase in the mail. janet jackson 9 rd 5759 farmington nm 87401,, thanks

  13. Jodi says:

    I’m really picky about my hair and a lot of the DIY hair cleansers don’t appeal to me at all. I’ve been using Wen for a few weeks and as far as commercial products, it’s much different than your average $40 bottle of Salon shampoo. My hair is color treated. I’m talking about 3 different colors added with my own hair as the highlight. I’m not about to mess that up. I’ve read that when you do a DIY SHAMPOO, your hair detoxes for a few weeks and it isn’t pretty.

    Wen doesn’t strip your hair of its natural oils… Or hair dye!, it contains essential oils and botanical extracts. I’m sure there are preservatives and I’m sure it isn’t for everyone!!

    Does any one know of a DIY hair cleanser that enhances your hair and adds texture and shine and doesn’t ruin your color?

  14. Romayne says:

    What’s the difference between the different Rose essential oils.. such as Rose Absolute versus Rose Otto?

  1. mary jo says:

    I read on one of your posts you recommended frankincense for cancer. The only frankincense I have seen, in a health food store, was in the oil form and says for external use only. So how can you take frankincense internally? Is there a different form of it that is safe?

  2. Annie Montalvo says:

    Hi there! Where can I get a pure grade rose oil? Thank you.

  3. Evelyn haungs says:

    Need the rose oil and lavender.

  4. Rhonda Kerr says:

    Hello Dr. Axe!

    I’m really enjoying reading your posts. How can I get the Rose oil?

    Thank you,
    Rhonda

  5. ELIZABETH ELIAS says:

    DR. AXE I love to watch your youtubes and read your web sides thank you so much I have always bin so sick till I turned to herbs and shacks and so on I don’t wont you to stop I have learned so much from you thank you so much

  6. KO says:

    What do you recommend for a teen who has severe acne?

  7. Lily-Rose says:

    Good afternoon Dr. Axe, I was wondering if Rose water bring the same benefits, or should I create the Rose water myself with Rose essential oil? If yes, what would be the best proportion of distilled water and Rose essential oil?

    Thank you, really like your Web site.

    • Rose water and rose essential oil have different properties thus different benefits! Both are great. To apply the rose oil, I would add a 2-3 drops into your hand with face moisturizer and apply both to the face at the same time

  8. Rita Cyrulik says:

    Am I able to use Rose Oil alone as a facial moisturizer?

  9. billyjhyn says:

    HELLO Dr. Axe,I love reading your web site and i would like to know how to use the EO like lavender and ylang ylang oil to a person with high blood pressure.is it to be takin or just rub it on the skin? and do you also deliver an order to other country? or is there any branch in austalia? thank you so much for all the good info,,

  10. Jodi says:

    I use rose oil in all of my DIY skin care products. Rose oil enhances the absorption of other oils and natural products for a wonderful anti-aging eye cream or deep cleaning Bentonite clay mask. I add it to Witch Hazel for an extra boost and use it as a facial toner after oil cleansing. It’s great for minor skin irritations… Really anything you’d use Witch Hazel for is enhanced with Rose Oil.

    You can create a fantastic home made bug spray with Rose Oil and other ingredients that actually works, smells and feels good on your skin and doesn’t contain poison!!

    It’s my favorite essential oil for both topical use and aromatherapy. Like Dr. Axe said, though, you need to be careful what you add it to because Rose Oil will open your skin up to everything it’s mixed with. I do not recommend adding it to OTC products.

  11. Stephanie Taylor says:

    In my recovery I have been using many different kinds of herbs, oils, and vitamins. Some really work, and others, not so much. What do you think about coconut oil for your hair? I usually use the very expensive Pureology line because it is Sulfur-free and it has combated a bit of hair loss due to the medications I was once taking. Since eliminating 50% of the scripts, my hair is so long and thick and most women really want this! Recently I have heard to only wash your hair twice a week and to add Coconut Oil. What are your thoughts?
    Definitely going to try the Rose Oil. My husband is always attracted to the way I smell, so perhaps this will give his libido a push?
    If I have missed it, I apologize, what is your board certification in?
    Stephanie Taylor

  12. janet jackson says:

    my email is not working I cant get into it,, I have been loooking for rose oil, lavendor and lemon oils, they make me sleeep so well. could u send me info to purchase in the mail. janet jackson 9 rd 5759 farmington nm 87401,, thanks

  13. Jodi says:

    I’m really picky about my hair and a lot of the DIY hair cleansers don’t appeal to me at all. I’ve been using Wen for a few weeks and as far as commercial products, it’s much different than your average $40 bottle of Salon shampoo. My hair is color treated. I’m talking about 3 different colors added with my own hair as the highlight. I’m not about to mess that up. I’ve read that when you do a DIY SHAMPOO, your hair detoxes for a few weeks and it isn’t pretty.

    Wen doesn’t strip your hair of its natural oils… Or hair dye!, it contains essential oils and botanical extracts. I’m sure there are preservatives and I’m sure it isn’t for everyone!!

    Does any one know of a DIY hair cleanser that enhances your hair and adds texture and shine and doesn’t ruin your color?

  14. Romayne says:

    What’s the difference between the different Rose essential oils.. such as Rose Absolute versus Rose Otto?