Rose Oil is Beauty’s Priciest New Ingredient—But is it Worth the Money?

Rachel Krause
Joerg Fockenberg/EyeEm/Getty Images

Joerg Fockenberg/EyeEm/Getty Images

We’ve slathered a plethora of plant, seed, and flower oils on our faces in the past few years, since oils stopped being framed as a skin-destroying “don’t” and embraced for what they are—one of the best, most natural ways to nourish skin. Whether you’re acne-prone, combination, or severely dry, there’s an oil out there that’ll give your skin exactly what it needs.

But all of our experimentation with the countless complexion-friendly oils available on the market has yet to turn up anything more luxurious, more effective, and, frankly, more expensive than rose oil. Even the generic brand will run up your Whole Foods bill faster than any combination of pre-prepared raw meals—think $230 an ounce to lavender’s $18. It looks absurd on paper, but then again, rose oil is meant to be the best of everything. It’s also meant clarify, nourish, regenerate, and turn back the hands of time, all with a few drops of the serum you just blew half a paycheck on.

Needless to say, the price hasn’t stopped beauty lovers and skincare snobs world over from indulging in what’s rumored to be the best oil nature has to offer. It just so happens that these pricey formulas are hitting the market at just the right time.

“We are rediscovering oils,” proclaims Sylvie Chantecaille of Chantecaille, whose gorgeous Rose de Mai Face Oil ($185) has seduced us so successfully that we can hardly even notice the damage it’s doing to our wallets.

MORE: The A-to-Z Guide to Beauty Oils

“At one point, the industry used mineral oils instead of plant oils,” says Chantecaille. “Mineral oils can be thick, impure, and pore-clogging, which is why a lot of products began to read ‘oil-free,’ and oil became synonymous with blemishes and skin irritation.”

As we’ve warmed up to oils, we’ve warmed up to spending more money on them, too, especially when they really work. “Times are changing now, and consumers are finally beginning to rediscover the age-old benefits of botanical oils,” she explains.

Not all rose oils are made alike, and Chantecaille’s specific formula is special because it’s comprised of five different roses, centered around the “queen” variety, Rose de Mai. It blooms only during the month of May in Grasse, France, which makes it extraordinarily rare—and, thus, the oil very costly. But it also makes use of the more plentiful (and therefore easy to find) Evening Primrose and Rose Hip, which are both rich in Vitamin C, E, and essential fatty acids for superior anti-aging and healing properties.

We won’t argue the fact that rose oil doesn’t come cheap, but if getting real bang for your buck is something you’re adamant about when it comes to skincare, it’s the rare oil that’s ideal for every skin type and addresses most, if not all, of our daily complexion woes.

And yes, it lasts far longer than real flowers—especially when you follow Sylvie’s secret of simply blending a few drops into your regular moisturizer.