At the end of my 20s, two goals have emerged with a new, fiery importance: keeping my skin in really good shape and always smelling good. The skin part makes sense because I’m dealing with dumb fine lines and wrinkles now, but I don’t really have a source for the sudden need to exude fragrances. I’m mostly okay with it as long as I’m not buying those $80 designer fragrances. (Besides, my love for Stag cologne is unending.)
What’s really interesting is how I seem to have settled on needing to smell like one thing: rose. I’ve never been a rose-lover, they typically don’t do anything for me as flowers, and prior to my olfactory third-life crisis, I associated the smell of roses with octogenarians and cranky pharmacy cashiers. The only rose item I owned was a scented rosary from the Vatican that belonged to my grandma, and now I need it everywhere. What’s happening to me? Is this what being Catholic feels like?
Luckily, I can self-soothe by acknowledging that rose oil, rose hips, and rosewater all have skin benefits, but can be overdone. For example, straight-up rose oil directly applied is very strong not only in fragrance, but its antimicrobial properties can irritate skin, so you want to be sure that it’s diluted (which it usually is when it’s in a cream.)
Rose hip oil, on the other hand, is a sweet, rosy milkshake for your skin. It offers antioxidants, tons of fatty acids including Omega 3-6-9, and the Alpha-hydroxy acids linoleic and oleic acid. Plus, some fun, fake-sounding stuff like “Vitamin F.” You’re not fooling anyone, Vitamin F.
Since I’ve stumbled into this early-middle-age need for roses, I’ve somehow accumulated a handful of rose beauty products that I would instantly recommend to anyone. Here they are.
I’m not entirely sure how I collected all of these, but somehow I’ve been using them all for weeks (in some cases, months) and my skin is definitely digging it. Some of these products came from a recommendation, some I just happened upon, and others were sent to me by people who are clearly monitoring my thoughts.
My Current Skincare Routine is Accidentally Rose-Based
Actually – scratch that. I know exactly where this started. My rose affinity started after finding a random Etsy shop called My Fair Lainey. The shop is run by a girl I am in a beauty-related Facebook group with, and once I saw her lineup of rose-based skincare and the incredible ingredients involved, it was hard to resist.I am weak for Etsy shop owners. Especially after I took my favorite The Rough & The Smooth exfoliating bar from Lush to my face which… ended poorly. Mostly, I was inflamed. It only happened on my face – it’s AMAZING for the body – but I have sensitive skin so I shouldn’t have been so surprised.
Anyway, I picked up a jar of this stuff and it earned a firm place in my all-over skincare routine:
You can probably tell from the undead label that I keep this rose, argan, & clay sugar scrub my shower whenever it’s not having glamour shots done. It’s been in there so long that My Fair Lainey’s label doesn’t even look like that anymoreIn case you’re wondering how long it takes for a new-ish indie beauty brand to change their packaging: about 12 weeks.
The gorgeous rose color comes from imported blush-colored kaolin clay from Australia, and I know that because the bonus of patronizing Etsy is that you can just ask the owners/artisans questions! And they’ll answer! And they’re usually really stoked that you asked!
Bentonite clay, coconut oil, argan oil, organic cane sugar, and rose absolute (oil) which is the star of this scrub, it’s responsible for the unbelievably true-to-life rose scent that this leaves all over your body. I use it 3-ish times per week or maybe just every shower (still 3-ish times per week, let’s be real).
UPDATE: Something weird happened after I wrote this review… I took it my scrub back into my shower about a week after posting this, and it has never smelled the same since! I don’t know what happened, but it began to smell kind of stale – like wet cardboard. It’s still scrubby, but that scent I loved seems to be fading fast. I might try adding some of my own essential oils to cover up that musty smell, but I thought I should mention it.
Yikes, I’m not sure I’ll be able to do this line of rosehip-infused skincare justice, but I’ll try. I also want to point out that the little tube of night cream came as a bonus gift with the Rosehip Oil though I don’t know if that’s available again/at all. (The Rosehip Oil isn’t available at all, in any size! Why! I don’t know!)
The makeup-removing cleansing balm is incredible. I’ve never used something like this, though I’ve been dying to, and it blew me away after the first time. Massaging thick, creamed oil into your face after a long day is extreeeemely satisfying. Included with the cleansing balm is a nice cloth that’s perfect for scraping it off your face if youdon’t have another way. I, on the other hand, love using cleansing grains or an exfoliant right after massaging my makeup off, and it leaves my face feeing bonkers soft. (See the above scrub for suggestions, but I also really like the Saison Cleansing Grains!)
The rosehip oil feels really nice, but I’m not sure it’s doing anything extraordinary. I like that it doesn’t leave my face oily in the morning like some other oils, and under my morning moisturizer, I can apply makeup over it with no problems. It’s really thin – again, unlike some other serums and oils – so it doesn’t feel gross in warm weather, either. Oh, it’s certified organic if that’s important to you for some reason.
Night creams are hard for me to review. Obviously, there’s no such thing as an overnight solution to any skin issue, so it’s hard to determine whether or not something is effective. Reading the list of ingredients made me really hungry for a big salad – cranberry, honey, oats, tomato, goji berry, almonds… yum. I will say that the rosehip and manuka honey night cream made me feel like I was taking amazing care of my skin, but it’s only been about two weeks, so it’s tough to tell. I love waking up with soft skin, though, so that’s reason enough to keep it up!
“Skin Serum #1” sounds like some mysterious, government controlled skincare but I assure you that this is perfectly street legal. This is a rosewater, aloe, & algae skin serum actually has a wide variety of botanical ingredients that make it more clear why this may have been a difficult product to name.
Algae and other “marine bioactives” are major players in what makes this stuff special, but the two types of honeysuckle extract, fig extract, and plant-sourced glycerin are no slouches, either! This stuff delivers serious antioxidants to your skin on top of being a jam-packed multivitamin.
This stuff is noticeably thicker than other skincare serums I’ve used in the past. The algae, glycerin, and xanathan gum are all partially responsible for it’s luscious, velvety texture. It’s different than a facial oil – in fact, it suggests on the packaging that you apply an oil after using Skin Serum #1. It’s great for using in the morning under makeup thanks to the staying power of glycerin (more on that later), which is mainly when I’ve used it. If your skin is sensitive to oils, but loves good hydration and natural nourishment, consider this stuff. It fits super nicely into a pre-established skincare regimen because there’s nothing quite like it.
(Bonus for Pacific Northwesterners: Kensington Apothecary is based on Portland, OR!)
This is for the people who like simple skincare. Farmaesthetic’s rosewater, glycerin, and witch hazel toner is actually really powerful, despite how minimalist it reads. It was inspired by cosmetics and beauty mists from the 1930s, but it contains antiseptic and softening properties thanks to the bit of witch hazel. The glycerin is a humectant, meaning it attracts moisture and also acts as a barrier to prevent moisture loss in the skin. Plus, glycerin is actually found in skin, so it does a good job helping to repair and transport other vitamins and oils into the skin. On top of that, if you’ve ever touched liquid glycerin, you know that it’s kind of thick and silky. Adding some to this rosewater and witch hazel concoction makes an excellent makeup primer and setting mist.
That’s the other thing I love about this – it’s a spray. It has the power of a serum (compare the ingredients to the serum above!) but you don’t have to apply it carefully to your face and neck, just spray a few times around your face business and boom, you’re hydrated, set, dewy, and smell like an art deco painting.
First thing’s first: this product is officially discontinued. I know, this bottle is almost empty and I literally just found this out. Luckily, they make a ton of great cleansers – sadly, no longer any with rose. Petal Fresh does have rose lingering in one section of their facial care: rose balancing cleansing wipes. As a towelette junkie, I’m all over it.
Second thing’s second: there’s nothing “whitening” about this, so don’t let those words scare you. On the back of the package, it says that it will “prepare skin for whitening treatment” but it’s not going to like bleach your face or anything. It actually leaves my face feeling insanely clean and soft. I’m not sure which of the ingredients are responsible for the spa-level afterglow that this cleanser leaves me in, but I am pretty close to claiming insanity-based irresponsibility and paying \ because how could they have done this to me?
Do you have a favorite rose product? Definitely let me know in the comments because I will probably acquire it and use it and become addicted to it and goodness knows I need more of that.