Thursday, April 17, 2014

Rose Hip Oil: Kosmea vs RoseHip Plus

It seems like Australians really do take skin care seriously! Over the last 2 years I've encountered so many organic Australian brands (family-owned at that), most of which I picked up from Vivi of Eco Beauty Secrets. There's Sukin, Mukti Botanicals, and La Mav, all of which I hope to try out in the next few months. 

For now, I've been reading on Rose Hip Oils (yep, still obsessed), studying blog reviews, and comparing the two Australian brands I have at the moment: Kosmea and Rosehip Plus. If you're new to RHO please be advised that it's not for everyone. Vivi says that I'm lucky the high vitamin C content in RHO worked for me as it made her break out. I was surprised myself, I never thought that facial oils would become an integral part of my [anti-aging] skin care routine.

Okay, here's a quick comparison.

Brand story / Place of origin

Kosmea, as you've read in my previous review, is from Glamourbox but currently sold out. Started in 1993 by Kosmea founder Marie Jenkins, Kosmea is the first and now one of the more popular skin care brands in Australia. Kosmea sources their 100% certified organic and wild grown rose hip oil from Lesotho, South Africa, and makes use of the fruit, skin and seed of the rose hip to extract rose hip oil.

Rosehip Plus is another family-owned Australian brand that started in 2003 and offers certified organic rose hip oil sourced from the Andes Mountain Range in Chile, South America.

Method of extraction: Supercritical CO2 Extraction vs Cold-pressed

I made further research on this and another main difference form the 2 brands is Kosmea uses supercritical CO2 extraction while RoseHip Plus uses the cold-pressed method. The previous is far more advanced as it maintains the integrity of the oil all throughout. According to Pai Skin Care's blog:
"CO2 in its super critical (fluid) state is passed through raw plant material, extracting all biologically ‘active’ components as it goes. This process takes place at 30°C without any thermal stress and without using organic solvents. Because CO2 is chemically inert the extraction is done in a virtual vacuum, with no oxygen present."
The cold-pressed method is more popular as anyone can do it at home (and also cheaper), however, because air is present during extraction, the shelf life of the oils is dramatically shortened as it is exposed to oxidation. A supercritical extracted oil can last up to 3 years while cold-pressed oils are best used within 6 months of opening. This also explains the price points as supercritical extractions are more expensive to use. 

Although in my opinion, if you use facial oils I would suggest using them up within 6 months of opening just to be use you are still using it in its pure form. This is not something I would recommend stocking up on. For more info, check the brand's website to be sure. 

Now, I've been using Kosmea the longest, but recently just started using the Rosehip Plus RHO which I got on 50% off last January. Although both are Australian brands and offer certified organic rose hip oils, I've noticed some significant differences in the formulation and the effect on my skin.

Color of the rose hip oil:

Good quality RHO should have a dark yellow/deep amber/dark orange hue, if it's clear it's probably too refined already and has been stripped of its nutrients. Kosmea's has a deeper amber color, which I assume has retained more of the antioxidants and fatty acids, while Rosehip Plus has a dark yellow color. The color of the oil has no effect on the skin when applied.


Kosmea's oil is thicker, has a little bit of drag when applied yet is absorbed faster by my skin; Rosehip Plus is thinner/more fluid, and applies smoothly. It feels like it's sitting on my skin though and not fully absorbed.


The Kosmea RHO smells stronger, more herbaceous and nutty, Rosehip Plus's is a little more subdued. This could be dealbreaker for some.

Skin Benefits:

These are the positive effects I've noticed during use, please note that your skin may react differently and your results may vary. Since using RHO I noticed a more even skin tone, faster lightening of pimple marks/spots, smoother skin (less bumps), pock marks from fresh facial extractions smooth out quicker, pimples heal faster, skin is more radiant (i.e. I looked like I had a decent amount of sleep when in truth I've only had 4 hours of snooze time). My facialist also mentioned that I have less comedones. I experienced these positive skin changes from both using rose hip oil brands, but my skin is more "glowing" from Kosmea's and I don't wake up with super oily skin in the morning.


Rosehip Plus takes the cake at AUD 19.95/30ml bottle while Kosmea's sells theirs at AUD 27.95/20ml bottle. Both come in amber bottles to protect the precious oils from sunlight, and both come with a pipette for easier use. However, I noticed that my Kosmea bottle is sturdier and more fit for travel as I am starting to see oil seeping out from my Rosehip Plus bottle. 


You can purchase Kosmea on their AU website and in over 2,000 retail stores in Australia, Singapore, Hongkong, , Canada Japan, and the UK, while RoseHip Plus is locally available in Beauty Bar in most malls.

The verdict: 

When it comes to skin care, it always boils down to budget and personal preference. I've read many international blog reviews saying that all rose hip oils are one and the same, but I'm pretty finicky about skin care and I don't live in an air-conditioned room 24/7 so I notice right away any differences in consistency and feel.

In terms of fast absorption and ease of use, Kosmea wins here as even though it is thicker it is absorbed by my skin well. I also noticed that it has a calming effect and helps minimize any bumps or emerging pimples in a few days. Rosehip Plus's RHO, though more affordable, just seems to sit on top of my skin and leaves a slightly "oilier" appearance. The color is also a good indicator of the quality of the Rose Hip Oil, and by this virtue alone Kosmea wins with its deep amber hue.

If you have dry or normal skin, you can get away with the Rosehip Plus RHO. But I still prefer Kosmea's RHO and will definitely be using it in the long term. I have stopped using Rosehip Plus on the face, might use this on my knees and elbows or give it to my Mom. I am, however, still open to trying out other rose hip oil brands but am partial to the ones sourced from Africa. Rose hip oils from Chile are lighter in color and seem to have an oilier finish [on my skin].

Do you use facial oils? 
Please share your experiences with me in the comments. 


  1. Diba hiyang ka naman sa Vitamin C? I think you reviewed the Godiva one way back. (Or baka ibang blogger yun lol) And since Vit.C is high in RHO, have you noticed any whitening/evening of your skintone? :)

    I guess the second thing people have to look out for in oils is the scent, after the feel of it on the skin. I swear my argan oil smells like langka haha pero gets ko yung "toasty" scent, naaamoy ko siya minsan.

  2. I don't use essential oils but I think I should. I heard Rose is good for calming down irritations, do you know what's good for really dry skin? Or at least yung bumps!

  3. Wait which oil is the natural alternative to tretinoin. I thought it was this. Vitamin C pala

  4. Hey Kari, I haven't reviewed Hyal-C yet though I did mention Ciracle Vitamin C in a previous post. What's interesting is that when I use potent Vitamin C my skin tends to develop bumps and breakouts, so I am not entirely sure if my skin can tolerate it in the long term. And there's the the issue of stable vs unstable Vit. C which I have yet to do research on. Didn't really think about the Vit. C content when I tried Kosmea, I was just curious and really wanted to try it, and then I just loved the effect! Bonus na lang when Vivi mentioned it contains Vit. C.

    As for the scents of oils, I really like the toasty or nutty scent, makes me think that I have an unadulterated product. After researching RHO I'm starting to deduce that all the other facial oils I've tried before weren't really of good organic quality, hence the breakouts, or my skin was too sensitive for it.

    Thanks for pointing it out, I forgot to mention the skin benefits of using RHO. Added it na to this post :)

  5. I'm inclined to say Vitamin E oil and Jojoba Oil (this is slowly gaining popularity) which is readily available in Healthy Options but I'm worried about how refined it is. I've read on forums online that the commercial oils are super refined and may not contain all the nutrients and antioxidants :( What do you use currently? You have great skin naman!

  6. Hi Rae! There are various forums and blog posts that name RHO as a possible natural substitute for Retin-A. RHO does contain Vitamin A (as in Retinol, the baby sister of Tretinoin which is an ingredient in Retin-A) but it's potency and ability to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin (as in Tretinoin) is still debatable.