Rose Oil: The Queen You Need for Rosy Youthful Skin [History, Uses and Skin Benefits]

The fountain of youth has been the subject of curiosity for humankind. Tales of such a fountain appears across the world for thousands of years. Don't we all want to stay rosy and youthful?

Alas, we are far from discovering a fountain of youth that will make all signs of aging disappear magically.  What we can do is delay those signs as much as we can — and that's where rose oil comes in handy!

Dubbed as the Queen of Flowers, roses are valued beyond their lovely blooms. The queen also gave us the great gift of her essential oil. Find out how rose oil can help you slow down the aging process and leave your skin feeling great!


What Is ​Rose Oil?

Generally, rose oil is steam-distilled from the petals of various types of roses. This clear to slightly yellow oil is renowned for its use in perfumery and production of rosewater. Rose oil carries the scent of the flower, though a lot more subdued.

Properties that affect the mood, provide skin benefits, and even add unique flavor to food is exhibited by this oil, as reported in various researches.

Among more than 100 species of perennial shrubs in the rose family, those cultivated for the production of rose oil comes from two major species of rose:

  • Rosa damascena, the damask rose, is widely grown in Bulgaria, Syria, Turkey, Russia, Pakistan, India, Uzbekistan, Iran, and China.

  • Rosa centifolia, also known as the cabbage rose, is more commonly grown in Morocco, France, and Egypt.

For this post, our focus is on the Rosa damascena — particularly Bulgarian rose oil, Rose Otto, or Kazanlak rose. The oil comes from one of the rarest flowers in the world, Bulgarian Rose Damascena, cultivated in the town of Kazanlak, Bulgaria. This town is also known as the Bulgarian Rose Valley or the Valley of the Roses.

Apart from the rarity of the flower, the labor-intensive production process and low content of oil in the rose blooms make this rose oil come at a very high price.

But the price is well worth it because rose oil cultivated from the town of Kazanlak is guaranteed high-quality, since roses here have been cultivated here since the Roman times. Along with this, the overall environment in the Valley of Roses proves to be the finest and most sought-after in the world for rose cultivation and rose oil production.

​History of ​Rose Oil

Rose Oil: The Queen You Need for Rosy Youthful Skin [History, Uses and Skin Benefits] - Pretty Blooming

Many pieces of evidence show the rose family is an ancient plant. 30 million old fossils of rose were found in America. As for the possible use of roses, the earliest evidence comes from the Minoan civilization. The remains of a fresco from the palace at Knossos, Crete show this evidence of the rose's existence.

Rosa damascena, in particular, originates from the Middle East. Reports say that the name of this species is based on its place of origin: Damascus, Syria.

Various accounts in history describe how Rosa damascena entered Europe. One report says that ancient Romans brought it to their colonies in England.

Production of rose oil in Bulgaria goes back to the 16th century. In this time, the first rose plantations appeared in the town of Kazanlak, known more commonly today as the Valley of Roses.

Different Uses of ​Rose Oil

Hundred years of existence in the human world has allowed many uses for rose oil to be explored. Here are some of Bulgarian rose oil’s uses:

  • for fine fragrance
  • as an aphrodisiac when consumed or inhaled
  • calms and lifts mood
  • as a scent for personal care products
  • for sensual blends of massage oil
  • for producing rosewater
In aromatherapy, Bulgarian rose oil alleviates stress-relatedor emotional problems. Using a diffuser for this oil evenly disperses the vapors so that it can enter the respiratory system more gently.

Skin Benefits of ​Rose Oil

Bulgarian Rose Essential Oil - Skin Benefits and Uses - Pretty Blooming

After knowing a little bit more about this lovely oil, let's find out what the queen of flowers has in store for our skin! Here are the following topical benefits of Bulgarian rose oil  reported in various researches.

​Fights Acne

Skin that is free of harmful bacteria is what we want to prolong a youthful-looking complexion. Luckily, the queen’s got us covered! A notable study reports that R. damascena oil shows antimicrobial activity against S. aureus. This bacteria causes staphylococcal infection, a common skin infection that we want to be far from. Rosa damascena oil also has antimicrobial effects to counter P. acnes, the bacteria responsible for acne! We definitely want to be far from that as much as possible.

​Protects from the Sun

In our battle to delay the signs of aging, sun damage is our mortal enemy. Premature aging of our skin is mostly the fault of the sun. So it is a must for us always to wear sun protection. Though far from replacing our highly effective sunscreens, rose oil has a capacity as an antisolar agent. Meaning: the oil from the queen is capable of absorbing UV.

This study investigated this property of Rosa damascena oil. The authors noted that other synthetic antisolar compounds might be added to rose oil to improve its efficacy. On its own, rose oil is not enough to protect us from our mortal enemy. But it is nice to know that incorporating this oil to our regimen can boost our protection!

​Helps Skin Stay Youthful and Wrinkle-free

Free radicals and aging have been linked for decades. With this knowledge, we do all we can to eliminate these free radicals from our skin. Fortunately, the queen’s oil has antioxidant properties like many natural products. Not only that, R. damascena is one of the species with the highest flavonoid content. This high flavonoid content marked rose oil as a natural source of antioxidants.

How to Use Rose Oil

Rose Oil: The Queen You Need for Rosy Youthful Skin [History, Uses and Skin Benefits] - Pretty Blooming

With these very beneficial properties, there is no wonder that many brands in the market feature rose oil as an ingredient. Products from certain brands can cost a lot of money for just a fraction of the rose oil swimming in other ingredients. You get an over diluted rose oil with little to none of its effectiveness.

Pure rose oil is pricier than other essential oils. But the many ways you can incorporate it to your regimen, while purely acquiring the benefits, outweighs the price. Drops of the oil can be incorporated into your existing skin care products or feature the oil in your upcoming DIY projects.

To inspire you, here is a DIY Bulgarian rose oil face serum!

Bulgarian Rose Oil Anti-Aging Face Serum

  • clean, dry bowl
  • 1 amber glass dropper bottle

How To Prepare and Use It? 

1. Mix the ingredients in a bowl. Stir well.
2. Pour mixture into a glass dropper bottle. 

Use 1/2 dropper (or less) full of serum on clean face and neck. You can use the serum in both mornings and evenings. This anti-aging facial serum will leave your skin smooth and glowing! 

Is Rose Oil Safe?

No matter how long a specific oil has existed or the number of researches done about it, we must always practice caution with all essential oils. Rose oil is safe as long as we utilize it properly.

With all essential oils, you must dilute rose oil in a carrier oil. Though it smells lovely and mild, you must not neglect to dilute this oil! Read this guide on dilution so you can be sure to dilute your essential oil adequately.

Always perform a patch test when using a new oil. Dilute a small amount of the ​EO in a carrier oil and ​place a drop of it on the inner ​area of your ​elbow. Leave it on for 24 hours and observe the skin for any reactions.

For safety purposes, it is not advised for pregnant and breastfeeding women to use essential oils without consulting medical professionals.

For children and the elderly, it is highly advised to contact your physician or doctor before using oils. Self-treatment of chronic diseases by applying rose oil may also hold serious consequences without professional advice.

How to Choose ​Rose Oil

As with all essential oils, remember not to buy rose oil from food stores. Apart from these reminders, here are the things you should look for when choosing your Bulgarian rose oil:

  1. 100% essential oil
  2. Therapeutic grade
  3. Steam-distilled
  4. Undiluted
  5. Unadulterated​
I highly recommend ​Plant Therapy's Bulgarian rose oil. I trust this brand for rose oil as they are very transparent with the process of their rose oil cultivation. Their stock comes directly from the Valley of Roses, so you are guaranteed a high-quality rose oil!
rose essential oil on Amazon

Final Thoughts

The queen of flowers bestowed upon us the gift of her oil to fulfill our dream of having fantastic, youthful skin! Bulgarian rose oil is much more than a fine fragrance ingredient. The antimicrobial, antioxidant, and UV protection properties this oil contains makes it entirely worth it!

This oil definitely deserves a spot in your beauty regimen, don’t you think so? I know it does in mine!

Thank you for reading the post!

Have you used rose oil before? What do you like best about it? Any DIY recipes you love doing with the queen’s oil? Share in the comments below!

Stay tuned and take skin care 💋

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The Information on this website has not been evaluated by FDA and is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. The content is for educational purposes only and not intended to substitute medical advice. You should seek the advice of your health care practitioner before undertaking any health changes. 


Some of the links in the posts are affiliate links, meaning, at no cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

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About the author

Valeria struggled with acne for fifteen long years. Everything changed after adopting a "science-first" approach. Now she loves her skin, and help other women get acne-free through coaching and online programs.


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